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Romania Facts

Romania

Romania is a country in Eastern Europe that is halfway between the North Pole and the equator.

The name Romania comes from the Latin word, Romanus, which means “citizen of Rome.” This is because the Romans conquered and colonized this area.

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Quick Facts

Capital: Bucharest

Population: 19.71 million (2016)

Key Cities: Cluj-Napoca Cluj, Timisoara, Ias

Official Language: Romanian (official), Hungarian, German

Major Religions: Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic

Geography

Bordering Countries: Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Moldovia

Size: 91,699 square m

Lowest point: Black Sea 0 ft

Highest point: Moldoveanu 8346 ft

romania-map

Romania is a country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered on three sides by land and has the Black Sea on its Eastern Border

It is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Oregon.

Romania is a relatively mountainous country that has a very beautiful and green landscape. It also contains hills, plains, forests, and rivers.

There is a little bit of everything in Romania, from farms to ancient cities with intricate architecture and old-fashioned buildings.

There are also stunning mountain slopes full of beautiful ski resorts. In some places, there are huge lakes that were formed by Glaciers.

There are also several different types of mines throughout Romania. These include salt, coal, and iron mines.

There are many different cave systems to explore in Romania. Inside of these caves, you can view many different species of bats as you explore the dark depths.

Romania is also home to a region known the world over…Transylvania! While there are no vampires there, it is one of the many different regions you could visit.

Romania is separated into several different regions. These include Transylvania in the middle, Bukovina in the north, Moldavia in the northeast, Dobrogea in the southeast, Banat in the southwest, and Walachia in the south.

Many different animals call Romania home. This includes 36 species of mammals, such as bears, wolves, red deer, wild boar, and lynx.

Romania has a continental climate because most of it is far away from the sea. The summers are generally hot, and the winters are generally cold.

History

The earliest inhabitants of Romania were Stone Age hunters who lived there around 8,000 BC.

From about 600 BC the ancient Greeks began trading with the people that lived in Romania, which the Greeks called Getae.

In the year 101 AD, the Roman Emperor Trajan led a campaign against the people of Romania, who the Romans called Romania Dacians.

pagan-sanctuaries

The Romans conquered Romania in 106 AD. Afterward, the colony of Dacia was set up and became part of the Roman Empire.

Roman rule was relatively short-lived, and in the 3rd century AD, Rome abandoned the settlement due to barbarian attacks.

This led to a period where each region of Romania governed itself. This continued until the 17th century when all of Romania was taken over by the Turkish Empire.

Romania gained its independence from Turkey in 1877. It became a Kingdom in 1881 when Carol I came to power.

In 1916, Romania joined forces with Britain, France, and Russia in WWI. After the war, Romania became larger, because it took back Transylvania and Bessarabia.

The 1930s were an era of political instability in Romania, as lots of different governments tried to run the country.

This continued until 1938 when the king banned political parties and introduced a royal dictatorship.

Romania joined with Germany in WWII and aided in the invasion of Russia.

During WWII, many Jewish people and Gypsies from Romania were deported and murdered.

After the war, Russia took control of Romania. This led to it becoming a communist country.

In 1990, Romania transitioned from Communism to Democracy. This was a difficult transition.

Today, the country is run by a Prime Minister, President, and Parliament who are all democratically elected.

Economy

Romania joined the European Union in 2007. The GDP is $350 billion, making it one of the healthiest European economies.

Up until the 1900s, Romania was mostly an agricultural country. During communism, it had a planned economy.

When the democratic government came to power in the 1990s, the economy collapsed.

Thankfully it has rebounded quite well. Today, the main industries in Romania are motor vehicles, chemicals, electronics, food, clothing, and steel.

Culture

There are several languages spoken in Romania, though the official language is Romanian. Some parts of the country also speak German or Hungarian.

Romanians are family oriented, and age is highly respected. Older individuals are viewed as wise since they have the most life experience.

Families are still very much patriarchal. This means that the father is the head of the household.

Romanian food is hearty and filling. It is very much still based on an agricultural society. As such, many of their meals consist of root vegetables and meat.

romanian-food

Famous Romanians

Sebastian Stan – Actor

Vlad the Impaler – Ruler of Wallachia and basis for Count Dracula

Ellie Wiesel – Writer

Saint Patrick – Missionary

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Fun Facts

The Parliament Palace in Romania is the second biggest building in the world. It is also the heaviest building in the world.

palace-of-parliament

According to legend, Bucharest was named after a shepherd called Bucur.

The first road in Bucharest was called the Wooden Road. This is because it was paved with tree trunks and planks.

The Romanian language is around 1,700 years old.

The oldest fossils from Homo sapiens were found in Southwestern Romania. These fossils are thought to be around 37,800 to 42,000 years old.