Great Brăila Island

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The Great Braila Island.jpg

The Great Brăila Island (Romanian: Insula Mare a Brăilei) is an island on the Danube river in the Brăila County, Romania. It has on average 57.9 km length and 18.6 km width, with a total area of 710 km².[1] The two river branches which separate it from the mainland are Măcin Branch (ro) and Vâlciu Branch (ro).

Adjacent to the West across the Vâlciu branch is the Small Brăila Island (Romanian: Insula Mică a Brăilei, actually a chain of several islands within swampy area), separated from the mainland by Vâlciu and Cremenea Branch (ro).

Currently, 681.3 km² (94.6% of the area of island) are occupied by agricultural terrains of which 70.84 km² are irrigated and is protected by a dam having a length of 23.5 km. On the island there are two communes, Frecăţei and Mărașu, which have about 5,000 inhabitants. In the southwest is the village of Măraşu.

There was a series of swamps - Brăila Pond (Romanian: Balta Brăilei), until the Communist regime drained them and built dams using forced labour of political detainees and transformed it to an agricultural area. There were five "re-education camps" at Grădina, Lunca, Salcia, Stoienești and Strâmba Veche. The terrain proved to be fertile and it was declared a "success of Communism in Romania".

Balta Mică a Brăilei Natural Park is base on the Small Brăila Island.

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Coordinates: 45°1′18″N 28°2′57″E / 45.02167°N 28.04917°E / 45.02167; 28.04917