General Information

Romania (In Romanian: România) is a country located in Eastern Europe with its capital Bucharest. The Danube River flows in the south of the country. Romania is one of the Balkan countries, located in the north of Balkans.

Romania was known in ancient times as Dacia a state inhabited and founded in the second century BC by the Gets - one of the tribes of the north of Greece. Dacia became a Roman province under the reign of Emperor Traian; it has seen many successive invasions by each of the Huns, Bulgarians, Mongols and others.

A number of Romanian provinces entered under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. In 1420, the Ottomans extended their influence upon what was known as the Roman lands. In 1538, Moldova County became also under to the influence of the Ottomans, who took control over Transylvania in 1541, when that era saw an armed struggle to get rid of the Ottoman domination through a number of Romanian leaders, and one of the most famous one of them was Stephan the Great – (In Romanian :Stefan cel Mare)

Romania became known under this name in 1862 after the establishment of the nation-state through the union of Moldova and what was then called Țara Românească or Wallachia in 1859. Romania gained its independence from Ottoman Empire in 1881 and became republic on September 30, 1947. In December 1989 the Communist regime in Romania fell.

In terms of area Romania has 238,391 square km and ranks number seven in the list of countries by population between the countries of the European Union with 20.121 million people. The country's capital is Bucharest and its Romania's largest cities, and occupies the sixth place in terms of population (2 million people) between the cities of the European Union. In 2007, the city of Sibiu was chosen the European Capital of Culture.

Romania is a member of NATO since March 29, 2004, and of the Latin Union, the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and member of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and has joined the European Union in January 2007. Romania is also holding serious talks since a couple of years in order to join the Schengen area.


Geography and topography

Danube flows through the territories of Romania, forming the Danube delta, and discharges into the Black Sea through three arms. The Carpathian Mountains are extended in the south and the center of the country and they are bordered on the north by Ukraine, Moldova at the northeast, and the Black Sea at the east, Bulgaria in the south and Serbia and Hungary in the west.

Danube river represents a big part of Romania's south borders with Serbia and Bulgaria. The Danube meets with the Prut river which forms its natural borders with Moldova in the northeast. The Danube River discharges in the Black Sea, forming the Danube delta.

The geographical nature of Romania is diversified. About 34% of the country hosts mountains, 33% hills  and 33% plains. Carpathian Mountains are in the center of the country, and they are surrounded by the plateau of Transylvania. There are 14 mountain peaks that exceed the height of 2,000 meters above sea level, and the highest peak is Moldoveanu with 2,544 meters. In the south, Carpathian Mountains turn into hills until the plains of Bărăgan.

The forests represent 13% of the country and in Romania are found the largest percent of virgin forests in Europe. In Romania's forests lives a large group of animals, which indicates the safety of ecosystems of the Romanian forests, including 40% of the European brown bears and 60% of wolves. There are also nearly 400 species of mammals unique of its kind and one of the best examples is the black goat, the birds, the reptiles and amphibians.

There are 3,700 species of plants that have been discovered in Romania, 23 of it were declared natural attractions, 74 of it were missing, 39 of it are on the verge of extinction, 171 species are weak (inability to resistance) and 1,253 of the species are considered rare. There are three grassy areas (vegetation): Carpathian Mountains region, the forest zone and the steppe. The distribution of plants is in a storeyed manner according to the characteristics of soil and climate and includes different types of oak trees, ficus sycomorus, beech, fir, willow, poplar, meadow and pine. There are approximately 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) (approximately 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania, which covers 13 national parks and three biosphere reserves: the Danube Delta, Retezat national Park and Rodna national Park.

Due to the distance between the open sea and the south-eastern part of the European continent, Romania is characterized by a climate in transition between temperate climate and continental climate and four distinct seasons. The spring season by its splendor, when the air is cool in the morning and becomes hot with the nightfall. Summer is characterized by a very hot atmosphere and lasts three months (June-July- August). The season of autumn is dry and cold and is characterized by the fall of the trees' leaves in the streets and residential areas. Winter is cold and even in the southern regions of Romania rain is falling at a rate of 750 mm (30 inches) and snow is falling on the western mountains, which allows skiing on a large scale. In the South-Central areas, near the capital Bucharest, rain is falling at a rate of 600 mm, while in the Danube delta, rainfall is very low at a rate of 370 mm per year.

• Romanian language and culture

The official language is the Romanian language, from the Latin family belonging to the Indo-European languages. There are about 26 million people in the world speaking Romanian, most of them are living in Romania, Moldova and other German and Hungarian ethnic minorities who speak their native language. About 5 million Romanians speak English, from 4 to 5 million speak French and 32,000 speak the Turkish language, the majority being located in the city of Constanţa and 45,000 speak German.

Romanian culture is the product of its geography and its historical development. Romania is known mainly as a confluence of three regions: Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, but it can not really be included in any of them. We also note the influence of the Islamic culture through the Turks who dominated for centuries areas of Romania. Romania is included in the group of Francophone countries.

Romanian literature began to evolve with the revolutions of 1848 and the Transylvanian and the Moldavians scientists began to search for the Romanian origins in France, Italy and Germany. And the dialogues about the origin of the Romanians began at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Then has been started the integration of French and German to the Romanian culture and some of the classics of the Romanian literature's were published with the contribution and prominence of some Romanian writers, such as: Mihai Eminescu (there is a statue of him in the city of Iasi, next to the library of the Foundation "Ferdinand I", and the theater Mihai Eminescu in the city of Botoșani), George Coșbuc and Ioan Slavici.

Although these names were not famous outside the country, but they are widely appreciated inside Romania, as these writers have worked and gave birth to the modern Romanian literature. The poet Mihai Eminescu was the biggest and most influential for the Romanian poetry, especially by his  poem "the Morning Star"- Luceafărul. Among the most prominent writers in the second half of the 19th century were Mihail Kogalniceanu (who was also the first Prime Minister of Romania), Vasile Alecsandri, Nicolae Balcescu, Ion Luca Caragiale and Ion Creanga.

The second half of the twentieth century is considered by many specialists the golden age of Romanian Culture. Among the most Romanian prominent artists, we must mention the international sculptor Constantin Brancusi whom one of his works was sold at a price of 27.5 million US dollars in 2005, a record price for a piece of sculpture. Among the Romanian  famous musicians after the Second World War, we mention Maria Tanase, Tudor Gheorghe, the flute player Gheorghe Zamfir, who sold more than 120 million albums worldwide.

During the period between the two world wars a lot of distinguished writers like Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga, Eugen Lovinescu, Ion Barbu and Liviu Rebreanu have made efforts to synchronize the Romanian literature with the European literature.

After the second World War and when the  Communist Party took control, a strict and severe censorship was imposed over the cultural and artistic production. But writers like Gelu Naum, Nichita Stănescu, Marin Sorescu or Marin Preda managed to evade the censorship and became the renaissance leaders of the Romanian literature, but many of them were not able to get an international prize because of the strict security control, as Constantin Noica, Paul Guma and Mircea Cartarescu who have published their works abroad even though they were imprisoned for different political reasons.

Some Romanian artists chose to leave the country permanently and continued to have contributions to the Romanian literature in exile, as happened with the musician Eugene Ionescu, Mircea Eliade and Emil Cioran who became famous due to their works. Among other literary figures who are enjoying a good reputation outside the country, we mention Elie Wiesel, the poet Paul Celan, who obtained the Nobel Prize, as well as the novelist, poet and editor Herta Mueller that was awarded also with Nobel Prize in literature in 2009.

Romanian cinema has achieved recently praise all over the world with the release of movies such as "the death of Mr. Lazarescu", directed by Cristi Puiu, (Cannes Festival 2005), and the film "4 months, 3 weeks and two days", directed by Cristian Mungiu (winner of Palme d'Or, Cannes 2007).

• Religion

Romania is a secular state, so there is no state religion. Thus, the dominant religious confession is the Romanian Orthodox Church; followed by 86.7% of the population according to the census of 2011, when the population reached 20,121. The rest of the important Romanian Catholic Christian denominations include 4.7%, Protestant 3.7%, Pentecostal 1.5%, Roman Greek 0.9%.

 In Romania lives a Muslim minority concentrated in Dobrogea area, mostly Turks and Tatars as well as Arabs and Muslims expats numbering about 67,500 people. Romania has 74 mosques, including 24 ancient mosques, as the mosque Hunkiar built in (1278 Hijri -1861 AD), Anadalchioi, Babadag, Esmhan Sultan Mosque, and Amzacea mosque. After 1990, many Islamic cultural associations were established by the Arab Muslims and others, and a number of mosques were built in the capital Bucharest and other cities in Romania. The number of Jews in Romania is decreasing, and according to the last senses, the number of Jewish in Romania reaches now 3519, most of them old people. Because of the migration, the number of Romanian Jewish has decreased.

People and politics

Constitution and form of government: the system in Romania is a republican system.

The parliament consists of two chambers:

  • Senate: 134 Members
  • Deputies: 308 Members
  • In addition to one representative from each ethnic minority (18 deputy).
  • Romania joined  NATO in 2004.
  • Romania entered the European Union in 2007.
  • Romania will take over the rotating presidency of the European Commission in 2019.
  • Legislative and local elections are held every four years and presidential elections take place every five years.
  • The National Flag has three colors: red , yellow and blue.
  • National Day: December 1.
  • National Currency: Romanian leu (1 dollar = 3.9 Lei). (1 euro = 4.4 Lei)
  • The number of Romanian districts are 41


The Administrative Map of Romania