Romania

 

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Romania

Get to know Romania in few minutes

Romania Facts

Member state of the  European Union since 2007 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 2003.

Location: Eastern Europe

Time Zone: Seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time (GMT + 2)

Area: 92,043 sq. miles (238,391 sq. km) – a little larger than the state of Minnesota

Flag of Romania: Three vertical stripes: red, yellow and blue

Population: 19,942,000 (March 2014)

Capital: Bucharest (1,883,400)

Main Ethnic Groups: Romanian 84%, Hungarian 6.1%, Gipsy 3.1%,
German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.2%

Climate: Temperate, four distinct seasons, similar to northeastern USA

 

Find our more about Romania :

Location: Romania is located in the southeastern part of Europe with exit to the Black Sea. Neighboring countries: Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Moldova.

Capital: Bucharest

Land and Regions: There are 3 major historical regions and 6 smaller regions. The major regions are: Transylvania, in the center of Romania, known for its medieval cities and fortresses, as well as the famous ruler, Vlad the Impaler (Dracula), Moldova, to the east, known for its painted monasteries, many part of the UNESCO heritage, Wallachia, to the south where the capital, Bucharest, is located. The smaller regions are: Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Bucovina, Dobrogea, and Oltenia.

 

 Transylvanian Landscape

Romania has mountains, hills, plateaus and plains. In the center of the country there are the Carpathians Mountains. Towards the south, the Danube River, which begins its journey in Germany and flows through Europe, forms natural border with Serbia and Bulgaria. The Danube River, second largest in Europe, empties into the Danube Delta, considered the best preserved delta in Europe and it is listed as World Heritage Site. The Danube Delta has the 3rd largest biodiversity in the world: some 300 species of birds can be seen here, along with other fish and animals, as well as some 1,700 plant species. Romania has also a large area of undisturbed forests (1/4 of Romania area), with 3,700 plant species, some unique and endangered, as well as over 33,000 species of animals, from which around 400 are unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles. We cannot forget the large population of brown bears and wolves.

Climate: Romania has a temperate climate with 4 seasons.

Language and Demographics: Romanian. It is similar to Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian. It is a Romance language, as French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. According to a 2011 census, 89.4% were Romanians, 6.1% Hungarians, the largest ethnic minority. Other minorities include Germans, Turks, Tatars, Serbs, Lipovans, Ukrainians, and Roma.

Religion: At the same census from 2011, the overwhelming majority of the population, 81%, identified themselves as Orthodox Christians, belonging to the Romanian Orthodox Church. The other denominations are Roman Catholics, Protestants, Greek Catholics, Muslims, and Jewish.

 

Bucegi Mountains

Government (UE, NATO): Romania is a parliamentary republic with a bicameral. The President is elected for a 5 year term, while the senators and members of the lower chamber are elected for a 4 year term. Romania is a NATO member from 2004 and in 2007 became part of the European Union. 

History: By its location, Romania has been at the convergence of migrating roads and the flow of so many tribes has contributed to the formation of the today’s Romania. The ancient inhabitants of Romania were the fierceful Dacians who were conquered by the Roman Empire in 105 A.D. under the emperor Trajan. In 271 A.D, the Roman Empire withdrew from the territory of Dacia. But, by now, the Romans and Dacians have intermarried, and the Romanian population was born. The Romanian language, with its strong Latin roots was born. The new population also adopted Christianity: the Eastern Orthodox roots go back to this period. The following centuries are somehow obscure for the new population. Migrating tribes invaded the territory on their way to the Western Europe. Huns, Goths, Visigoths, Slavs, Saxons, Magyars have moves through the territory and some settled, being assimilated by Romanians or living along the population.

By the 11th century, Hungarians, who established themselves in the Pannonia, have invaded Transylvania and made this region part of the Hungarian Kingdom. By the 14th century, two other voivodates (small principalities) were created: Wallachia to the south and Moldavia to the east. Later on, Transylvania became part of the Habsburg Empire.

By the 15th century, the region was under Ottoman Empire domination – not political, but economical. The Principalities had to pay tribute in grain (wheat, especially), sheep, wood. Later on, the Ottoman domination was seen through the naming of princes form the Greek families from Phanar, a district of Constantinople. Meanwhile in Transylvania, the Romanian speaking population was struggling to maintain its identity and language. The Hungarians, under the Habsburg Empire, where trying to impose their language (Hungarian) and religion (Roman Catholic).

The end of the 19th century brought big changes. By 1859, Wallachia and Moldavia have succeeded in obtaining their autonomy from the Ottoman Empire and both elected the same prince, Alexandru Iona Cuza and created one nation: Romania. Transylvania remained part of the Habsburg Empire.

In 1866, Romania elected as prince a German born, Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, lately leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Romania under the rule of Carol 1st. Under Carol 1st, Romania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire. A new era of changes began for Romania/ Romania entered the World War I on the Allied side. Carol 1st is succeeded on the throne by his nephew, Ferdinand 1st. The end of the World War I brings the unification of Transylvania, Bucovina, Bessarabia, the last two were previously lost, with Romania and the creation of the modern Romania.

Ferdinand 1st is succeeded by his son, Carol II, who established a royal dictatorship. At the beginning of 1940, Romania loses part of its territory: the Soviet Union annexed Bessarabia (what today is the Republic of Moldova), the Northern Bucovina; Northern Transylvania was given to Hungary. Carol II was forced to abdicate in favor of his minor son, Michael 1st. General Antonescu began an era military dictatorship. Romania entered the World War II on the side of Soviet Union, believing it will regain the lost territories.

By the end of the World War II, King Michel 1st arrested General Antonescu and switched fronts: Romania was fighting now on the side of Allies, against Germany and Soviet Union. The end of the WWW II, brought major changes: Kind Michel 1st was forced to abdicate and left for Switzerland and Romania entered Communist Soviet Union sphere of influence. From 1945 to December 1989, Romanian lived, probably, one of the darkest time in their history. In 1967, Nicolae Ceausescu became president of Romania and retained that position until 1989, when he was arrested and executed. Ceausescu was obsessed with paying the Romania’s national debt. To do so, he created policies that put more and more burden on the Romanian economy and impoverished more the population. He created a strong state police and a strong cult of personality.

The 1989 Revolution was a bloody one in Romania: more than 1,000 people died on the streets, and the Ceausescu regime was overthrown. Romania held multiparty election and voted for a new Constitution. In 2004, Romania joined NATO and in 2007 became part of the European Union.

 

Food: The Romanian cuisine is a rich blend of different cultures that established on our territory, passed through or surrounds us. In the Romanian dishes you can find Serbian, Turkish, Russian, Hungarian, German, and Bulgarian influences.

Even is some dishes might look or sound in name somehow similar to other countries from the Eastern part of Europe, we made them ours by the special blend of spices used for cooking. Meat is an essential part in the Romanian cuisine, but vegetables and fruits have their own part on a Romanian menu. A Romanian lunch is usually comprised of starters, soup or ciorba (a type of sour soup), the entree, and dessert, accompanied by a tuica, a type of brandy made from plums and a glass of wine.

The Last Judgment,          Voronet Monastery

 

Places to See: Romania has many things to offer. Whether you are a mountain climber, or you are history buff, or a nature/s lover, you find it all here!

Transylvania is famous for its medieval cities (Sibiu, Sighisoara, Brasov), for its fortified churches (Biertan, Prejmer, Viscri), build by Saxons during 13th and 14th centuries. The history buff can take a tour of famous castles like Bran Castle, maybe the most famous of all because of its connection to Vlad the Impaler, Bram Stoker’s inspiration for its Count Dracula. Other castles worth a visit are the Corvin Castle, a Gothic structure from the 14th century in Hunedoara, and the Peles Castle, builds by the King Carol I of Romania in Sinaia as a summer residence for the royal family.

 

 

 

Prejmer Fortress

Bucovina is known not only for its gorgeous landscapes, but also for the picturesque painted monasteries, most of them part of UNESCO World Heritage. The monasteries were built between 15th and 16th centuries and their uniqueness lays in the facts that were painted outside and inside. A tour of the monasteries much include Voronet, considered the “Sistine Chapel of the East,” famous for its blue color and for the beautiful scene of the Last Judgment that covers an entire wall. Other monasteries are Humor, Sucevita, situated in a beautiful valley, Moldovita, and Arbore.

The Sphinx

 

 

The nature lover can enjoy hiking, biking, or driving through scenic roads like the Transfagarasan route, considered the most spectacular road. The road climbs and twists through the Fagaras Mountain. It is open only from June to October. If you like hiking, you can enjoy a trip through the Bucegi Mountains, beginning in the town of Busteni. You cannot miss a hike to the Sphinx and the Old Dames (Babele).