Archaeological findings show that Dobruja was inhabited since the Neolithic period. Starting with 46 BC the region was administered by the Roman Empire. A castrum was built in the Carasu Valley, becoming the cradle of the settlement.
In 1417, the Turks invaded Dobruja. From the 15th century onwards the region started to be colonized with Muslim population. The settlement named "Karasu" (Turkish for "Black Water") was mentioned on the map of Iehuda ben Zara in 1497, in the notes of Paolo Giorgio (1590) and Evliya Çelebi (1653).
Modern Medgidia was built by the Ottoman administration on the place of the old Karasu beginning with 1856. It was built as a planned city to accommodate refugees from the Crimean War and to serve as an economic hub for the central zone of Dobruja. The town was named in honour of the sultan Abdul Medjid, the Ottoman sovereign of the period.
After the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Northern Dobruja became part of Romania.
Medgidia is located between the Danube and the Black Sea, 39 km far from Constanţa.
The general aspect of the relief is that of a low plateau with a limestone structure, covered with thick deposits of loess. The natural resources in the area consist of limestone deposits and kaolin sand. The limestone structure of the earth permits a natural filtering of the groundwater.
The economic landscape spotlights the existence of a town fully involved in its progress. Out of 1,200 registered enterprises, only 30 are state-owned and 15 are joint ventures.
Beside the agricultural activities (milk-processing, milling, bakery and wine growing), the main industry deals in cement and building materials, agricultural machinery and forgery equipment, wood processing and furniture factories.
Medgidia lies in the center of an agricultural area of several tens of millions hectares, with a fertile soil and provided with irrigation systems.
The area offers:
- a rich agricultural tradition and trained specialists
- a road network for the transport of goods
- relatively short transport distances, especially through the port
- access to other Romanian or European regions
- better climate conditions than in other parts of Romania (winter is shorter)
- an outstanding irrigation potential
The canal has a capacity of 11.2 million tons/year and can admit ships of 5,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT). Provided with road and rail links, the harbor offers storage facilities and cranes able to lift up to 16-ton weights. Beside a SNCFR marshaling yard, along the Canal there is a Free Trade Area in course of being finalized.
A planned highway from Bucharest to Constanţa, partially financed by the EU, will bypass the town, allowing the development of associated services (hotels, petrol stations and a parking yard for trucks) in the area.
- The Art Museum "Lucian Grigorescu" It was opened in 1964 with exhibitions of Romanian contemporary painting, sculpture, and graphics, signed Lucian Grigorescu, Marius Bunescu, Ion Jalea and others. The permanent exhibition takes in classic and modern artworks but also works of contemporary art classics: Lucian Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Francisc Şirato, Ştefan Dumitrescu, Iosif Iser. The museum also displays a collection of ceramic artworks. In 1991 the museum was named after Lucian Grigorescu, a town native, who was deemed as the most Latin among the Romanian painters. The city honors the painter every year on the 1st of February, the anniversary of his birthday.
- The "Saints Peter and Paul" Orthodox church The church was built in a Roman-Greek style and it was raised with the contribution of the local Christians on the ruins of a Roman castrum.
- The "Abdul Mejid" Mosque Built in 1860 by the Ottoman Government, the mosque is an historic and architectural monument. It was named after the sultan Abdul Mejid - who reigned between 1839 and 1861. The mosque is served by an imam and a muezzin. The building respects the traditional form of the Muslim cultural placements, decorated in the interior with oriental ornaments and inscriptions in Arabic.
- The Serbian Heroes' Monument In 1926, Medgidia commemorated the heroism of the Serbian division which fought in Dobruja during the World War I (see the Romanian Campaign (World War I)) by inaugurating a monument in its honor. With this occasion a ceremony was held with the participation of Romanian and Yugoslavian officials; wreaths were laid at the base of the monument by the Serbian and Romanian royal families.
- The Medgidia clinker storage facility is the world's largest dome-type cement clinker storage facility