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Romania

Romania

Overview
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Southeastern Europe
Southeast Europe
Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe is a relatively recent political designation for the states of the Balkans. Writers such as Maria Todorova and Vesna Goldsworthy have suggested the use of the term Southeastern Europe to replace the word Balkans for the region, to minimize potential...

, on the Lower Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, within and outside the Carpathian arch
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, bordering on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Romania shares a border with Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 to the west, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 to the south.

At 238391 square kilometres (92,043.3 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 20.2 million people.
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Timeline

1862   Bucharest proclaimed capital of Romania.

1862   Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated.

1863   In Romania the mountain railway from Anina to Oravita is used for the first time.

1870   The ''Republic of Ploieşti'', a failed Radical-Liberal rising against Domnitor Carol of Romania.

1877   Mihail Kogălniceanu reads, in the Chamber of Deputies, the Declaration of Independence of Romania. This day became the Independence Day of Romania.

1877   Romania declares itself independent from the Ottoman Empire following the Senate adoption of Mihail Kogălniceanu's Declaration of Independence. This act is recognized on March 26, 1881 after the end of the Romanian War of Independence.

1878   Treaty of Berlin: the European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman empire.

1913   Second Balkan War: delegates from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece sign the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the war.

1916   Romania declares war against Austria-Hungary, entering World War I as one of the Allied nations.

1916   World War I: Germany declares war on Romania.

 
Encyclopedia
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and Southeastern Europe
Southeast Europe
Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe is a relatively recent political designation for the states of the Balkans. Writers such as Maria Todorova and Vesna Goldsworthy have suggested the use of the term Southeastern Europe to replace the word Balkans for the region, to minimize potential...

, on the Lower Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, within and outside the Carpathian arch
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, bordering on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Romania shares a border with Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 to the west, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 to the south.

At 238391 square kilometres (92,043.3 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 20.2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, the sixth largest city in the EU
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

 with about two million people.

The Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 emerged when the principalities of Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. Independence from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was declared
Romanian War of Independence
The Romanian War of Independence is the name used in Romanian historiography to refer to the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish war, following which Romania, fighting on the Russian side, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire...

 on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 and Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania
Greater Romania
The Greater Romania generally refers to the territory of Romania in the years between the First World War and the Second World War, the largest geographical extent of Romania up to that time and its largest peacetime extent ever ; more precisely, it refers to the territory of the Kingdom of...

 emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania's territories were occupied by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 and a member of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

.

After the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

 fell in 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

 Romania underwent serious processes towards establishing a functional, democratic and modern state. During the 2000s
2000s
File:2000s decade montage3.png|From left, clockwise: The World Trade Center towers, in the wake of the September 11 attacks; the Euro enters into European currency in 2002; a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled during the Iraq War; U.S. troops heading toward an army helicopter during the War in...

, Romania made changes to the country, such as reform the democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 system, human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 acts, freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

 acts, economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 and law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. Nowadays, Romania is an upper middle-income country with high human development
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

.

Romania joined NATO on March 29, 2004, the European Union on January 1, 2007 and is also a member of the Latin Union
Latin Union
The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...

, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

, of the WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

, of the BSEC
Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
On 25 June 1992, the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries signed in Istanbul the Summit Declaration and the Bosporus Statement giving birth to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation ...

 and of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Today, Romania is a unitary
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President
President of Romania
The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term . An individual may serve two terms...

 and the Government
Government of Romania
The Government of Romania forms one half of the country's executive branch . It is headed by the Prime-Minister, and consists of the Ministries, various subordinated institutions and agencies, and the 42 Prefectures...

.

Etymology



The name of Romania, România, comes from român (previously rumân), "Romanian", which in turn is a derivative of the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. The fact that Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 call themselves a derivative of romanus is first mentioned in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

.

The first written record of a Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages in the Balkans was written by the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes the Confessor
Theophanes the Confessor
Saint Theophanes Confessor was a member of the Byzantine aristocracy, who became a monk and chronicler. He is venerated on March 12 in the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church .-Biography:Theophanes was born in Constantinople of wealthy and noble iconodule parents: Isaac,...

 in the 6th century about a military expedition against the Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 from 587, when a Vlach muleteer accompanying the Byzantine army noticed that the load was falling from one of the animals and shouted to a companion Torna, torna fratre ("Return, return brother!").

The oldest surviving document written in Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 is a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung". Among other firsts, this text is also notable for having the first documented occurrence of a Romanian word denoting the country's name: Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 is mentioned under the name of Ţeara Rumânească ("The Romanian Land", țeara from the terra
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, "land"; current spelling: Ţara Românească).

In the following centuries, Romanian documents use interchangeably two spelling forms: român and rumân."am scris aceste sfente cǎrţi de învăţături, sǎ fie popilor rumânesti... sǎ înţeleagǎ toţi oamenii cine-s rumâni creştini" "Întrebare creştineascǎ" (1559), Bibliografia româneascǎ veche, IV, 1944, p. 6.
"...că văzum cum toate limbile au şi înfluresc întru cuvintele slǎvite a lui Dumnezeu numai noi românii pre limbă nu avem. Pentru aceia cu mare muncǎ scoasem de limba jidoveascǎ si greceascǎ si srâbeascǎ pre limba româneascǎ 5 cărţi ale lui Moisi prorocul si patru cărţi şi le dăruim voo fraţi rumâni şi le-au scris în cheltuială multǎ... şi le-au dăruit voo fraţilor români,... şi le-au scris voo fraţilor români" Palia de la Orǎştie (1581–1582), Bucureşti, 1968.
În Ţara Ardealului nu lăcuiesc numai unguri, ce şi saşi peste seamă de mulţi şi români peste tot locul..., Grigore Ureche, Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei, p. 133–134.
Socio-linguistic evolutions in the late 17th century led to a process of semantic differentiation: the form rumân, presumably usual among the lower classes, received the meaning of "bondsman
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

", while the form român kept an ethno-linguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 in 1746, the form rumân gradually disappears and the spelling definitively stabilises to the form român, românesc.In his well known literary testament Ienăchiţă Văcărescu
Ienachita Vacarescu
Ienăchiţă Văcărescu was a Wallachian Romanian poet, historian, philologist, and boyar belonging to the Văcărescu family...

 writes: "Urmaşilor mei Văcăreşti!/Las vouă moştenire:/Creşterea limbei româneşti/Ş-a patriei cinstire."
In the "Istoria faptelor lui Mavroghene-Vodă şi a răzmeriţei din timpul lui pe la 1790" a Pitar Hristache writes: "Încep după-a mea ideie/Cu vreo câteva condeie/Povestea mavroghenească/Dela Ţara Românească.
Tudor Vladimirescu
Tudor Vladimirescu
Tudor Vladimirescu was a Wallachian Romanian revolutionary hero, the leader of the Wallachian uprising of 1821 and of the Pandur militia. He is also known as Tudor din Vladimiri or — occasionally — as Domnul Tudor .-Background:Tudor was born in Vladimiri, Gorj County in a family of landed peasants...

, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer exclusively to the principality of Wallachia, the southern part of modern Romania.

The name România as common homeland of all Romanians is documented in the early 19th century.The first known mention of the term Romania in its modern denotation dates from 1816, as the Greek scholar Dimitrie Daniel Philippide published in Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 his work The History of Romania, followed by The Geography of Romania.
On the tombstone
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 of Gheorghe Lazăr
Gheorghe Lazar
Gheorghe Lazăr , born and died in Avrig, Sibiu County, was a Transylvanian-born Romanian scholar, the founder of the first Romanian language school - in Bucharest, 1818.-Biography:...

 in Avrig
Avrig
Avrig is a town in the Sibiu County, Romania. It has a population of 16,215 and the first documents attesting the village date to 1346.The town administers four villages: Bradu , Glâmboaca , Mârşa and Săcădate .- Geography :It lies on the left bank of the river Olt Avrig is a town in the Sibiu...

 (built in 1823) there is the inscription: "Precum Hristos pe Lazăr din morţi a înviat/Aşa tu România din somn ai deşteptat."
This name has been officially in use since 11 December 1861. English-language sources still used the terms Rumania or Roumania, borrowed from the French spelling Roumanie, as recently as World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, but since then those terms have largely been replaced with the official spelling Romania.

Prehistory


Some 42,000-year-old human remains were discovered in the "Cave With Bones
Pestera cu Oase
Peștera cu Oase is a system of 12 karstic galleries and chambers located N. 45° 01’; E. 21° 50’ in southwestern Romania, where the oldest early modern human remains in Europe have been discovered.-Paleoanthropological on-site findings:...

", and being Europe’s oldest remains of Homo sapiens, they may represent the first modern humans to have entered the continent.

Among the oldest traces of human existence and activity found in Romania include those dating from the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

. These remains were found at Bugiuleşti (Vâlcea County
Vâlcea County
Vâlcea is a county of Romania, in the historical regions of Oltenia and Muntenia...

), Ohaba-Ponor
Pui
Pui is a commune in Hunedoara County, Romania. It is composed of twelve villages: Băieşti, Federi, Fizeşti, Galaţi, Hobiţa, Ohaba-Ponor, Ponor, Pui, Râu Bărbat, Ruşor, Şerel and Uric....

 (Hunedoara County
Hunedoara County
Hunedoara is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with its capital city at Deva.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 485,712 and the population density was 69/km².*Romanians - 92%*Hungarians - 5%*Romas - 2%*Germans under 1%....

) or Valea Dârjovului (Olt County
Olt County
Olt is a county of Romania, in the historical regions of Oltenia and Muntenia . The capital city is Slatina.- Demographics :In 2002, it had a population of 489,274 and the population density was 89/km²....

), belonging to some of the more distant human ancestors. According to studies of historical anthropology, these hominids used carved stone tools, were gatherers, fishermen and hunters, lived organized in bands and were sheltered in caves and hollows.

The first manifestations of prehistoric art on current Romanian territory are the cave drawings from Lăpuş
Lapus
Lăpuş is a commune in Maramureş County, Transylvania, Romania, on the Lăpuş River, at 12 km from the town of Târgu Lăpuş. It is composed of a single village, Lăpuş. Etymologically, its name appears to come from the Hungarian lápos...

 (Maramureş County
Maramures County
Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

) and Cuciulat (Sălaj County
Salaj County
Sălaj is a county of Romania, in the historical regions of Crișana and Transylvania, with the capital city at Zalău.-Geography:Sălaj county has a total area of ....

). Statues, such as those from Baia
Baia
Baia is a commune in the Suceava County, Romania with a population of 6,793 . It is composed of two villages, Baia and Bogata. Located on the Moldova River, it was one of the earliest urban settlements in Moldavia, originally inhabited by Germans...

 (Tulcea County
Tulcea County
Tulcea is a county of Romania, in the historical region Dobruja, with the capital city at Tulcea.-Demographics:In 2002, Tulcea County had a population of 256,492...

) for example, are representations of male and female deities, expressions of the cult of fecundity predominantly in the Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

.

The Neolithic Age Cucuteni
Cucuteni
Cucuteni is a commune in Iaşi County, Romania, with a population of 1,446 as of 2002. It is located 45 km from the city of Iaşi and 10 km from the town of Târgu Frumos. Neighbouring villages and communes are Todireşti , Târgu Frumos and Cotnari and Ruginoasa...

 area in Northeast Romania was the Western region of the earliest European civilization known as the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture.

Antiquity


The earliest written evidence of people living in the territory of the present-day Romania, the Geto-Dacians, comes from Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, in his 440 BC book IV of his Histories
Histories (Herodotus)
The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that...

. Territories located north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 were inhabited by Dacian tribes, including Carpi
Carpi (people)
The Carpi or Carpiani were an ancient people that resided, between not later than ca. AD 140 and until at least AD 318, in the former Principality of Moldavia ....

, Apuli
Apuli
The Apuli were a Dacian tribe centered at the Dacian town Apulon near what is now Alba Iulia in Transylvania, Romania.Apuli has clear resemblance to Apulia, the ancient southeastern Italy region, which it is believe to have been settled by Illyrian tribes .Linguists use it as an example for the...

, Tyragetae
Tyragetae
The Tyrageti, Tyragetae, or Tyrangitae , literally, the Getae of the Tyras, were a sub-tribe of the Getae Thracians, situated on the river Tyras . They were regarded as an immigrant tribe of European Sarmatia dwelling E...

, Costoboci
Costoboci
The Costoboci were an ancient people located, during the Roman imperial era, between the Carpathian Mountains and the river Dniester.The Costoboci invaded the Roman empire in AD 170 or 171, pillaging its Balkan provinces as far as central Greece, until they were driven out by Romans...

, Burs
Burs (Dacia)
The Burs were a Dacian tribe living in Dacia in the 1st and 2nd centuries Common Era, with their capital city at Buridava.- Name :...

, Krobyzoi
Krobyzoi
Krobyzoi is the name of a Thracian, Getae or Dacian tribe.- See also :* List of Dacian tribes* List of Thracian tribes* List of ancient cities in Thrace and Dacia...

, Suci
Suci
The Suci were a Dacian tribe located in what is now Oltenia. Their main fortress was Sucidava, in what is now Corabia, on the north bank of the Danube....

 and other peoples. Dacians, like the majority of Thracians, were henotheists
Henotheism
Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities...

, the main deities being: Zalmoxis
Zalmoxis
Zalmoxis , is a divinity of the Getae, mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories IV, 93-96...

, Gebeleizis
Gebeleizis
Gebeleizis was a god worshiped by the Getae, probably related to the Thracian god of storm and lightning, Zibelthiurdos. He was represented as a handsome man, sometimes wearing a beard. The lightning and thunder were his manifestations...

, Bendis
Bendis
Bendis was a Thracian goddess of the moon and the hunt whom the Greeks identified with Artemis. She was a huntress, like Artemis, but was accompanied by dancing satyrs and maenads on a fifth century red-figure stemless cup ....

, Derzelas
Derzelas
Derzelas was a Dacian or Thracian chthonic god of abundance and the underworld, health and human spirit's vitality, probably related with gods such as Hades, Zalmoxis, Gebeleizis....

 and Kotys. Dacians
Dacians
The Dacians were an Indo-European people, very close or part of the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia...

, considered a part of the Getae
Getae
The Getae was the name given by the Greeks to several Thracian tribes that occupied the regions south of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria, and north of the Lower Danube, in Romania...

 tribes mentioned by Herodotus, were a branch of Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 who inhabited Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 (corresponding mostly to present-day Romania). He describes the Getae as "the most brave and honest amongst all Thracians". The Dacian kingdom
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 reached its peak between 82–44 BC during the reign of Burebista
Burebista
Burebista was a king of the Getae and Dacians, who unified for the first time their tribes and ruled them between 82 BC and 44 BC. He led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, subjugating most of the neighbouring tribes...

.

Over the next century, relations between the Dacian tribes and Rome were relatively peaceful, however the ascent to the throne of Rome of emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

 (81
81
Year 81 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Silva and Pollio...

 AD) damaged relations between the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 and Dacia. He led military campaigns in the region between 87
87
Year 87 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Saturninus...

88
88
Year 88 was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Rufus...

 AD at Tapae
Tapae
Tapae was a Dacian outpost, guarding Sarmisegetuza, their main political centre. Its location was on the Iron Gates of Translylvania, a natural passage breaking between Ţarcului and Poiana Ruscă Mountains and connecting Banat to Ţara Haţegului. This made it one of the very few point through which...

. Roman incursions continued in 101
101
Year 101 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Traianus and Paetus...

102
102
Year 102 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ursus and Sura...

 and 105
105
Year 105 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Candidus and Iulius...

106
106
Year 106 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Commodus and Civica...

 under Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

, who successfully defeated Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

 and annexed it to the vast Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. The Dacian population subsequently underwent ethno-linguistic process of Romanization and Dacia itself became an imperial province
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

.

Due to Dacia's rich ore deposits (especially gold and silver), Rome brought colonists from all over the empire. This brought Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

 and started a period of intense romanization
Romanization
In linguistics, romanization or latinization is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman script, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system . Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written...

 that would give birth to the Proto-Romanian language
Proto-Romanian language
Proto-Romanian is a Romance language evolved from Vulgar Latin and considered to have been spoken by the ancestors of today's Romanians and related Balkan Latin peoples before ca...

.
During the 3rd century AD, with the invasions of migratory populations, the Roman Empire was forced to pull out of Dacia around 271 AD, making it the first province to be abandoned.

After the Roman army and administration left Dacia, the territory was invaded by various migratory populations including Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, Gepids, Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

, Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

, Pechenegs, and Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

. Several competing theories have been generated to explain the origin of modern Romanians
Origin of Romanians
The origin of the Romanians – the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people – can be traced back to the region’s Romanized inhabitants living, within the Roman Empire, in the lands north of the Jireček Line The origin of the Romanians – the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people (speakers of a Romance...

. Linguistic and geo-historical analysis tend to indicate that Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 have coalesced as a major ethnic group both South and North of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 in the regions previously colonized by Romans.

Middle Ages





Gesta Hungarorum
Gesta Hungarorum
Gesta Hungarorum is a record of early Hungarian history by an unknown author who describes himself as Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii , but is generally cited as Anonymus...

, also known as the Chronicle of Anonymus, mentioned the existence of three voivodeships in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 in the 9th century: the Voivodeship of Gelou
Gelou
Gelou or Gelu was a Romanian duke mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum as having opposed the conquest of Transylvania by Tuhutum, one of the “seven dukes” of the Magyars. His story was recorded only by the anonymous writer of the 13th century Gesta...

, the Voivodeship of Glad
Glad (duke)
Glad was a duke of Bulgarian origin who, according to the 13th-century chronicle Gesta Ungarorum "", ruled in the territory of modern Banat at the time of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin around 896...

 (originally from Vidin
Vidin
Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in northwestern Bulgaria. It is close to the borders with Serbia and Romania, and is also the administrative centre of Vidin Province, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin...

, then inhabited by Proto-Romanians) and the Voivodeship of Menumorut
Menumorut
For the residential district named after him, see Menumorut, Satu MareMenumorut or Menumorout ruled, according to the 13th century Gesta Ungarorum , the land between the rivers Tisa, Mureş and Someş when the Magyars invaded the Carpathian Basin around 895...

. The anonymous author describes the first as Vlach. Another voivodeship, ruled by Gyula
Gyula
Gyula was, according to Muslim and Byzantine sources, the title of one of the leaders, the second in rank, of the Hungarian tribal federation in the 9th-10th centuries. In the earliest Hungarian sources, the title name is only recorded as a personal name...

, was mentioned in the 11th century. It was mentioned as being large and prosperous ("Jatissimum et opulentisimum"). It is known to have included the strongholds of Dăbâca, Morești (on the Mureș River
Mureș River
The Mureș is an approximately 761 km long river in Eastern Europe. It originates in the Hășmașu Mare Range in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, Romania, and joins the Tisza river at Szeged in southeastern Hungary....

), Moigrad and Bălgrad (near Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

). Gyula was described as being an Orthodox Christian, therefore he was very probably either Romanian or Slav. A 1176 Slavonic inscription attests the existence of a župan
Zupan
Żupan was a long garment, always lined, worn by almost all males of the noble social class in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, typical male attire from the beginning of the 16th to half of the 18th century, still surviving as a part of the Polishnational dress.- Derivation :The name żupan has...

 Dimitri that ruled over Dobrogea in 943. In the Alexiad
Alexiad
The Alexiad is a medieval biographical text written around the year 1148 by the Byzantine historian Anna Comnena, daughter of Emperor Alexius I....

, Byzantine princess Anna Komnene
Anna Komnene
Anna Komnene, Latinized as Comnena was a Greek princess and scholar and the daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos of Byzantium and Irene Doukaina...

 mentioned the political entities led by Sesthlav, Satza and Tatos, all in Southern Dobrogea, in 1086.

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 ( – "Romanian Land"), Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

  and Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 . By the 11th century, Transylvania became a largely autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, and became independent as the Principality of Transylvania from the 16th century, until 1711. In Wallachia
Foundation of Wallachia
The foundation of Wallachia , that is the establishment of the first independent Romanian principality, was achieved at the beginning of the 14th century, through the unification of smaller political units that had existed between the Carpathian Mountains, and the Rivers Danube, Siret and...

 and Moldavia
Foundation of Moldavia
The foundation of Moldavia is linked by medieval chronicles to Dragoş, a Romanian nobleman from Maramureş . But Dragoş took possession of the province, in the 1350s, in the name of King Louis I of Hungary...

 many small local states with varying degrees of independence developed, but only in the 14th century did the larger principalities of Wallachia (1310) and Moldavia (around 1352) emerge to fight the threat of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Both territories inhabited by Romanians have achieved the independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

 from the Hungarian Crown after military conflicts (Battle of Posada
Battle of Posada
The Battle of Posada was fought between Basarab I of Wallachia and Charles I Robert of Hungary.The small Wallachian army led by Basarab, formed of cavalry, foot archers, as well as local peasants, managed to ambush and defeat the 30,000-strong Hungarian army, in a mountainous region near the...

, 1330) or social conflicts (Moldavian boyars revolt against Hungary, 1364), these historical events being initiated by Basarab I of Wallachia
Basarab I of Wallachia
Basarab I the Founder was voivode or prince of Wallachia . His rise seems to have taken place in the context of the war between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Orthodox states in the north of the Balkan Peninsula...

 (1310–1352) and Bogdan I of Moldavia
Bogdan I of Moldavia
Bogdan I the Founder was the third or fourth voivode of Moldavia . He and his successors established the independence of Moldavia, freeing the territory east of the Carpathian Mountains of Hungarian and Tatar domination....

 (1359–1365).
By 1541, the entire Balkan peninsula and most of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 became Ottoman provinces. Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania were under Ottoman suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

, preserving partial-full internal autonomy until middle of the 19th century (Transylvania to 1699). During this period the Romanian lands were characterised by the slow disappearance of the feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 system. A few rulers of present-day Romanian territories distinguished themselves: these rulers include Stephen the Great
Stephen III of Moldavia
Stephen III of Moldavia was Prince of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504 and the most prominent representative of the House of Mușat.During his reign, he strengthened Moldavia and maintained its independence against the ambitions of Hungary, Poland, and the...

, Vasile Lupu
Vasile Lupu
Vasile Lupu was a Moldavian Voivode between 1634 and 1653. Vasile Coci surnamed "the wolf" who ruled as Prince of Moldavia had secured the Moldavian throne in 1634 after a series of complicated intrigues and managed to hold it for twenty years. Vasile was of Albanian origin and Greek education...

, and Dimitrie Cantemir
Dimitrie Cantemir
Dimitrie Cantemir was twice Prince of Moldavia . He was also a prolific man of letters – philosopher, historian, composer, musicologist, linguist, ethnographer, and geographer....

 in Moldavia; Matei Basarab
Matei Basarab
Matei Basarab was a Wallachian Voivode between 1632 and 1654.-Reign:Much of Matei's reign was spent fighting off incursions from Moldavia, which he successfully accomplished in 1637, 1639, and 1653 - see Battle of Finta...

, Vlad III the Impaler
Vlad III the Impaler
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia , also known by his patronymic Dracula , and posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler , was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans...

, and Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu
Constantin Brâncoveanu was Prince of Wallachia between 1688 and 1714.-Ascension:A descendant of the Craioveşti boyar family and related to Matei Basarab, Brâncoveanu was born at the estate of Brâncoveni and raised in the house of his uncle, stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino...

 in Wallachia; and John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

 (Ioannes Corvinus) and Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen was a prince of Transylvania , duke of Opole and leader of an anti-Habsburg insurrection in the Habsburg Royal Hungary. His last armed intervention in 1626 was part of the Thirty Years' War...

 in Transylvania.

In 1600, the principalities of Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania were simultaneously headed by the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), Ban
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

 of Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

, but the chance for a unity dissolved after Mihai was killed, only one year later, by the soldiers of Austrian
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 army general Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta, Count of Huszt was an Italian general of Arbëreshë descent, employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to command Habsburg forces in the Long War of 1591-1606 and later to administer Transylvania as an Imperial vassal to restore Catholicism as a predominant religion in...

. After his death, as vassal tributary states, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 and Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 had complete internal autonomy and external independence, which was finally lost in the 18th century. In 1699, Transylvania became a territory of the Habsburgs'
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 Austrian empire following the Austrian victory over the Turks in the Great Turkish War
Great Turkish War
The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.-1667–1683:...

. The Habsburgs in turn expanded their empire in 1718 to include an important part of Wallachia, called Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

 (which was only returned in 1739) and in 1775 over the north-western part of Moldavia, later called Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

. The eastern half of the Moldavian principality (called Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

) was occupied in 1812 by Russia.

Independence and monarchy


During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 and Ottoman suzerainty over Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

, most Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 were in the situation of being second-class citizens
Supplex Libellus Valachorum
Supplex Libellus Valachorum Transsilvaniae is the name of two petitions sent by the leaders of the ethnic Romanians of Transylvania to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, demanding equal political rights with the other ethnicities of Transylvania and a share of the Transylvanian Diet proportional...

 or even non-citizens in a territory where they formed the majority of the population. In some Transylvanian cities, such as Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

 (at that time a Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 citadel), Romanians were not even allowed to reside within the city walls.

Following the Wallachian uprising of 1821
Wallachian uprising of 1821
The Wallachian uprising of 1821 was an uprising in Wallachia against Ottoman rule which took place during 1821.-Background:...

, more uprisings followed in 1848 in Wallachia
Wallachian Revolution of 1848
The Wallachian Revolution of 1848 was a Romanian liberal and Romantic nationalist uprising in the Principality of Wallachia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the unsuccessful revolt in the Principality of Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by...

 as well as Moldavia
Moldavian Revolution of 1848
The Moldavian Revolution of 1848 was an unsuccessful Romanian liberal and Romantic nationalist revolt in the principality of Moldavia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the successful uprising in Wallachia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by Imperial...

. The flag adopted for Wallachia by the revolutionaries was a blue-yellow-red tricolour (with blue above, in line with the meaning “Liberty, Justice, Fraternity”), while Romanian students in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 hailed the new government with the same flag “as a symbol of union between Moldavians and Muntenia
Muntenia
Muntenia is a historical province of Romania, usually considered Wallachia-proper . It is situated between the Danube , the Carpathian Mountains and Moldavia , and the Olt River to the west...

ns”. This flag would later become the adopted as the flag of Romania
Flag of Romania
The national flag of Romania is a tricolour with vertical stripes: beginning from the flagpole, blue, yellow and red. It has a width-length ratio of 2:3....

. But after the failed 1848 Revolution
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

, the Great Powers did not support the Romanians' expressed desire to officially unite in a single state, which forced Romania to proceed alone against the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. The electors in both Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 chose in 1859 the same person –Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza was a Moldavian-born Romanian politician who ruled as the first Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia between 1859 and 1866.-Early life:...

– as prince (Domnitor
Domnitor
Domnitor was the official title of the ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866....

 in Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

).

Thus, Romania was created as a personal union
United Principalities
The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, also known as the Romanian Principalities, was the official name of Romania following the 1859 election of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as prince or domnitor of both territories...

, albeit without including Transylvania. There, the upper class and the aristocracy remained mainly Hungarian and enjoyed strong support from Austria, and the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy
Dual monarchy
Dual monarchy occurs when two separate kingdoms are ruled by the same monarch, follow the same foreign policy, exist in a customs union with each other and have a combined military but are otherwise self-governing...

 in 1867 kept the Hungarians firmly in control as the Romanians were by far the most numerous ethnic Transylvanian group and constituted the absolute majority.

In a 1866 coup d'état, Cuza was exiled and replaced by Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
-Noble jurisdictions:Prince Karl Eitel of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and descendants of his nephew Ferdinand ruled over the Kingdom of Romania, as Karl Eitel did not have children...

, who became known as Prince Carol of Romania. During the Russo-Turkish War Romania fought on the Russian side, and in the Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of San Stefano
The Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano was a treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78...

 and the Treaty of Berlin, Romania was recognized as an independent
Romanian War of Independence
The Romanian War of Independence is the name used in Romanian historiography to refer to the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish war, following which Romania, fighting on the Russian side, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire...

 state by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and the Great Powers. In return, Romania ceded three southern districts of Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 to Russia and acquired Dobruja
Dobruja
Dobruja is a historical region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast...

. In 1881, the principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 was raised to a kingdom
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 and Prince Carol became King
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 Carol I.

The 1878–1914 period was one of stability and progress
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 for Romania. During the Second Balkan War
Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia...

, Romania joined Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 against Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, and in the peace Treaty of Bucharest (1913) Romania gained Southern Dobrudja.

World Wars and Greater Romania


In August 1914, when World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 broke out, Romania declared neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

. Two years later, under pressure from the Allies (especially France, desperate to open a new front), on 27 August 1916, Romania joined the Allies, declaring war on Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

. For this action, under the terms of the secret military convention, Romania was promised support for its goal of national unity for all Romanian people.


The Romanian military campaign
Romanian Campaign (World War I)
The Romanian Campaign was part of the Balkan theatre of World War I, with Romania and Russia allied against the armies of the Central Powers. Fighting took place from August 1916 to December 1917, across most of present-day Romania, including Transylvania, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian...

 ended in disaster for Romania as the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 conquered two-thirds of the country and defeated its army within months. Nevertheless, Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 remained in Romanian hands after the invading forces were stopped in 1917. Total deaths
World War I casualties
The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I were over 35 million. There were over 15 million deaths and 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history....

 from 1914 to 1918, military and civilian, within contemporary borders, were estimated at 748,000. By the war's end, Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire had collapsed and disintegrated; Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

, Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 and Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 proclaimed unions with the Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 in 1918. By the 1920 Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 was forced to renounce in favour of Romania all the claims of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy over Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

. The union of Romania with Bukovina
Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 was ratified in 1919 in the Treaty of Saint Germain, and with Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 in 1920 by the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1920)
The 1920 Treaty of Paris was an act signed by Romania and the principal Allied Powers of the time whose purpose was the recognition of Romanian sovereignty over Bessarabia...

.

The Romanian expression România Mare
Greater Romania
The Greater Romania generally refers to the territory of Romania in the years between the First World War and the Second World War, the largest geographical extent of Romania up to that time and its largest peacetime extent ever ; more precisely, it refers to the territory of the Kingdom of...

 (literal translation "Great Romania", but more commonly rendered "Greater Romania"), generally refers to the Romanian state in the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, and by extension, to the territory Romania covered at the time. Romania achieved at that time its greatest territorial extent (almost 300000 km² (115,830.6 sq mi)), managing to unite essentially all of the territories inhabited by Romanians.

During the Second World War, Romania tried again to remain neutral, but on 28 June 1940, it received a Soviet ultimatum with an implied threat of invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 in the event of non-compliance. Under Nazi and Soviet pressure, the Romanian administration and the army were forced to retreat from Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 as well from northern Bukovina to avoid war. This, in combination with other factors, prompted the government to join the Axis. Thereafter, southern Dobruja
Dobruja
Dobruja is a historical region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast...

 was ceded to Bulgaria, while Hungary received Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania
Northern Transylvania is a region of Transylvania, situated within the territory of Romania. The population is largely composed of both ethnic Romanians and Hungarians, and the region has been part of Romania since 1918 . During World War II, as a consequence of the territorial agreement known as...

 as result of an Axis arbitration. The authoritarian King Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

 abdicated in 1940, and succeeded by the National Legionary State
National Legionary State
The National Legionary State was the Romanian government from September 6, 1940 to January 23, 1941. It was a single-party regime dictatorship dominated by the overtly fascist Iron Guard in uneasy conjunction with the head of government and Conducător Ion Antonescu, the leader of the Romanian...

, in which power was shared by Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

 and the Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

. Within months, Antonescu had crushed the Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

, and the subsequent year Romania entered the war on the side of the Axis powers.
During the war, Romania was the most important source of oil for Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, which attracted multiple bombing raids by the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

. By means of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, Romania recovered Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Soviet Russia, under the leadership of general Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

. The Antonescu regime played a major role in the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

, following to a lesser extent the Nazi policy of oppression and massacre of the Jews, and Romma, primarily in the Eastern territories Romania recovered or occupied from the Soviet Union (Transnistria
Transnistria (World War II)
Transnistria Governorate was a Romanian administered territory, conquered by the Axis Powers from the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa, and occupied from 19 August 1941 to 29 January 1944...

) and in Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

. Jewish
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

 holocaust victims totaled at least 280,000 and 11000 romani people victims.

In August 1944, Antonescu was toppled and arrested by King Michael I of Romania
Michael I of Romania
Michael was the last King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced, by the Communist Party of Romania , to abdicate to the Soviet armies of occupation...

 and Romania changed sides and joined the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

. But its role in the defeat of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 was not recognized by the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
The Paris Peace Conference resulted in the Paris Peace Treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers negotiated the details of treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland .The...

 of 1947; the Romanian Army had suffered 170,000 casualties after switching sides.

Communism


During the Soviet occupation of Romania
Soviet occupation of Romania
The Soviet occupation of Romania refers to the period from 1944 to August 1958, during which the Soviet Union maintained a significant military presence in Romania...

, the Communist
Romanian Communist Party
The Romanian Communist Party was a communist political party in Romania. Successor to the Bolshevik wing of the Socialist Party of Romania, it gave ideological endorsement to communist revolution and the disestablishment of Greater Romania. The PCR was a minor and illegal grouping for much of the...

-dominated government called new elections
Romanian general election, 1946
The Romanian general election of 1946 was a general election held on November 19, 1946, in Romania. Officially, it was carried with 79.86% of the vote by the Romanian Communist Party , its allies inside the Bloc of Democratic Parties , and its associates — the Hungarian People's Union , the...

, which were won with 80% of the vote through intimidation and electoral fraud
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

. They thus rapidly established themselves as the dominant political force. In 1947, the Communists
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 forced King Michael I
Michael I of Romania
Michael was the last King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced, by the Communist Party of Romania , to abdicate to the Soviet armies of occupation...

 to abdicate and leave the country, and proclaimed Romania a people's republic
People's Republic
People's Republic is a title that has often been used by Marxist-Leninist governments to describe their state. The motivation for using this term lies in the claim that Marxist-Leninists govern in accordance with the interests of the vast majority of the people, and, as such, a Marxist-Leninist...

. Romania remained under the direct military occupation
Soviet occupation of Romania
The Soviet occupation of Romania refers to the period from 1944 to August 1958, during which the Soviet Union maintained a significant military presence in Romania...

 and economic control of the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 until the late 1950s. During this period, Romania's vast natural resources were continuously drained by mixed Soviet-Romanian companies (SovRoms) set up for exploitative purposes.

In 1948, the state began to nationalize
Nationalization in Romania
The nationalization of the means of production was a measure taken by Romania’s new Communist authorities in order to lay the foundation of socialism. The act that allowed this measure to take place was Law 119, adopted by the Great National Assembly on June 11, 1948...

 private firms, and to collectivize
Collectivization in Romania
The collectivization of agriculture in Romania took place in the early years of the Communist regime. The initiative sought to bring about a thorough transformation in the property regime and organisation of labour in agriculture...

 agriculture the following year. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, the Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 government established a reign of terror, carried out mainly through the Securitate
Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

 (the new secret police). During this time they launched several campaigns to eliminate "enemies of the state
Enemy of the state
An enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crimes against the state, such as treason. Describing individuals in this way is sometimes a manifestation of political repression. For example, an authoritarian regime may purport to maintain national security by describing social or political...

", in which numerous individuals were killed or imprisoned for arbitrary political or economic reasons. Punishment included deportation, internal exile, and internment in forced labour camps and prisons; dissent was vigorously suppressed. A notorious experiment in this period took place in the Piteşti prison
Pitesti prison
The Pitești prison was a penal facility in Pitești, Romania, best remembered for the brainwashing experiment carried out by Communist authorities in 1949-1952...

, where a group of political opponents were put into a program of reeducation through torture. Historical records show hundreds of thousands of abuses, deaths and incidents of torture against a wide range of people, from political opponents to ordinary citizens. Nevertheless, Romanian armed opposition to communist rule
Romanian anti-communist resistance movement
An armed resistance movement against the communist regime in Romania was active from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, with isolated individual fighters remaining at large until the early 1960s. Armed resistance was the first and most structured form of resistance against the communist regime...

 was one of the longest-lasting in the Eastern Bloc.

In 1965, Nicolae Ceaușescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

 came to power and started to pursue independent policies, such as being the only Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 country to condemn the Soviet-led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 after the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967 and establishing diplomatic relations with West Germany the same year, economic links having been set up in 1963. Also, close ties with the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 countries (and the PLO) allowed Romania to play a key role in the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Israel–PLO peace processes. But as Romania's foreign debt sharply increased between 1977 and 1981 (from 3 to 10 billion US dollars), the influence of international financial organisations such as the IMF or the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 grew, conflicting with Nicolae Ceaușescu's autocratic
Autocracy
An autocracy is a form of government in which one person is the supreme power within the state. It is derived from the Greek : and , and may be translated as "one who rules by himself". It is distinct from oligarchy and democracy...

 policies. He eventually initiated a project of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing policies that impoverished Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy, while also greatly extending the authority of the police state
Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

, and imposing a cult of personality
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships...

. These led to a dramatic decrease in Ceauşescu's popularity and culminated in his overthrow and execution in the bloody Romanian Revolution of 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

.

A 2006 Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania
Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania
The Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania , also known as the Tismăneanu Commission , is a commission instituted in Romania by President Traian Băsescu to investigate the Communist regime and provide a comprehensive report allowing for the condemnation of...

 estimated that the number of direct victims of communist repression at two million people. This number does not include people who died in liberty as a result of their treatment in communist prisons, nor does it include people who died because of the dire economic circumstances in which the country found itself.

Present-day democracy



After the revolution, the National Salvation Front (NSF), led by Ion Iliescu
Ion Iliescu
Ion Iliescu served as President of Romania from 1990 until 1996, and from 2000 until 2004. From 1996 to 2000 and from 2004 until his retirement in 2008, Iliescu was a Senator for the Social Democratic Party , whose honorary president he remains....

, took partial multi-party democratic and free market measures. Several major political parties of the pre-war era were resurrected. After major political rallies, in April 1990, a sit-in protest contesting the results of the recently held parliamentary elections began in University Square, Bucharest
University Square, Bucharest
University Square is located in downtown Bucharest, near the University of Bucharest.Four statues are located in the University Square, in front of the University; they depict Ion Heliade Rădulescu , Michael the Brave , Gheorghe Lazăr and Spiru Haret .The square was the site of the 1990 Golaniad,...

, accusing the NSF of being made up of former Communists and members of the Securitate
Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

. The protesters called the election undemocratic and asked for the exclusion from political life of former high-ranking Communist Party members, such as Iliescu himself. The protest rapidly grew to become what president Iliescu called the Golaniad
Golaniad
The Golaniad was a protest in Romania in the University Square, Bucharest. It was initiated by students and professors at the University of Bucharest....

. The peaceful demonstrations degenerated into violence, prompting the intervention of coal miners, summoned by Iliescu in June 1990, from the Jiu Valley
Jiu River
Jiu is a river of southern Romania. It is formed near Petroşani by the junction of headwaters Jiul de Vest and Jiul de Est.It flows southward through the Romanian counties Hunedoara, Gorj and Dolj before flowing into the Danube a few kilometers upstream from the Bulgarian city of Oryahovo, 331...

. This episode has been documented widely by both local and foreign media, and is remembered as the June 1990 Mineriad
June 1990 Mineriad
The June 1990 Mineriad was the suppression of an anti-National Salvation Front sit-in protests in Bucharest, Romania by the violent intervention of coal miners from the Jiu Valley, brought to Bucharest by the government to counter the rising violence of the protesters...

.

The subsequent disintegration of the Front produced several political parties including the Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party (Romania)
The Social Democratic Party is the major social-democratic political party in Romania. It was formed in 1992, after the post-communist National Salvation Front broke apart. It adopted its present name after a merger with a minor social-democratic party in 2001. Since its formation, it has always...

, the Democratic Party and the Alliance for Romania. The former governed Romania from 1990 until 1996 through several coalitions and governments with Ion Iliescu as head of state. Since then there have been several democratic changes of government: in 1996 the democratic-liberal opposition and its leader Emil Constantinescu
Emil Constantinescu
Emil Constantinescu was President of Romania from 1996 to 2000.He graduated from the law school of the University of Bucharest, and subsequently started a career as a geologist...

 acceded to power; in 2000 the Social Democrats returned to power, with Iliescu once again president; and in 2004 Traian Băsescu
Traian Basescu
Traian Băsescu is the current President of Romania. After serving as the mayor of Bucharest from June 2000 until December 2004, he was elected president in the Romanian Presidential Elections of 2004 and inaugurated on December 20, 2004...

 was elected president, with an electoral coalition called Justice and Truth Alliance
Justice and Truth
The Justice and Truth Alliance was a political alliance comprising two political parties in Romania: the centre-right liberal National Liberal Party and the initially social-democrat Democratic Party , which later switched to center-right ideology.As the political formation with the largest...

. Băsescu was narrowly re-elected in 2009.

Post–Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 Romania developed closer ties with Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, eventually joining NATO in 2004, and hosting the 2008 summit
2008 Bucharest summit
The 2008 Bucharest Summit or the 20th NATO Summit was a NATO summit organized in Bucharest, Romania on 2 – 4 April 2008. Among other business, Croatia and Albania were invited to join the alliance. Republic of Macedonia was not invited due to its ongoing naming dispute with Greece...

 in Bucharest. The country applied in June 1993 for membership in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and became an Associated State of the EU in 1995, an Acceding Country in 2004, and a member on 1 January 2007. Following the free travel agreement and politics of the post–Cold War period, as well as hardship of the life in the 1990s economic depression, Romania has an increasingly large diaspora
Romanian diaspora
The Romanian diaspora is the ethnically Romanian population outside Romania and Moldova. The concept does not usually include the ethnic Romanians who live as natives in the states surrounding Romania, chiefly those Romanians who live in Ukraine and Serbia. The diaspora does include the people of...

, estimated at over 2 million people. The main emigration targets are Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

During the 2000s, Romania enjoyed one of the highest economic growth rates in Europe and has been referred to as "the Tiger of Eastern Europe." This has been accompanied by a significant improvement in human development. The country has been successful in reducing internal poverty and establishing a functional democracy. However, Romania's development suffered a major setback during the late-2000s recession as a large gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 contraction and a large budget deficit in 2009 led to Romania borrowing heavily, eventually becoming the largest debtor to the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 in 2010. Romania still faces issues related to infrastructure, medical services, education, and corruption.

Geography


With a surface area of 238391 square kilometres (92,043.3 sq mi), Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. It lies between latitudes 43°
43rd parallel north
The 43rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 43 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 49° N
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 20°
20th meridian east
The meridian 20° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic and Indian oceans, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 30° E
30th meridian east
The meridian 30° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Turkey, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Romania's terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories. The Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 dominate the centre of Romania, with 14 mountain ranges reaching above 2000 m (6,561.7 ft), and the highest point at Moldoveanu Peak
Moldoveanu Peak
Moldoveanu Peak , at 2544 m, is the highest mountain in Romania, located in Argeş County, in the Făgăraş Mountains of the Southern Carpathians....

 (2544 m (8,346.5 ft)). These are surrounded by the Moldavian
Moldavian Plateau
The Moldavian Plateau is a geographic area spanning northeast Romania, most of Moldova , and most of the Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine.-Limits:The Moldavian Plateau is bounded :...

 and Transylvanian
Transylvanian Plateau
The Transylvanian Plateau is a plateau in central Romania.The plateau lies within and takes its name from the historical region of Transylvania, and is almost entirely surrounded by the Eastern, Southern and Romanian Western branches of the Carpathian Mountains...

 plateaus and Pannonian and Wallachian plains. Romania's geographical diversity has led to an accompanying diversity of flora and fauna.

A large part of Romania's border with Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 is formed by the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. The Prut River, one of its major tributaries
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

, forms the border with the Republic of Moldova. The Danube flows into the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 within Romania's territory forming the Danube Delta
Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania , while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine . The approximate surface is...

, the second largest and best preserved delta in Europe, and also a biosphere reserve
Biosphere reserve
The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

 and a biodiversity World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. Other major rivers are the Siret
Siret River
The Siret or Sireth is a river that rises from the Carpathians in the Northern Bukovina region of Ukraine, and flows southward into Romania for 470 km before it joins the Danube...

 (596 km), the Olt
Olt River
The Olt River is a river in Romania. It is the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. Its source is in the Hăşmaş Mountains of the eastern Carpathian Mountains, near the village Bălan. It flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Covasna, Braşov, Sibiu, Vâlcea and Olt...

 (614 km), the Prut (742 km), the Someş
Someş River
The river Someş flows through Romania and Hungary.It rises from two headstreams, the Someşul Mare, in the Rodna Mountains in Bistriţa-Năsăud County and the Someşul Mic in the Apuseni Mountains of Cluj County...

 (388 km), and the Mureş
Mures River
The Mureș is an approximately 761 km long river in Eastern Europe. It originates in the Hășmașu Mare Range in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, Romania, and joins the Tisza river at Szeged in southeastern Hungary....

 (761 km).

Lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s and lake complexes have a low share throughout Romania, occupying only 1.1% of total land area. The largest lake complex in size is Razelm-Sinoe (731 km²), located on the Black Sea seaside
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

. Glacial lake
Glacial lake
A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create...

s exist in the Făgăraş Mountains
Fagaras Mountains
Făgăraș Mountains , are the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians, in Romania. The highest peaks are Moldoveanu , Negoiu , Viștea Mare , Lespezi , Vânătoarea lui Buteanu , and Dara .They are bordered in the north by the Făgăraș Depression, through which the Olt river flows, and in the west...

, a result of quaternary glaciation
Quaternary glaciation
Quaternary glaciation, also known as the Pleistocene glaciation, the current ice age or simply the ice age, refers to the period of the last few million years in which permanent ice sheets were established in Antarctica and perhaps Greenland, and fluctuating ice sheets have occurred elsewhere...

, of which the largest are: Lake Avrig
Avrig
Avrig is a town in the Sibiu County, Romania. It has a population of 16,215 and the first documents attesting the village date to 1346.The town administers four villages: Bradu , Glâmboaca , Mârşa and Săcădate .- Geography :It lies on the left bank of the river Olt Avrig is a town in the Sibiu...

 (14,700 m²), Bâlea Lake (46,500 m²), Capra Lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 (18,000 m²), etc. Other notable lakes are Lake Sfânta Ana
Lake Sfânta Ana
Lake Sfânta Ana is the only crater lake in Romania located in the volcanic crater named "Puciosul" of the Eastern Carpathians, near Tuşnad in the Natural Reserve of Mohoș, Harghita County, Romania....

, the only volcanic lake in Romania, and Red Lake
Red Lake (Romania)
Lacul Roşu is a barrier lake in the Eastern Carpathians chain in Harghita County, Romania. The name of "Lacul Roşu" comes from the reddish alluvia deposited in the lake by the Red Creek. The lake falls within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Gheorgheni.-External links:*...

, a natural dam lake, both situated in Harghita County
Harghita County
Harghita is a county in the center of Romania, in eastern Transylvania, with the county seat at Miercurea-Ciuc.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 326,222 and a population density of 52/km².*Hungarians- 85%...

.

Climate



Owing to its distance from the open sea and position on the southeastern portion of the European continent, Romania has a climate that is transitional between temperate and continental
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

, with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 11 °C (51.8 °F) in the south and 8 °C (46.4 °F) in the north. The extreme recorded temperatures were 44.5 °C (112.1 °F) at Ion Sion in 1951 and -38.5 °C at Bod
Bod, Brasov
Bod is a commune in Braşov County, Romania with 3927 inhabitants . It is composed of two villages, Bod and Colonia Bod. At Bod there is one of Romania's largest sugar factories and a broadcasting transmitter for long- and medium-wave radio, the Bod Transmitter...

 in 1942.

Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summers are generally very warm to hot, with summer (June to August) average maximum temperatures in Bucharest rising to 28 °C (82.4 °F), and temperatures over 35 °C (95 °F) fairly common in the lower-lying areas of the country.
Minima in Bucharest and other lower-lying areas are around 16 °C (60.8 °F). Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage. Winters can be cold, with average maxima even in lower-lying areas reaching no more than 2 °C (35.6 °F) and below -15 °C in the highest mountains. Precipitation is average with over 750 mm (29.5 in) per year only on the highest western mountains—much of it falling as snow, which allows for an extensive skiing industry. In the south-central parts of the country (around Bucharest) the level of precipitation drops to around 600 mm (23.6 in), while in the Danube Delta, rainfall levels are very low, and average only around 370 mm.

Because of Romania's geographic location, respectively the regional orographic peculiarities, there exists a varied range of local winds. Humid wind
Wind
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space...

s from the northwest are most common, but often the drier winds from the northeast are strongest. A hot southwesterly wind, the austru (cf. lat. Auster), blows over western Romania, particularly in summer
Summer
Summer is the warmest of the four temperate seasons, between spring and autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice...

. In winter
Winter
Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.-Meteorology:...

, cold and dense air mass
Air mass
In meteorology, an air mass is a volume of air defined by its temperature and water vapor content. Air masses cover many hundreds or thousands of square miles, and adopt the characteristics of the surface below them. They are classified according to latitude and their continental or maritime...

es encircle the eastern portions of the country, with the cold northeasterly known as the crivăţ blowing in from the Russian Plain, and oceanic air masses from the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

, in the west
West
West is a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.By convention, the left side of a map is west....

, bring rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

 and mitigate the severity of the cold. Other wind types present locally are nemirul, black wind, foehn, băltăreţul, zephyr
West wind
A west wind is a wind that blows from the west, in an eastward direction. In Western tradition, it has usually been considered the mildest and most favorable of the directional winds....

, cosava etc. Romania enjoys four season
Season
A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight.Seasons result from the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of revolution...

s, though there is a rapid transition from winter to summer. Autumn
Autumn
Autumn is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter usually in September or March when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier....

 is frequently longer, with dry warm weather from September
September
September is the 9th month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of four months with a length of 30 days.September in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of March in the Northern Hemisphere....

 to late November
November
November is the 11th month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of four months with the length of 30 days. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar...

.

Natural environment


A high percentage (47% of the land area) of the country is covered with natural and semi-natural ecosystems. Since almost half of all forests in Romania (13% of the country) have been managed for watershed conservation rather than production, Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe. The integrity of Romanian forest ecosystems is indicated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna, including 60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves, respectively. There are also almost 400 unique species of mammals (of which Carpathian chamois
Chamois
The chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra, is a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the European Alps, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus. The chamois has also been introduced to the South Island of New Zealand...

 are best known), birds, reptiles and amphibians in Romania. The fauna consists of 33,792 species of animals, 33,085 invertebrate
Invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

 and 707 vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

.

Some 3,700 plant species have been identified in the country, from which to date 23 have been declared natural monument
Natural Monument
A natural monument is a natural or natural/cultural feature of outstanding or unique value because of its inherent rarity, representative of aesthetic qualities or cultural significance....

s, 74 missing, 39 endangered, 171 vulnerable and 1,253 rare. The three major vegetation areas in Romania are the alpine zone, the forest zone and the steppe zone. The vegetation is distributed in a storied manner in accordance with the characteristics of soil and climate and includes various species of oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

s, sycamore
Sycamore
Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms....

s, beeches, spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

s, fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

s, willows, poplars, meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

s, and pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

s.

There are almost 10000 km² (3,861 sq mi) (about 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania covering 13 national parks and three biosphere reserves: the Danube Delta
Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania , while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine . The approximate surface is...

, Retezat National Park
Retezat National Park
Retezat National Park is a natural reserve area located in the Retezat Mountains in Hunedoara county, Romania.Containing more than 60 peaks over and over 100 crystal clear deep glacier lakes, the Retezat Mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Carpathians...

, and Rodna National Park
Rodna Mountains
Rodna Mountains are a subdivision of the Eastern Carpathians in Northern Romania. The name comes from the nearby Rodna Veche village.The Rodna Mountains have one of the longest continuous ridges in Romania, with over 50 km from west to east...

. The Danube Delta Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe, covering a total area of 5800 km² (2,239.4 sq mi). The significance of the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has been internationally recognised. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in September 1990, a Ramsar site in May 1991, and over 50% of its area was placed on the World Heritage List in December 1991. Within its boundaries lies one of the most extensive reed bed
Reed bed
Reed beds are natural habitats found in floodplains, waterlogged depressions andestuaries. Reed beds are part of a succession from young reed colonising open water or wet ground through a gradation of increasingly dry ground...

 systems in the world.

Administrative divisions


Romania is divided into 41 counties
Counties of Romania
The 41 judeţe and the municipality of Bucharest comprise the official administrative divisions of Romania. They also represent the European Union' s NUTS-3 geocode statistical subdivision scheme of Romania.-Overview:...

 and the municipality of Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

. Each county is administered by a county council, responsible for local affairs, as well as a prefect
Prefect (Romania)
A prefect in Romania represents the Government in each of the country's 41 counties, as well as the Municipality of Bucharest.-Attributes:The main attributes of prefects are defined at Article 123 of the Constitution of Romania:...

 responsible for the administration of national affairs at the county level. The prefect is appointed by the central government but cannot be a member of any political party.

Each county is further subdivided into cities and communes
Communes of Romania
A commune is the lowest level of administrative subdivision in Romania. There are 2686 communes in Romania. The commune is the rural subdivision of a county .There is no clear restriction on the population of a commune, even though when a commune...

, which have their own mayor and local council. There are a total of 319 cities and 2,686 communes
Communes of Romania
A commune is the lowest level of administrative subdivision in Romania. There are 2686 communes in Romania. The commune is the rural subdivision of a county .There is no clear restriction on the population of a commune, even though when a commune...

 in Romania. A total of 103 of the larger cities have municipality
Municipalities of Romania
A municipiu is a level of administrative subdivision in Romania, roughly equivalent to city in some English-speaking countries. This status is given to towns that are quite large and urbanized...

 statuses, which gives them greater administrative power over local affairs. The municipality of Bucharest is a special case as it enjoys a status on par to that of a county. It is further divided into six sectors
Sectors of Bucharest
The Municipality of Bucharest is divided into six administrative sectors , each of which has their own mayor and council, and has responsibility over local affairs, such as secondary streets, parks, schools and the cleaning services.Each of the six sectors contains a number of informal districts ...

 and has a prefect, a general mayor, and a general city council.

The NUTS-3 (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics
Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics
The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics or Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics is a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries for statistical purposes...

) level divisions of European Union reflect Romania's administrative-territorial structure, and correspond to the 41 counties plus Bucharest. The cities and communes correspond to the NUTS-5 level divisions, but there are no current NUTS-4 level divisions. The NUTS-1 (four macroregions) and NUTS-2 (eight development regions
Development regions of Romania
The development regions of Romania refer to the eight regional divisions created in Romania in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union. The development regions correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union...

) divisions exist but have no administrative capacity, and are instead used for coordinating regional development projects and statistical purposes .
Development region
Development regions of Romania
The development regions of Romania refer to the eight regional divisions created in Romania in 1998 in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union. The development regions correspond to NUTS II-level divisions in European Union...

Area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 (km2
Square kilometre
Square kilometer, symbol km2, is a decimal multiple of the SI unit of surface area, the square metre, one of the SI derived units.1 km2 is equal to:* 1,000,000 m2* 100 ha * 0.386302 square miles* 247.105381 acresConversely:...

)
Population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 (2004)
Most populous urban center
Northeast
Nord-Est (development region)
Nord-Est or Nord-Est Moldova is a development region in Romania.-Counties:The Nord-Est region is made up of the following counties:*Bacău*Botoşani*Iaşi*Neamţ*Suceava*Vaslui-Economy:...

36,850 3,743,532 Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

 (402,786)
West
Vest (development region)
Vest or Vest-Banat is a development region in Romania created in 1998. As with the other development regions, it does not have any administrative powers. Its primary functions are coordinating regional development projects and managing funds from the European Union.- References :...

32,028 1,958,648 Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

 (367,347)
Northwest
Nord-Vest (development region)
Nord-Vest is a development region in Romania, created in 1998. As other development regions, it does not have any administrative powers, its main function being to co-ordinate regional development projects and manage funds from the European Union.-Counties:The Nord-Vest region is made up of the...

34,159 2,749,958 Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

 (379,705)
Center
Centru (development region)
Centru is a development region in Romania.-Demographics:Centru has a total population of 2,523,021. Its population density is 73.99/km², somewhat lower than the national average of 91.3/km². The region is one of the most ethnically-diverse in Romania, with ethnic Romanians making up 65.4% of the...

34,082 2,540,480 Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

 (402,041)
Southeast
Sud-Est (development region)
Sud-Est is a development region in Romania.- References :...

35,762 2,865,024 Constanţa
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

 (446,000)
South
Sud (development region)
Sud or Sud-Muntenia is a development region in Romania. The Capital of South Development Region is Călăraşi.- References :...

34,489 3,379,406 Ploieşti
Ploiesti
Ploiești is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located north of Bucharest....

 (300,358)
Bucharest-Ilfov
Bucharest-Ilfov (development region)
The Bucharest-Ilfov development region is a development region in Romania, encompassing the national capital, Bucharest, as well as the surrounding Ilfov County. As other development regions, it does not have any administrative powers, its main function being to co-ordinate regional development...

1,811 2,492,495 Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 (2,192,372)
Southwest
Sud-Vest (development region)
Sud-Vest or Sud-Vest Oltenia is a development region in Romania. It is roughly coterminous with the historic region of Oltenia , and from that reason it is called sometimes Regiunea de dezvoltare Sud-Vest Oltenia.Danube forms boundary between Romania and Serbia/Bulgaria.- References :*...

29,212 2,334,453 Craiova
Craiova
Craiova , Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is situated near the east bank of the river Jiu in central Oltenia. It is a longstanding political center, and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians and the River Danube . Craiova is the chief...

 (333,834)
Romania 238,391 22,063,996 Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 (2,192,372)

Government


The Constitution of Romania
Constitution of Romania
The 1991 Constitution of Romania, adopted on 21 November 1991, voted in the referendum of 8 December 1991 and introduced on the same day, is the current fundamental law that establishes the structure of the government of Romania, the rights and obligations of the country's citizens, and its mode...

 is based on the Constitution of France's Fifth Republic
Constitution of France
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth...

 and was approved in a national referendum on 8 December 1991. A plebiscite held in October 2003 approved 79 amendments to the Constitution, bringing it into conformity with European Union legislation. The country is governed on the basis of multi-party democratic system and of the segregation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers.
Romania is a semi-presidential republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 where executive functions are held by both government
Government of Romania
The Government of Romania forms one half of the country's executive branch . It is headed by the Prime-Minister, and consists of the Ministries, various subordinated institutions and agencies, and the 42 Prefectures...

 and the president
President of Romania
The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term . An individual may serve two terms...

. The president is elected by popular vote for a maximum of two terms, and since the amendments in 2003, each term lasts five years. He appoints the prime minister, who in turn appoints the Council of Ministers (based at Victoria Palace
Victoria Palace
Victoria Palace is a palace in Victory Square, Bucharest, built in 1937, which is the headquarters of the Prime Minister of Romania and his cabinet.-See also:*Government of Romania...

). The legislative branch of the government, collectively known as the Parliament
Parliament of Romania
The Parliament of Romania is made up of two chambers:*The Chamber of Deputies*The SenatePrior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses...

 (residing at the Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Palace is the world's largest civilian administrative building, most expensive administrative building, and...

), consists of two chambers
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 – the Senate
Senate of Romania
The Senate of Romania is the upper house in the bicameral Parliament of Romania. It has 137 seats , to which members are elected by direct popular vote, using Mixed member proportional representation in 42 electoral districts , to serve four-year terms.-Former location:After the Romanian...

 with 140 members, and the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Romania
The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house in Romania's bicameral parliament. It has 315 seats, to which deputies are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms...

 with 346 members. The members of both chambers are elected every four years under a system of party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are elected...

.

The justice system is independent of the other branches of government, and is made up of a hierarchical system of courts culminating in the High Court of Cassation and Justice
High Court of Cassation and Justice
The High Court of Cassation and Justice is Romania's supreme court, and the court of last resort. It is the equivalent of France's Cour de cassation and serves a similar function to other courts of cassation around the world...

, which is the supreme court of Romania. There are also courts of appeal, county courts and local courts. The Romanian judicial system is strongly influenced by the French model, considering that it is based on civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 and is inquisitorial
Inquisitorial system
An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecution and the defense...

 in nature. The Constitutional Court (Curtea Constituţională) is responsible for judging the compliance of laws and other state regulations to the Romanian Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the country. The constitution, which was introduced in 1991, can be amended by only a public referendum, the last of which took place in 2003. Since this amendment, the court's decisions cannot be overruled by any majority of the parliament.

The country's entry into the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 in 2007 has been a significant influence on its domestic policy. As part of the process, Romania has instituted reforms including judicial reform
Judicial Reform
Judicial reform is the complete or partial political reform of a country's judiciary. Judicial reform is often done as a part of wider reform of the countrys political system or a legal reform....

, increased judicial cooperation with other member states, and measures to combat corruption. Nevertheless, in 2006 Brussels report, Romania and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 were described as the two most corrupt countries in the EU, and Romania was ranked, together with Bulgaria and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, as the most corrupt EU country by Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

 in 2009.

Foreign relations



Since December 1989, Romania has pursued a policy of strengthening relations with the West in general, more specifically with the United States and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. It joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on 29 March 2004, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) on 1 January 2007, while it had joined the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 in 1972, and is a founding member of the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

.

The current government has stated its goal of strengthening ties with and helping other Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

an countries (in particular Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

) with the process of integration with the West. Romania has also made clear since the late 1990s that it supports NATO and EU membership for the democratic former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

. Romania also declared its public support for Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 joining the European Union. With Turkey, Romania shares a privileged economic relation. Because it has a large Hungarian minority, Romania has also developed strong relations with Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. Romania opted on January 1, 2007, to adhere the Schengen Area, an area of free movement in Europe that comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries. Romania's bid to join the Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

 was approved by the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 in June 2011 and is currently being considered by the Council of Ministers
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

. Prospective implementation date is October 2011, following that to Romania will be conferred the relapse to international travel with border controls for travellers circulating in and out of the area, but with no internal border controls.

In December 2005, President Traian Băsescu
Traian Basescu
Traian Băsescu is the current President of Romania. After serving as the mayor of Bucharest from June 2000 until December 2004, he was elected president in the Romanian Presidential Elections of 2004 and inaugurated on December 20, 2004...

 and United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 signed an agreement that would allow a U.S. military presence at several Romanian facilities primarily in the eastern part of the country. In May 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that "Romania is one of the most trustworthy and respectable partners of the USA" during a visit of the Romanian foreign minister.

Relations with Moldova are a special case, considering that the two countries practically share the same language, and a fairly common historical background. A movement for unification of Romania and Moldova
Movement for unification of Romania and Moldova
A movement for the reunification of Romania and Moldova began in both countries after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the beginning of glasnost policy in the Soviet Union...

 appeared in the early 1990s after both countries achieved emancipation from communist rule, but lost ground in the mid-1990s when a new Moldovan government pursued an agenda towards preserving a Moldovan republic independent of Romania. Romania remains interested in Moldovan affairs and has officially rejected the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

, but the two countries have been unable so far to reach agreement on a basic bilateral treaty. After the 2009 protests in Moldova and subsequent removal of Communists from power, relations between the two countries have improved considerably.

Military


The Romanian Armed Forces consist of Land
Romanian Land Forces
The Romanian Land Forces is the army of Romania, and the main component of the Romanian Armed Forces. In recent years, full professionalisation and a major equipment overhaul have transformed the nature of the force.The Romanian Land Forces were founded on...

, Air
Romanian Air Force
The Romanian Air Force is the air force branch of the Romanian Armed Forces. It has an air force headquarters, an operational command, four air bases and an air defense brigade...

, and Naval Forces
Romanian Naval Forces
The Romanian Navy is the navy branch of the Romanian Armed Forces; it operates in the Black Sea and on the Danube.-History:-Development of the Romanian Navy:The Romanian Navy has been founded in 1860 as a river flotilla on the Danube...

, and are led by a Commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 who is managed by the Ministry of Defense. The president
President of Romania
The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term . An individual may serve two terms...

 is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces during wartime. Of the 90,000 men and women that comprise the Armed Forces, approximately 15,000 are civilians and 75,000 are military personnel—45,800 for land, 13,250 for air, 6,800 for naval forces, and 8,800 in other fields. The total defence spending in 2007 accounted for 2.05% of total national GDP, or approximately US$2.9 billion (39th in the world), and a total of about 11 billion will be spent between 2006 and 2011 for modernization and acquisition of new equipment.

The Land Forces have overhauled their equipment in the past few years, and today are an army with multiple NATO capabilities, actively participating in the War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. The Air Force currently operates modernized Soviet MiG-21 LanceR fighters which are due to be replaced by new fighters by 2013, according to present plans. However due to poor economical conditions this may change. The Air Force purchased seven new C-27J Spartan tactical airlift to replace the bulk of the old transport force. Two modernized Type 22 frigate
Type 22 frigate
The Type 22 Broadsword class is a class of frigate built for the British Royal Navy. Fourteen of the class were built in total, with production divided into three batches. With the decommissioning of HMS Cornwall on 30 June 2011, the final Type 22 of the Royal Navy was retired from service...

s were acquired by the Naval Forces in 2004 from the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, and a further four modern missile corvettes have been commissioned by 2010.

Romanian troops participated in the occupation of Iraq, reaching a peak of 730 soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s before being slowly drawn down to 350 soldiers. Romania terminated its mission in Iraq and withdrew its last troops on July 24, 2009, among the last countries to do so. Romania currently has some 1,900 troops deployed in Afghanistan.

Social welfare


The unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 rate in Romania is five per-cent and has been low for many years. Several thousand local trade unions were founded after the revolution, which were later amalgamated into federations. The unions and federations have helped organise students, pensioners and unemployed people.

In Romania men retire at the age of 63 years and 10 months, whereas women retire earlier at the age of 58 years and 10 months.

Currently there is consternation that there are more pensioners than workers in the country, which minimized the security of supply of labour. Each pensioner is living on €400 per month (equivalent to approximately $540 USD as of the third-quarter 2011).

During the first quarter of 2011 the average monthly household income was 2,318 Romanian lei (equivalent to approximately $867 USD).
The difference between the countryside and urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

s is significant in this respect, as the average income is 36 per-cent higher in the latter.

About six per-cent of the entire population live below the poverty line of whom 90 per-cent live in rural areas.

By law healthcare is free, but to actually get decent treatment there have been cases of patients having to bribe doctors. There is evidence to suggest that a patient's wealth plays an important role in how they receive medical treatment.

Economy


With a GDP of around $325 billion and a GDP per capita (PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) of $15,291 for the year 2010, Romania is an upper-middle income country economy and has been part of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 since 1 January 2007.
After the Communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 was overthrown in late 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, the country experienced a decade of economic instability and decline, led in part by an obsolete industrial base and a lack of structural reform. From 2000 onwards, however, the Romanian economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterised by high growth, low unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 and declining inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

. In 2006, according to the Romanian Statistics Office
National Institute of Statistics (Romania)
The National Institute of Statistics is a Romanian government agency which is responsible for collecting national statistics, in fields such as geography, the economy, demographics and society...

, GDP growth in real terms was recorded at 7.7%, one of the highest rates in Europe. Growth dampened to 6.1% in 2007, but was expected to exceed 8% in 2008 because of a high production forecast in agriculture (30–50% higher than in 2007). The GDP grew by 8.9% in the first nine months of 2008, but growth fell to 2.9% in the fourth quarter and stood at 7.1% for the whole 2008 because of the financial crisis. Thereafter, the country fell into a recession in 2009 and 2010, where the GDP contracted −7.1% and −1.3% respectively. It is estimated by the IMF that the GDP will grow again by 1.5% in 2011 and 4.4% in 2012.

According to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

 data, the Romanian PPS GDP per capita stood at 45% of the EU average in 2010. Inflation in 2010 was 6.1%. Unemployment in Romania was at 7.6% in 2010, which is very low compared to other middle-sized or large European countries such as Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, France and Spain. General government gross debt is also comparatively low, at 34.8% of GDP. Exports have increased substantially in the past few years, with a 13% annual rise in exports in 2010. Romania's main exports are cars, software, clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, military equipment, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly centred on the member states of the European Union, with Germany and Italy being the country's single largest trading partners. The current account balance in 2010 held a deficit of $6.842 billion.

After a series of privatisations and reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government intervention in the Romanian economy is somewhat lower than in other European economies. In 2005, the government replaced Romania's progressive tax
Progressive tax
A progressive tax is a tax by which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. "Progressive" describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure, referring to the way the rate progresses from low to high, where the average tax rate is less than the marginal tax rate...

 system with a flat tax
Flat tax
A flat tax is a tax system with a constant marginal tax rate. Typically the term flat tax is applied in the context of an individual or corporate income that will be taxed at one marginal rate...

 of 16% for both personal income and corporate profit, resulting in the country having the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, a factor which has contributed to the growth of the private sector. The economy is predominantly based on services, which account for 51.2% of GDP, even though industry and agriculture also have significant contributions, making up 36% and 12.8% of GDP, respectively. Additionally, 29.6% of the Romanian population was employed in 2006 in agriculture and primary production, one of the highest rates in Europe.

Since 2000, Romania has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, becoming the single largest investment destination in Southeastern and Central Europe. Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 was valued at €8.3 billion in 2006. According to a 2006 World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 report, Romania currently ranks 55th out of 175 economies in the ease of doing business, scoring higher than other countries in the region such as the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. Additionally, the same study judged it to be the world's second-fastest economic reformer (after Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

) in 2006.

The average gross wage per month in Romania was 1855 lei in May 2009, equating to €442.48 (US$627.70) based on international exchange rates, and $1110.31 based on purchasing power parity. In 2009 the Romanian economy contracted as a result of the global economic downturn. Gross domestic product contracted 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2009 from the same period a year earlier, and the budget deficit for 2009 reached 7.2% of GDP. Industrial output growth however reached 6.9% year-on-year in December 2009, the highest in the EU-27.

Transport





All transportation infrastructure in Romania is the property of the state, and is administered by the Ministry of Transports, Constructions and Tourism, except when operated as a concession, in which case the concessions are made by the Ministry of Administration and Interior.

According to CIA Factbook, Romania total road network is estimated to be 81,713 km long (excluding urban areas), out of which 66,632 km are paved and 15,081 km (2009) are unpaved. The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimates that the road network that is outside of cities and communes (i.e. excluding streets and village roads) is about 78,000 km long. There are plans to build a 2,262.7 km-long motorway system, consisting of six main motorways and six bypass motorways, as of 2011, 371.5 km are built and 845 km have construction contracts under way.

Due to its location, Romania is a major crossroad for international economic exchange in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. However, because of insufficient investment, maintenance and repair, the transport infrastructure does not meet the current needs of a market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 and lags behind Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Nevertheless, these conditions are rapidly improving and catching up with the standards of Trans-European transport networks
Trans-European Transport Networks
The Trans-European Transport Networks are a planned set of road, rail, air and water transport networks designed to serve the entire continent of Europe. The TEN-T networks are part of a wider system of Trans-European Networks , including a telecommunications network and a proposed energy network...

. Several projects have been started with funding from grants from ISPA
Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession
Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession is one of the three financial instruments of the European Union to assist the candidate countries in the preparation for accession...

 and several loans from International Financial Institutions
International financial institutions
International financial institutions are financial institutions that have been established by more than one country, and hence are subjects of international law. Their owners or shareholders are generally national governments, although other international institutions and other organisations...

 (World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, IMF, etc.) guaranteed by the state, to upgrade the main road corridors
Pan-European corridors
The ten Pan-European transport corridors were defined at the second Pan-European transport Conference in Crete, March 1994, as routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the next ten to fifteen years. Additions were made at the third conference in Helsinki in 1997...

. Also, the Government is actively pursuing new external financing or public-private partnerships to further upgrade the main roads, and especially the country's motorway network.

Romania has a relatively well-developed airport infrastructure compared to other countries in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, but still underdeveloped compared to Western European standards. There are 17 commercial airports in service today, most of them opened for international traffic. Five of the airports (OTP, BBU, TSR, CND, SBZ) have runways of over 3,000 m in length and are capable of handling wide-body aircraft
Wide-body aircraft
A wide-body aircraft is a large airliner with two passenger aisles, also known as a widebody aircraft or twin-aisle aircraft. The typical fuselage diameter is . In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers...

. Three of the airports (BCM, CRA, SUJ) have runways of 2,500 m in length, while the rest of them have runways of 1,800 to 2,000 m. As of December 2006, TCE and CSB are the only airports with no regular flights. Almost all the airports have experienced traffic growth in the last 4 years.

The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimates that the railway network in Romania comprised 22298 kilometres (13,855.4 mi) of track in 2004, which would make it the fourth largest railroad network in Europe. The railway transport
Caile Ferate Române
Căile Ferate Române is the official designation of the state railway carrier of Romania. Romania has a railway network of of which are electrified and the total track length is . The network is significantly interconnected with other European railway networks, providing pan-European passenger...

 experienced a dramatic fall in freight and passenger volumes from the peak volumes recorded in 1989 mainly due to the decline in GDP and competition from road transport. In 2004, the railways carried 8.64 billion passenger-km in 99 million passenger journeys, and 73 million metric tonnes, or 17 billion ton-km of freight. The combined total transportation by rail constituted around 45% of all passenger and freight movement in the country.

Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 is the only city in Romania which has an underground
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 railway system. The Bucharest Metro
Bucharest Metro
The Bucharest Metro is an underground urban railway network that serves the capital of Romania, Bucharest. The network is run by Metrorex. It is one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with a ridership of 177.23 million passengers in 2010...

 was opened in November 16, 1979 and is now one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network
Transport in Bucharest
Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania, and one of the largest in Europe. The Bucharest transport network is made up of a metro network and a surface transport network...

 with an average ridership of 600,000 passengers during the workweek. Currently, the Bucharest Metro measures 61.41 km lengthwise and includes five metro lines
Metro
Metro is an abbreviation of metropolitan, and is the name of many products and services relating to urban areas, especially public transport systems.-Rapid transit systems:...

, one proposed and one under construction.

Romania has 16 international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

s, of which the busiest are Henri Coandă International Airport
Henri Coanda International Airport
Henri Coandă International Airport is Romania's busiest international airport, located northwest of the city of Bucharest, within Otopeni city limits. One of two airports serving the Romanian capital, the other being Băneasa, it is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coandă, builder of...

 (4,917,952 passengers, 2010) and Aurel Vlaicu International Airport
Aurel Vlaicu International Airport
-Terminated destinations:-See also:*Aviation in Romania*Transport in Romania*Blue Air-External links:**...

 (2,118,150 passengers, 2010). Also, Romania disposes of an unworkable international airport (Caransebeş Airport
Caransebes Airport
Caransebeş Airport is located east northeast of Caransebeş in western Romania, in Caraş-Severin county. A former military base, CSB is the only commercial airport in Romania not located in the proximity of a large urban area....

) and 16 under construction or planned airports, whose construction will be completed until 2020. Romania has about 200 flight corridors, as much as any other European country. The air traffic has doubled in the last 20 years, in summer of 2010, Romania was crossed by 150 aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

s simultaneously, bringing considerable incomes to TAROM
TAROM
S.C. Compania Națională de Transporturi Aeriene Române TAROM S.A., doing business as TAROM Romanian Air Transport, is the flag carrier and oldest currently operating airline of Romania. The brand name is an acronym for...

 airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

. As of May 2011, TAROM
TAROM
S.C. Compania Națională de Transporturi Aeriene Române TAROM S.A., doing business as TAROM Romanian Air Transport, is the flag carrier and oldest currently operating airline of Romania. The brand name is an acronym for...

 flies to 47 destinations (including the seasonal destinations), such as: Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Frankfurt am Main, Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Tourism


Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its rich history and is a significant contributor to the Romanian economy. In 2006, domestic and international tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 generated about 4.8% of gross domestic product and 5.8% of the total jobs (about half a million jobs). Following commerce, tourism is the second largest component of the services sector. Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing sectors of the economy of Romania and is characterized by a huge potential for development.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council
World Travel and Tourism Council
The World Travel & Tourism Council was conceptualized in the early 1980s when a group of CEOs came to the realization that although Travel & Tourism was the largest service industry in the world and the biggest provider of jobs, nobody knew it...

, Romania is the fourth fastest growing country in the world in terms of travel and tourism total demand, with a yearly potential growth of 8% from 2007 to 2016. The number of tourists grew from 4.8 million in 2002 to 6.6 million in 2004. Similarly, the revenues grew from 400 million in 2002 to 607 in 2004. In 2006, Romania registered 20 million overnight stays by international tourists, an all-time record, but the number for 2007 is expected to increase even more. Tourism in Romania attracted €400 million in investments in 2005.

Over the last years, Romania has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the foreign visitors in 2007 were from EU countries), thus attempting to compete with Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Italy and Spain. Destinations such as Mangalia
Mangalia
Mangalia , is a city and a port on the coast of the Black Sea in the south-east of Constanţa County, Romania.The municipality of Mangalia also administers several summer time seaside resorts: Cap Aurora, Jupiter, Neptun, Olimp, Saturn, Venus.-History:...

, Saturn
Saturn, Romania
Saturn is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, north of Mangalia.Saturn is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, north of Mangalia....

, Venus
Venus, Romania
Venus is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, north of Mangalia....

, Neptun
Neptun, Romania
Neptun is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, 6 km north of Mangalia. It is part of a string of such resorts, Olimp, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn....

, Olimp
Olimp, Romania
Olimp is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, north of Mangalia....

, Constanţa
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

 and Mamaia
Mamaia
Mamaia is a resort on the Romanian Black Sea shore, considered to be Romania's most popular resort. It is situated immediately north-east of Constanţa...

 (sometimes called the Romanian Riviera
Romanian Black Sea resorts
The Romanian Black Sea resorts stretches from Danube Delta in north down to the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast in south, along 275 km of coastline....

) are among the most popular attractions during summer. During winter, the skiing resorts along the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Braşov
Poiana Brasov
Poiana Braşov is the most popular Romanian ski resort and an important tourist centre preferred by many tourists not only from Romania, but also from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European states....

 are popular with foreign visitors.

For their medieval atmosphere and castles, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

n cities such as Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

, Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

, Sighişoara
Sighisoara
Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 27,706 ....

, Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

, Târgu Mureş or Miercurea-Ciuc
Miercurea-Ciuc
Miercurea-Ciuc is the county seat of Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, and is situated in the Olt River valley.The city administers three villages:* Ciba / Csiba...

 have become major tourist attractions for foreigners. Rural tourism, focusing on folklore and traditions, has become an important alternative recently, and is targeted to promote such sites as Bran
Bran, Brasov
Bran is a commune in Braşov County, Romania. It lies at 30 km from the city of Braşov and is composed of five villages: Bran, Poarta, Predeluţ, Şimon and Sohodol...

 and its Dracula's Castle
Bran Castle
Bran Castle , situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73...

, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia
Painted churches of northern Moldavia
The Churches of Moldavia are eight Romanian Orthodox churches in Suceava County, Romania in northern Moldavia, built approximately between 1487 and 1583.Since 1993, they have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site...

, the Wooden churches of Maramureş
Wooden Churches of Maramures
The Wooden Churches of Maramureş in the Maramureş region of northern Transylvania are a group of almost one hundred churches of different architectural solutions from different periods and areas. They are Orthodox churches. The Maramureş churches are high timber constructions with characteristic...

 and Sălaj, or the Merry Cemetery
Merry Cemetery
The Merry Cemetery is a cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, Maramureş county, Romania. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with naïve paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives...

 in Maramureş County
Maramures County
Maramureș is a county of Romania, in the Maramureș region. The county seat is Baia Mare.- History :* The 10th century frontier county of Borsova was founded by Stephen I of Hungary. Since then Máramaros served as the north-eastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1920, the Trianon Peace...

 (at Săpânţa
Sapânta
Săpânţa is a commune in Maramureş County in northern Romania, 15 kilometers northwest of Sighet and just south of the Tisza River. It is composed of a single village, Săpânţa....

). Other major natural attractions, such as the Danube Delta
Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania , while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine . The approximate surface is...

, the Iron Gates (Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 Gorge), Scărişoara Cave
Scarisoara Cave
Scărişoara Cave , is one of the biggest ice caves in the Apuseni Mountains of Romania, in a part of Carpathian chain.-Discovery:First mentioned in 1863 by the Austrian geographer Arnold Schmidl, who made some observations and the first map of the cave, it was later explored by the Romanian...

 and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountains
Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Western Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. Their name translates from Romanian as Mountains "of the sunset" i.e. "western". The highest peak is "Cucurbăta Mare" - 1849 metres, also called Bihor...

 have yet to receive great attention.

In terms of tourism potential, Romania benefits from splendid cities, scattered on the smooth plains or high peaks. These include Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

, a city built by Saxons
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

, with cobblestone streets and colorful houses. The Hunyad Castle
Hunyad Castle
The Huniad Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara , present-day Romania.- History :...

, one of the most important monuments of Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, can be visited in the picturesque city of Hunedoara
Hunedoara
Hunedoara is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. It is located in southeastern Transylvania near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, and administers five villages: Boş, Groş, Hăşdat, Peştişu Mare and Răcăştia....

. Also, resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

s such as Băile Felix
Baile Felix
Băile Felix is a thermal spa resort near the commune of Sânmartin in Bihor County, Transylvania, Romania. They are among the best known and most quality thermal spas in the country...

, Băile Herculane
Baile Herculane
Băile Herculane is a town in Romanian Banat, in Caraş-Severin County, situated in the valley of the Cerna River, between the Mehedinţi Mountains to the east and the Cerna Mountains to the west, elevation 168 meters. Its current population is approximately 6,000...

 and Băile Tuşnad
Baile Tusnad
Băile Tușnad is a town in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania.With a population of 1,728, it is the smallest town in Romania by population...

 are points of interest for local and foreign tourists. The Romanian seaside
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

 is the most developed tourist area of Romania. In 2009, Romania's Black Sea seaside was visited by 1.3 million tourists, of whom 40,000 were foreign. The shore
Shore
A shore or shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In Physical Oceanography a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and present, while the beach is at the edge of the shore,...

 is very varied, formed by slightly wavy shapes, with emphasized cape
Cape
Cape can be used to describe any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long garment that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening around the neck. They were common in medieval Europe, especially when combined with a hood in the chaperon, and have had periodic...

s and deep bay
Bay
A bay is an area of water mostly surrounded by land. Bays generally have calmer waters than the surrounding sea, due to the surrounding land blocking some waves and often reducing winds. Bays also exist as an inlet in a lake or pond. A large bay may be called a gulf, a sea, a sound, or a bight...

s extending into the Dobrogea valleys, with cliff
Cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

s, beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es and sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

 cords. In Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu is the capital of Gorj County, Oltenia, Romania. It is situated on the Southern Sub-Carpathians, on the banks of the river Jiu. Eight villages are administered by the city: Bârseşti, Drăgoeni, Iezureni, Polata, Preajba Mare, Româneşti, Slobozia and Ursaţi.-History:The city takes its name...

 one can see the sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s of Constantin Brâncuşi
Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brâncuşi was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. As a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest, then to Munich, then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris...

 (1876–1957), a Romanian sculptor with overwhelming contributions to the renewal of plastic language and vision in contemporary sculpture. These include The Endless Column, The Gate of the Kiss and The Table of Silence, which together represent the three parts of a monumental sculptural ensemble
Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi at Târgu Jiu
The Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi at Târgu Jiu is a homage to the Romanian heroes of the First World War. The ensemble comprises three sculptures: the Table of Silence, the Gate of the Kiss and the Column of the Infinite, on an axis 1,300 m long, oriented west to east...

.

Science and technology


During the 1990s and early 2000s, the development of Romanian science was hampered by several factors, including corruption, low funding and a considerable brain drain
Brain drain
Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as "brain drain", is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals...

. However, since the country's accession to the European Union, this has begun to change. After being slashed by 50% in 2009 due to the global recession, R&D spending was increased by 44% in 2010 and now stands at $0.5 billion (1.5 billion lei). In January 2011, the Parliament also passed a law that enforces "strict quality control on universities and introduces tough rules for funding evaluation and peer review". The country has joined or is about to join several major international organizations such as CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 and the European Space Agency
European Space Agency
The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

. Overall, the situation has been characterized as "rapidly improving", albeit from a low base.

Historically, Romanian researches and inventors have made notable contributions to several fields, such as: aeronautics, medicine, mathematics, computer science/engineering, physics, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology. In the history of flight, Traian Vuia
Traian Vuia
Traian Vuia was a Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer who designed, builtand flew an early aircraft. His first flight traveled about 12 m at Montesson, France on March 18, 1906...

 and Aurel Vlaicu
Aurel Vlaicu
Aurel Vlaicu was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot.-Biography:Aurel Vlaicu was born in Binţinţi , Geoagiu, Transylvania. He attended Calvinist High School in Orăştie and took his Baccalaureate in Sibiu in 1902...

 built and flew some of the earliest successful aircraft, while Henri Coandă
Henri Coanda
Henri Marie Coandă was a Romanian inventor, aerodynamics pioneer and builder of an experimental aircraft, the Coandă-1910 described by Coandă in the mid-1950s as the world's first jet, a controversial claim disputed by some and supported by others...

 discovered the Coandă effect
Coanda effect
The Coandă effect is the tendency of a fluid jet to be attracted to a nearby surface. The principle was named after Romanian aerodynamics pioneer Henri Coandă, who was the first to recognize the practical application of the phenomenon in aircraft development....

 of fluidics. Preceding him, Elie Carafoli
Elie Carafoli
Elie Carafoli was an accomplished Romanian engineer and aircraft designer. He is considered a pioneering contributor to the field of Aerodynamics....

 was a pioneering contributor to the field of aerodynamics in the world.

Victor Babeş
Victor Babes
Victor Babeș was a Romanian physician, biologist, and one of the earliest bacteriologists. He made early and significant contributions to the study of rabies, leprosy, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases....

 discovered more than 50 germs and a cure for a disease named after him, babesiosis
Babesiosis
Babesiosis is a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with Babesia, a genus of protozoal piroplasms. After trypanosomes, Babesia are thought to be the second most common blood parasites of mammals and they can have a major impact on health of domestic animals in areas without severe...

; biologist Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu was a Romanian physiologist, professor of medicine, the discoverer of insulin . The "pancreine" was a crude extract of bovine pancreas in salted water, after which some impurites were removed with hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.-Early life and activities:Born in Bucharest,...

 discovered insulin. Another biologist, Emil Palade, received the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 for his contributions to cell biology
Cell biology
Cell biology is a scientific discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level...

. George Constantinescu
George Constantinescu
George Constantinescu was a Romanian scientist, engineer and inventor. During his career, he registered over 130 inventions. He is the creator of the theory of sonics, a new branch of continuum mechanics, in which he described the transmission of mechanical energy through vibrations.Born in...

 created the theory of sonics
Theory of sonics
The theory of sonics is a branch of continuum mechanics which describes the transmission of mechanical energy through vibrations. The birth of the theory of sonics can be considered the publication of the book A treatise on transmission of power by vibrations in 1918 by the Romanian scientist Gogu...

, while Lazăr Edeleanu
Lazar Edeleanu
Lazăr Edeleanu was a Romanian chemist of Jewish origin.He was the first chemist to synthesize amphetamine at the University of Berlin and the inventor of the modern method of refining crude oil.- His childhood and studies:...

 was the first chemist to synthesize amphetamine
Amphetamine
Amphetamine or amfetamine is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class which produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.Brand names of medications that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat,...

 and also invented the modern method of refining
Oil refinery
An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas...

 crude oil. Costin Neniţescu
Costin Nenitescu
Costin D. Neniţescu was a prominent Romanian chemist, and a professor at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. He was a member of the Romanian Academy, a corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, and a member of the Leopoldina Academy of Natural Scientists in...

 found new methods for the synthesis of pirilium salts, of carbene
Carbene
In chemistry, a carbene is a molecule containing a neutral carbon atom with a valence of two and two unshared valence electrons. The general formula is RR'C:, but the carbon can instead be double-bonded to one group. The term "carbene" may also merely refer to the compound H2C:, also called...

s, tryptamine
Tryptamine
Tryptamine is a monoamine alkaloid found in plants, fungi, and animals. It is based around the indole ring structure, and is chemically related to the amino acid tryptophan, from which its name is derived...

, serotonin
Serotonin
Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of animals including humans...

, two new syntheses for the indole nucleus, and a new method of polymerisation of ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

.

Several mathematicians
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 distinguished themselves as well, among them: Gheorghe Ţiţeica
Gheorghe Titeica
Gheorghe Ţiţeica publishing as George or Georges Tzitzeica) was a Romanian mathematician with important contributions in geometry. He is recognized as the founder of the Romanian school of differential geometry....

, Spiru Haret
Spiru Haret
Spiru C. Haret was a Romanian mathematician, astronomer and politician. He made a fundamental contribution to the n-body problem in celestial mechanics by proving that using a third degree approximation for the disturbing forces implies instability of the major axes of the orbits, and by...

, Grigore Moisil
Grigore Moisil
Grigore Constantin Moisil was a Romanian mathematician, computer pioneer, and member of the Romanian Academy. His research was mainly in the fields of mathematical logic, , Algebraic logic, MV-algebra, algebra and differential equations...

, Miron Nicolescu
Miron Nicolescu
Miron Nicolescu was a Romanian mathematician.Born in Giurgiu, he attended the Matei Basarab high school in Bucharest. After completing his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Bucharest in 1924, he went to Paris, where he enrolled at the École Normale...

, Nicolae Popescu
Nicolae Popescu
Nicolae Popescu was a Romanian mathematician and Emeritus Professor. Popescu was elected a Member of the Romanian Academy in 1992. He is best known for his contributions to Algebra and the theory of Abelian categories. Since 1964 and until 2007 he collaborated on the characterization of abelian...

 and Ştefan Odobleja
Stefan Odobleja
Ştefan Odobleja was a Romanian scientist, one of the precursors of cybernetics. His major work, Psychologie consonantiste, first published in 1938 and 1939, in Paris, had established many of the major themes of cybernetics regarding cybernetics and systems thinking ten years before the work of...

; the latter is also regarded as the ideological father behind cybernetics
Cybernetics
Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

.

Notable physicists and inventors also include: Horia Hulubei
Horia Hulubei
Horia Hulubei was a Romanian atomic/nuclear physicist, known for his contributions to the development of X-ray spectroscopy.-Education:He studied at the University of Iaşi and in Paris at the Sorbonne, with the Nobel laureate Jean Perrin as his PhD advisor; he obtained his Ph.D. from the...

 in atomic physics, Șerban Țițeica in theoretical physics, Mihai Gavrilă
Mihai Gavrilă
Mihai Gavrilă is a Romanian quantum physicist, member of the Romanian Academy since 1974. He made fundamental contributions to quantum theories of electromagnetic interactions with atoms. His parents were Ion and Florica Gavrilă...

 specialized in quantum theory and discoverer of the atomic dichotomy
Atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

 phenomenon, Alexandru Proca
Alexandru Proca
Alexandru Proca was a Romanian physicist who studied and worked in France. He developed the vector meson theory of nuclear forces and the relativistic quantum field equations that bear his name for the massive, vector spin-1 mesons...

 (known for the first meson theory of nuclear forces and Proca's equations of the vectorial mesonic field), Ştefan Procopiu
Stefan Procopiu
-Biography:Procopiu was born in 1890 in Bârlad, Romania. His father, Emanoil Procopiu, was employed at the Bârlad courthouse. His mother, Ecaterina Tașcă was the daughter of Gheorghe I...

 known for the first theory of the magnetic moment
Magnetic moment
The magnetic moment of a magnet is a quantity that determines the force that the magnet can exert on electric currents and the torque that a magnetic field will exert on it...

 of the electron in 1911 (now known as the Bohr-Procopiu magneton), Theodor V. Ionescu
Theodor V. Ionescu
Theodor V. Ionescu, Prof. Dr. Doc. was a Romanian physicist and inventor who made remarkable discoveries in plasma physics, ionosphere physics, ion coupling electrons in dense plasmas, masers, magnetron amplifiers, and Zeeman effects related to controlled nuclear fusion and quantum emission...

, the inventor of a multiple-cavity magnetron (1935), a hydrogen maser
Maser
A maser is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. Historically, “maser” derives from the original, upper-case acronym MASER, which stands for "Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"...

 in 1947, 3D imaging
Stereoscopy
Stereoscopy refers to a technique for creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by presenting two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. Both of these 2-D offset images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3-D depth...

 for cinema/television in 1924 and hot deuterium plasma studies for controlled nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more atomic nuclei join together, or "fuse", to form a single heavier nucleus. This is usually accompanied by the release or absorption of large quantities of energy...

, Ionel Solomon known for the nuclear magnetic resonance
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Nuclear magnetic resonance is a physical phenomenon in which magnetic nuclei in a magnetic field absorb and re-emit electromagnetic radiation...

 theory in solids, Solomon equations
Nuclear Overhauser effect
The Nuclear Overhauser Effect is the transfer of nuclear spin polarization from one nuclear spin population to another via cross-relaxation. It is a common phenomenon observed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The theoretical basis for the NOE was described and experimentally verified...

 and photovoltaic devices, Petrache Poenaru
Petrache Poenaru
Petrache Poenaru was a Romanian inventor of the Enlightenment era.Poenaru, who had studied in Paris and Vienna and, later, completed his specialized studies in England, was a mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, teacher and organizer of the educational system, as well as a politician,...

, Nicolae Teclu
Nicolae Teclu
Nicolae Teclu ; was a Romanian chemist, who gave his name to the worldwide-used "Teclu burner". He studied engineering and architecture, and then chemistry, continuing his career by becoming professor for general and analytical chemistry in Vienna...

 and Victor Toma, with the latter known for the invention and construction of the first Romanian computer, the CIFA-1 in 1955.

The nuclear physics facility of the European Union's proposed Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI)
Extreme Light Infrastructure
The Extreme Light Infrastructure is a proposed high energy laser research facility of the European Union. The facility will host an exawatt-class laser, that will enable scientists, through relativistic compression, to produce intensities of 1023 W/cm2...

 laser will be built in Romania. Romania currently has 1,400 MW
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 of nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 capacity by means of one active nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plant
A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is one or more nuclear reactors. As in a conventional thermal power station the heat is used to generate steam which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator which produces electricity.Nuclear power plants are usually...

 (Cernavodă
Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant
The Nuclear Power Plant in Cernavodă is the only nuclear power plant in Romania. It produces around 20% of the country's electricity. It uses CANDU reactor technology from AECL, using heavy water produced at Drobeta-Turnu Severin as its neutron moderator and water from the Danube – Black Sea Canal...

) with 2 reactors, which constitutes around 18% of the national power generation capacity of the country. This makes Romania the 23rd largest user of nuclear power in the world
Nuclear power by country
Thirty countries operate nuclear power stations, and there are a considerable number of new reactors being built in China, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and Russia...

.

Demographic evolution



In 2011, Romania's population is estimated to be 21,904,551. Like other countries in the region, its population is expected to gradually decline in the coming years as a result of sub-replacement fertility rates. In 2002 Romanians
Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

 make up 89.5% of the population. The largest ethnic minorities
Minorities of Romania
Officially, 10.5% of Romania's population is represented by minorities . The principal minorities in Romania are Hungarians and Roma people, with a declining German population and smaller numbers of Poles in Bucovina...

 are the Hungarians, who make up 6.6% of the population and Gypsies, who make up 2.46% of the population.2002 census data, based on Population by ethnicity, gave a total of 535,250 Gypsies in Romania. Many ethnicities not recorded at all, since they do not have ID cards. International sources give higher figures than the official census(UNDP's Regional Bureau for Europe, World Bank,

Hungarians constitute a majority in the counties of Harghita
Harghita County
Harghita is a county in the center of Romania, in eastern Transylvania, with the county seat at Miercurea-Ciuc.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 326,222 and a population density of 52/km².*Hungarians- 85%...

 and Covasna
Covasna County
Covasna is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Sfântu Gheorghe.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 222,449 and the population density was 60/km².*Hungarians – 73.79% *Romanians – 23.28%...

. Ukrainians
Ukrainians of Romania
The Ukrainians are the third-largest ethnic minority in Romania. According to the 2002 Romanian census they number 61,091 people, making up 0.3% of the total population. Ukrainians claim that the number is actually 250,000-300,000. Ukrainians mainly live in northern Romania, in areas close to...

, Germans
Germans of Romania
The Germans of Romania or Rumäniendeutsche were 760,000 strong in 1930. They are not a single group; thus, to understand their language, culture, and history, one must view them as independent groups:...

, Lipovans
Lipovans
Lipovans or Lippovans are the Old Believers, mostly of Russian ethnic origin, who settled in the Moldavian Principality, in Dobruja and Eastern Muntenia...

, Turks
Turks of Romania
Turks in Romania, also known as Romanian Turks, are ethnic Turks who form an ethnic minority in Romania. According to the 2002 census, there were 32,098 Turks living in the country, forming a minority of some 0.2% of the population.- History :...

, Tatars, Serbs, Slovaks
Slovaks of Romania
The Slovaks are an ethnic minority in Romania, numbering 17,199 people according to the 2002 census and hence making up 0.1% of the total population. Slovaks mainly live in western Romania, with the largest populations found in Bihor and Arad counties, where they make up 1.22% and 1.25% of the...

, Bulgarians
Banat Bulgarians
The Banat Bulgarians are a distinct Bulgarian minority group which settled in the 18th century in the region of the Banat, which was then ruled by the Habsburgs and after World War I was divided between Romania, Serbia, and Hungary...

, Croats
Croats of Romania
The Croats are an ethnic minority in Romania, numbering 6,786 people according to the 2002 census. Croats mainly live in the southwest of the country, particularly in Caraş-Severin County. Declared Croatians form a majority in two Romanian localities: the communes of Caraşova and Lupac...

, Greeks, Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, Jews
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

, Czechs
Czechs of Romania
The Czechs are an ethnic minority in Romania, numbering 3,938 people according to the 2002 census. The majority of Romanian Czechs live in the south-west of the country, with around 60% of them living in Caraş-Severin County, where they make up 0.7% of the population.As an officially recognised...

, Poles
Polish minority in Romania
According to the 2002 census, 3,671 Poles live in Romania, mainly in the villages of the Suceava region . There are even three exclusively Polish villages: Nowy Sołoniec , Plesza and Pojana Mikuli...

, Italians
Italians of Romania
The Italian Romanians are people of Italian descent who reside, or have moved to Romania.-Characteristics:They are an ethnic minority in Romania, numbering 3,288 people according to the 2002 census...

, Armenians
Armenians in Romania
Armenians have been present in what is now Romania and Moldova for over a millennium, and have been an important presence as traders since the 14th century...

, as well as other ethnic groups, account for the remaining 1.4% of the population.

In 1930, there were 745,421 Germans in Romania, but only about 135,088 remain today. In 1924, there were 796,056 Jews
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

 in the Kingdom of Romania. The number of Romanians and individuals with ancestors born in Romania living abroad is estimated at around 12 million. As of 2009, there were also approximately 133,000 immigrants living in Romania, primarily from Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

The fertility rate is decreasing, with 1.4 births per woman recorded in 2009. The birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

 (10.61‰, 2008) is slightly lower than the mortality rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

 (11.84‰, 2008), resulting in a shrinking and aging population, approx. 14.8% of total population having 65 years and over.

Languages



The official language of Romania is Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

, a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 related to Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

, and other languages adjacent to the aforesaid. Romanian is spoken as a first language by 91% of the population. Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 and Vlax Romani are the most important minority languages, spoken by 6.7% and 1.1% of the population, respectively. Until the early 1990s, there were also a substantial number of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

, even though most have since emigrated to Germany, leaving only 45,000 native German speakers in Romania. There are approximately 32,000 Turkish speakers in Romania.

In localities where a given ethnic minority makes up more than 20% of the population, that minority's language can be used in the public administration and justice system, while native-language education and signage is also provided. English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 are the main foreign languages taught in schools. English is spoken by 5 million Romanians, French is spoken by 4–5 million, and German, Italian and Spanish are each spoken by 1–2 million people.

Historically, French was the predominant foreign language spoken in Romania, but English has since superseded it. Consequently, Romanian English-speakers tend to be younger than Romanian French-speakers. Romania is, however, a full member of La Francophonie
La Francophonie
Francophonie is an international organization of politics and governments with French as the mother or customary language, where a significant proportion of people are francophones , or where there is a notable affiliation with the French language or culture.Formally known as the Organisation...

, and hosted the Francophonie Summit in 2006. German has been taught predominantly in Transylvania, due to traditions tracing back to the Austro-Hungarian rule in this province.

The Romanian language
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 remains, according to the Constitution of Romania
Constitution of Romania
The 1991 Constitution of Romania, adopted on 21 November 1991, voted in the referendum of 8 December 1991 and introduced on the same day, is the current fundamental law that establishes the structure of the government of Romania, the rights and obligations of the country's citizens, and its mode...

, the only official language of Romania, but local councils ensure linguistic rights to all minorities
Minorities of Romania
Officially, 10.5% of Romania's population is represented by minorities . The principal minorities in Romania are Hungarians and Roma people, with a declining German population and smaller numbers of Poles in Bucovina...

, who form about 10.05% of the total population. Foreign citizens and stateless persons that live in Romania have access to justice and education in their own language.

Religion


Romania is a secular state
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

 and has no state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

. However, an overwhelming majority of the country's citizens identify themselves as Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s. 86.7% of the country's population identified as Orthodox Christian according to the 2002 census, the vast majority of which belongs to the Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

. Other major Christian denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

s include Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 (5.2%), Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism in Romania
The Roman Catholic Church in Romania is a Latin Rite Christian church, part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and Curia in Rome. Its administration is centered in Bucharest, and comprises two archdioceses and four other dioceses...

 (4.7%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.9%). The latter two religious organizations suffered most severely under the Communist regime. The Greek-Catholic Church was outlawed by the Communist government in 1948; later, under the Ceaușescu regime, several churches in Transylvania were demolished.

The foundation of the oldest-known Romanian Orthodox church is still visible at Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Drobeta-Turnu Severin is a city in Mehedinţi County, Oltenia, Romania, on the left bank of the Danube, below the Iron Gates.The city administers three villages: Dudaşu Schelei, Gura Văii, and Schela Cladovei...

 today, and dates from the 14th century; however, much earlier crypts with unearthed relics of Christian martyrs executed at the orders of the Roman emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 were found in local church records dating as far back as the third century AD. Thus, the relics of Saint Sava the Goth who was martyred by drowning in the river Buzău
Buzau
The city of Buzău is the county seat of Buzău County, Romania, in the historical region of Wallachia. It lies near the right bank of the Buzău River, between the south-eastern curvature of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowlands of Bărăgan Plain.The city's name dates back to 376 AD when the name...

 in Romania, under Athanaric
Athanaric
Athanaric was king of several branches of the Thervingian Goths for at least two decades in the fourth century. His name, Athanareiks, means "Year King" or "King for the Year" comes from the Gothic word Athni meaning "year" and the Gothic Reiks meaning "king."A probable rival of Fritigern, another...

, on 12 April 372, were reverently received by St. Basil the Great. Earlier still, the first known Daco-Roman Christian priest Montanus and his wife Maxima were drowned because of their Christian faith, as martyrs, on 26 March 304.
Romania also has a Muslim
Islam in Romania
Islam in Romania is followed by only 0.3 percent of population, but has 700 years of tradition in Northern Dobruja, a region on the Black Sea coast which was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries . In present-day Romania, most adherents to Islam belong to the Tatar and Turkish ethnic...

 minority concentrated in Dobruja
Dobruja
Dobruja is a historical region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast...

, mostly of Turkish and Tatar ethnicity and numbering 67,500 people. According to the results of the 2002 census, there are 66,846 Romanian citizens of the Unitarian faith (0.3% of the total population). Of the total Hungarian-speaking minority in Romania, Unitarians represent 4.55%, being the third denominational group after members of the Reformed Church in Romania (47.10%) and Roman Catholics (41.20%). Since 1700, the Unitarian Church has had 125 parishes—in 2006, there were 110 Unitarian ministers and 141 places of worship in Romania.
According to the 2002 census, there were 6,179 Jews
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

, 23,105 people who are of no religion and/or atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

, and 11,734 who refused to answer. On 27 December 2006, a new Law on Religion was approved under which religious denominations can only receive official registration if they have at least 20,000 members, or about 0.1% of Romania's total population.

The Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 is an autocephalous Orthodox church. It is in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with other Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh
Eastern Orthodox Church organization
This article covers the organization of the Eastern Orthodox Churches rather than the doctrines, traditions, practices, or other aspects of Eastern Orthodoxy...

 in order of precedence. The Primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

 of the church has the title of Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

. Its jurisdiction covers the territory of Romania, with diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

s for Romanians living in nearby Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, as well as diaspora communities in Central and Western Europe, North America and Oceania.

It is the only Orthodox church using a Romance language. The majority of people in Romania (18,817,975, or 86.8% of the population, according to the 2002 census data) belong to it, as well as some 720,000 Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

ns. The Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 is the second-largest in size after the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

.

The most significant holidays of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 are:
  • Baptism of Jesus
    Baptism of Jesus
    The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

     (January 6);
  • Resurrection of Jesus
    Resurrection of Jesus
    The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

     (has no fixed date), associated with Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

    ;
  • Ascension of Jesus (June 2);
  • Dormition of the Theotokos
    Dormition of the Theotokos
    The Dormition of the Theotokos is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of the Theotokos , and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on August 15 The Dormition...

     (August 15), preceded by two weeks of fasting
    Fasting
    Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

    ;
  • Nativity of the Theotokos
    Nativity of the Theotokos
    The Nativity of the Theotokos, celebrating the birth of Mary, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year. It is celebrated on September 8 on the liturgical calendar .According to the sacred tradition of the Orthodox Church,...

     (September 8);
  • Nativity of Jesus
    Nativity of Jesus
    The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

     (December 25), associated with Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

    .

Urbanization


In the years following the Revolution has been a massive migration from village to city, but since 1996, the trend was reversed, and after 2005 was even stronger. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of people who have changed residence from rural to urban was 294,000, while the number of people who have changed residence from urban to rural was 418,000, difference being of over 120,000 people. Between 1996 and 2008, the difference was 313,000. According to statistics compiled in 2004, 11,895,600 citizens (54.88%) lived in the urban environment
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

, and 9,777,728 citizens (45.12%) lived in the rural environment. The most urbanized counties are Hunedoara County
Hunedoara County
Hunedoara is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with its capital city at Deva.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 485,712 and the population density was 69/km².*Romanians - 92%*Hungarians - 5%*Romas - 2%*Germans under 1%....

 (76.87%), Braşov County
Brasov County
Brașov ; ) is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Brașov. The county incorporates within its boundaries most of the Medieval "lands" Burzenland and Făgăraș Land.-Demographics:...

 (74.91%) and Constanţa County
Constanta County
Constanța is the name of a county in the Dobruja region of Romania. Its capital city is also named Constanța.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 715,151 and the population density was 101/km². The degree of urbanization is much higher than the Romanian average. In recent years the...

 (71.12%), while the most sparsely urbanized counties are Ilfov County
Ilfov County
Ilfov is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest...

 (26.09%), Dâmboviţa County
Dâmbovita County
Dâmbovița ; also spelt Dîmbovița is a county of Romania, in Muntenia, with the capital city at Târgoviște.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 541,763 and the population density was 134/km²...

 (30.06%) and Giurgiu County
Giurgiu County
Giurgiu is a county of Romania, in Muntenia, with the capital city at Giurgiu.- Demographics :In 2002, it had a population of 297,859 and the population density was 84/km².* Romanians – over 96%* Roma – 3.5%, and others.- Geography :...

 (30.95%).

Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 is the capital and the largest city in Romania. At the census in 2002, its population was over 1.9 million. The LUZ area of Bucharest has a population of 2,192,372 inhabitants. As of 2011, there are plans to establish a metropolitan area up to 20 times the area of the city proper
City proper
City proper is defined as a "locality with legally fixed boundaries and an administratively recognized urban status that is usually characterized by some form of local government", or the area within the corporate limits. This definition has been consistently used since the United Nations...

.

Romania has five other cities that are among the European Union's 100 most populous
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
This is a list of the largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits which have more than 300,000 inhabitants. It deals exclusively with the areas within city administrative boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas, which are generally larger in terms of...

. These are Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

, Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

, Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

, Constanţa
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

, and Craiova
Craiova
Craiova , Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is situated near the east bank of the river Jiu in central Oltenia. It is a longstanding political center, and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians and the River Danube . Craiova is the chief...

. Other cities with populations over 200,000 are Galaţi
Galati
Galați is a city and municipality in Romania, the capital of Galați County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, in the close vicinity of Brăila, Galați is the largest port and sea port on the Danube River and the second largest Romanian port....

, Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

, Ploieşti
Ploiesti
Ploiești is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located north of Bucharest....

, Brăila
Braila
Brăila is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County, in the close vicinity of Galaţi.According to the 2002 Romanian census there were 216,292 people living within the city of Brăila, making it the 10th most populous city in Romania.-History:A...

 and Oradea
Oradea
Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

. Another 14 cities have a population of over 100,000.

At present, several of the largest cities have a metropolitan area
Metropolitan areas in Romania
There are 10 metropolitan areas in Romania that have been constituted or are planned to be constituted in the near future.-Legislative status:The current legislation in Romania regulates the status of the 265 cities according to their population and regional importance:* Rank 0 - Bucharest, the...

: Constanţa
Constanta metropolitan area
The Constanţa metropolitan area, is a metropolitan area, established in 2007, that includes the municipality of Constanţa, the cities of Năvodari, Ovidiu, Eforie, Murfatlar, Techirghiol and 8 communes:...

 (446,595 inhab.), Iaşi
Iasi metropolitan area
The Iaşi Metropolitan Area is a metropolitan area in Iaşi County, Romania, that includes the municipality of Iaşi and 13 nearby communes.It has a total surface of 808 km² of the 5,476 km² that the county has, and a population of 400,347 inhabitants out of the 823,388 in the...

 (402,786 inhab.), Braşov
Brasov metropolitan area
Braşov metropolitan area is a metropolitan area in Braşov County, Romania, that includes the municipality of Braşov and 12 other nearby communities...

 (402,041 inhab.), Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area
The Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is a metropolitan area founded in December 2008. It has a population of 379,705 and, besides Cluj-Napoca, it includes 17 communes: Aiton, Apahida, Baciu, Bonţida, Borşa, Căianu, Chinteni, Ciurila, Cojocna, Feleacu, Floreşti, Gârbău, Gilău, Jucu, Petreştii de Jos,...

 (379,705 inhab.), Craiova
Craiova metropolitan area
Craiova metropolitan area is a metropolitan area, founded on 11 February 2009, and formed by Craiova and other 10 communes: Podari, Işalniţa, Şimnicu de Sus, Gherceşti, Pieleşti, Breasta, Malu Mare, Bucovăţ, Mischii and Cârcea....

 (333,834 inhab.) and Oradea
Oradea metropolitan area
Oradea metropolitan area is a metropolitan area located in Western Romania, in the County of Bihor, Crişana, Transylvania, Romania and was founded on 9 May 2005....

 (249,746 inhab.), and several others are planned: Bucharest
Bucharest metropolitan area
According to Eurostat, Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, has a Larger Urban Zone of 2,151,880 residents on an area of 662 km2.The Bucharest metropolitan area is a proposed metropolitan area project that includes Bucharest and surrounding communes...

, Timişoara
Timisoara metropolitan area
The Metropolitan Zone of Timişoara is an undergoing project for the creation of an administrative unit to integrate Timişoara with the nearby communes: Dumbrăviţa, Ghiroda, Moşniţa Nouă, Giroc, Sânmihaiu Român, Săcălaz, Sânandrei, Giarmata, Orţişoara, Remetea Mare, Şag and Parţa.According to...

, Brăila-Galaţi
Lower Danube metropolitan area
The Lower Danube metropolitan area or Galaţi-Brăila metropolitan area is a proposed metropolitan area project. It will be formed from the cities of Galaţi and Brăila in Romania. Together they have a population of about 600,000 people...

, Bacău
Bacau metropolitan area
The Bacău metropolitan area is a proposed metropolitan area project that includes the urban area of Bacău and it would extend to Buhuşi. It includes the communes of Letea Veche, Buhoci, Luizi-Călugăra, Săuceşti, Hemeiuş, Gârleni, Racova, Mărgineni, Măgura and others...

 and Ploieşti
Ploiesti metropolitan area
Ploieşti metropolitan area is a proposed metropolitan area project, launched in 2003 .It will be formed from Ploieşti municipality and surrounding communities: Ariceştii Rahtivani, Bărcăneşti, Berceni, Blejoi, Brazi, Bucov, Păuleşti and Târgşoru Vechi....

.

Rural areas represent about 90% of total area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 of the country, and their share – among the highest in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 – amounts to 47.3% of the total population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

. In December 2006 Romania had 2,854 commune
Commune
Commune may refer to:In society:* Commune, a human community in which resources are shared* Commune , a township or municipality* One of the Communes of France* An Italian Comune...

s, consisting of 12,951 village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

s. The average population of a Romanian village is about 800 people.

Education


Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, the Romanian educational system has been in a continuous process of reform
Reform
Reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of color or removal of faults or abuses, beneficial change, more specifically, reversion to a pure original state, to repair, restore or to correct....

 that has been both praised and criticized. According to the Law on Education adopted in 1995, the educational system is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Research
Ministry of Education and Research of Romania
The Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport is one of the nineteen ministries of the Government of Romania.Over the years the Ministry changed its title...

. Each level has its own form of organization and is subject to different legislation. Kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 is optional for children between 3 and 6 years old. School
School
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

ing starts at age 7 (sometimes 6), and is compulsory until the 10th grade (which usually corresponds to the age of 17 or 16). Primary and secondary
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 education are divided into 12 grades. Higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 is aligned with the European higher education area
European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference....

.

Aside from the official schooling system, and the recently added private equivalents, there exists a semi-legal, informal, fully private tutoring system. Tutoring is mostly used during secondary
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 as a preparation for the various examinations, which are notoriously difficult. Tutoring is widespread, and it can be considered a part of the Education System. It has subsisted and even prospered during the Communist regime.

In 2004, some 4.4 million of the population were enrolled in school. Out of these, 650,000 in kindergarten, 3.11 million (14% of population) in primary and secondary level, and 650,000 (3% of population) in tertiary level (universities). In the same year, the adult literacy rate was 97.3% (45th worldwide), while the combined gross enrollment ratio for primary, secondary and tertiary schools was 75% (52nd worldwide).

The results of the PISA
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 assessment study in schools for the year 2000 placed Romania on the 34th rank out of 42 participant countries with a general weighted score of 432 representing 85% of the mean OECD score. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities
Academic Ranking of World Universities
The Academic Ranking of World Universities , commonly known as the Shanghai ranking, is a publication that was founded and compiled by the Shanghai Jiaotong University to rank universities globally. The rankings have been conducted since 2003 and updated annually...

, in 2006 no Romanian university was included in the first 500 top universities world wide. Using similar methodology to these rankings, it was reported that the best placed Romanian university, Bucharest University, attained the half score of the last university in the world top 500. Notably, Bucharest boasts the largest university in Europe by number of students, Spiru Haret University
Spiru Haret University
The Spiru Haret University is a private university in Bucharest, Romania, founded in 1991 by the president of Tomorrow's Romania Foundation, Aurelian Gh. Bondrea, as part of the teaching activities of this foundation. The university claims this has been done according to the model used by the...

.

Culture


Romania has a unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Romanians themselves, it is fundamentally defined as the meeting point of three regions: Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, but cannot be truly included in any of them.

Arts, literature and philosophy


A unified Romanian literature began to develop with the revolutions of 1848
Wallachian Revolution of 1848
The Wallachian Revolution of 1848 was a Romanian liberal and Romantic nationalist uprising in the Principality of Wallachia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the unsuccessful revolt in the Principality of Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by...

 and the union of the two Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common...

 in 1859. The origin of the Romanians began to be discussed and by the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, Romanian Transylvanian scholars along with Romanian scholars from Moldavia and Wallachia began studying in France, Italy and Germany. German philosophy and French culture were integrated into modern Romanian literature, and a new elite of artists led to the appearance of some of the classics of Romanian literature such as Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul , the official newspaper of the Conservative Party...

, George Coşbuc
George Cosbuc
George Coşbuc was a Romanian poet, translator, teacher, and journalist, best remembered for his verses describing, praising and eulogizing rural life, its many travails but also its occasions for joy....

, Ioan Slavici
Ioan Slavici
Ioan Slavici was a Transylvanian-born Romanian writer and journalist. He made his debut in Convorbiri literare , with the comedy Fata de birău...

.
Although not particularly renowned outside the country, these writers are widely appreciated within Romania for giving birth to modern Romanian literature. Eminescu is considered the greatest and most influential Romanian poet, particularly for the poem Luceafărul. Among other writers that rose to prominence in the second half of 19th century are Mihail Kogălniceanu
Mihail Kogalniceanu
Mihail Kogălniceanu was a Moldavian-born Romanian liberal statesman, lawyer, historian and publicist; he became Prime Minister of Romania October 11, 1863, after the 1859 union of the Danubian Principalities under Domnitor Alexander John Cuza, and later served as Foreign Minister under Carol I. He...

 (also the first prime minister of Romania), Vasile Alecsandri
Vasile Alecsandri
Vasile Alecsandri was a Romanian poet, playwright, politician, and diplomat. He collected Romanian folk songs and was one of the principal animators of the 19th century movement for Romanian cultural identity and union of Moldavia and Wallachia....

, Nicolae Bălcescu
Nicolae Balcescu
Nicolae Bălcescu was a Romanian Wallachian soldier, historian, journalist, and leader of the 1848 Wallachian Revolution.-Early life:...

, Ion Luca Caragiale
Ion Luca Caragiale
Ion Luca Caragiale was a Wallachian-born Romanian playwright, short story writer, poet, theater manager, political commentator and journalist...

, and Ion Creangă
Ion Creanga
Ion Creangă was a Moldavian-born Romanian writer, raconteur and schoolteacher. A main figure in 19th century Romanian literature, he is best known for his Childhood Memories volume, his novellas and short stories, and his many anecdotes...

.
The first half of the 20th century is regarded by many scholars as the Golden Age of Romanian culture, as it is the period when it reached its greatest level of international affirmation and enjoyed a strong connection to Western European cultural
Culture of Europe
The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of North as opposed to South; West as opposed to East; Orthodoxism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Catholicism as opposed to Secularism; many have claimed to identify cultural...

 trends. Notably, figures such as Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara was a Romanian and French avant-garde poet, essayist and performance artist. Also active as a journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director, he was known best for being one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement...

 and Marcel Janco
Marcel Janco
Marcel Janco was a Romanian and Israeli visual artist, architect, art theorist and cultural promoter, known as the co-inventor of Dadaism and a leading exponent of Constructivism in Eastern Europe. His first contribution came in the 1910s, when he joined up with poets Tristan Tzara and Ion Vinea...

 pioneered the anti-war Dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 movement beginning with the First World War. The most prominent Romanian artist of this time, however, was sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi
Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brâncuşi was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. As a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest, then to Munich, then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris...

, a central figure of the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction. His works present a blend of simplicity and sophistication that led the way for modernist
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 sculptors. As a testimony to his skill, one of his pieces, Bird in Space
Bird in Space
Bird in Space is a series of sculptures by Constantin Brâncuşi, a Romanian sculptor. The original work was created in 1923...

, was sold in an auction for $27.5 million in 2005, a record for any sculpture. In the interwar years, Romanian literature was greatly expanded through the works of, among others, Tudor Arghezi
Tudor Arghezi
Tudor Arghezi was a Romanian writer, best known for his contribution to poetry and children's literature. Born Ion N. Theodorescu in Bucharest , he explained that his pen name was related to Argesis, the Latin name for the Argeş River.-Early life:Along with Mihai Eminescu, Mateiu Caragiale, and...

, Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day...

, Lucian Blaga
Lucian Blaga
-Biography:Lucian Blaga was a commanding personality of the Romanian culture of the interbellum period. He was a philosopher and writer higly acclaimed for his originality, a university professor and a diplomat. He was born on May 9, 1895 in Lancrăm, near Alba Iulia, Romania, his father being an...

, George Bacovia
George Bacovia
George Bacovia was a Romanian symbolist poet. While he initially belonged to the local Symbolist movement, his poetry came to be seen as a precursor of Romanian Modernism and eventually established him in critical esteem alongside Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga and Ion Barbu as one of the most...

, Eugen Barbu
Eugen Barbu
Eugen Barbu was a Romanian modern novelist, short story writer, journalist, and correspondent member of the Romanian Academy. The latter position was vehemently criticized by those who contended that he plagiarized in his novel Incognito and for the anti-Semitic campaigns he initiated in the...

 and Liviu Rebreanu
Liviu Rebreanu
Liviu Rebreanu was a Romanian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and journalist.- Life :Born in Târlișua , Transylvania, then part of Austria-Hungary, he was the second of thirteen children born to Vasile Rebreanu, a schoolteacher, and Ludovica Diuganu, descendants of peasants...

.

After the World Wars, Communism brought 'absolute' censorship and used the cultural world as well as a means to tightly control the population in addition to the much feared "Securitate" paramilitary organization, numerous formers and their informers. Freedom of expression was constantly restricted in various ways, but the likes of Gellu Naum
Gellu Naum
Gellu Naum was a prominent Romanian poet, dramatist, novelist, children's writer, and translator. He is remembered as the founder of the Romanian Surrealist group...

, Nichita Stănescu
Nichita Stanescu
Nichita Stănescu was a Romanian poet and essayist. He is the most acclaimed contemporary Romanian language poet, loved by the public and generally held in esteem by literary critics.-Biography:...

, Marin Sorescu
Marin Sorescu
- Biography :Born to a family of farmworkers in Bulzeşti, Dolj County, Sorescu graduated from the primary school in his home village. After that he went to the Buzesti Brothers High School in Craiova, after which he was transferred to the Predeal Military School. His final education was at the...

 or Marin Preda
Marin Preda
Marin Preda was a Romanian novelist, one of the best-known post-WWII Romanian writers.Preda was born in Teleorman county, in a village called Siliştea-Gumeşti, into a family of peasants. He first studied at school in his home village, then schools in Abrud and Cristur-Odorhei...

 managed to escape censorship, broke with "socialist realism
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

" and were the leaders of a small "Renaissance" in Romanian literature. While not many of them managed to obtain international acclaim due to censorship, some, like Constantin Noica
Constantin Noica
Constantin Noica was a Romanian philosopher, essayist and poet. His preoccupations were throughout all philosophy, from epistemology, philosophy of culture, axiology and philosophic anthropology to ontology and logics, from the history of philosophy to systematic philosophy, from ancient to...

, Paul Goma
Paul Goma
Paul Goma is a Romanian writer, also known for his activities as a dissident and leading opponent of the communist regime before 1989. Forced into exile by the communist authorities, he became a political refugee and currently resides in France as a stateless person...

 and Mircea Cărtărescu
Mircea Cartarescu
Mircea Cărtărescu is a Romanian poet, novelist and essayist.Born in Bucharest, he graduated from the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Letters, Department of Romanian Language And Literature, in 1980. Between 1980 and 1989 he worked as a Romanian language teacher, then he worked at the Writers'...

, had their works published abroad even though they were jailed for various political reasons.

Some artists chose to leave the country for good and continued to make contributions in exile. Among them Eugen Ionescu, Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day...

 and Emil Cioran
Emil Cioran
-Early life:Emil M. Cioran was born in Răşinari, Sibiu County, which was part of Austria-Hungary at the time. His father, Emilian Cioran, was a Romanian Orthodox priest, while his mother, Elvira Cioran , was originally from Veneţia de Jos, a commune near Făgăraş.After studying humanities at the...

 became renowned internationally for their works. Other literary figures who enjoy acclaim outside of the country include the poet Paul Celan
Paul Celan
Paul Celan was a poet and translator...

 and Nobel
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 laureate Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel
Sir Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE; born September 30, 1928) is a Hungarian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and...

, both survivors of the Holocaust. The novelist, poet and essayist Herta Müller
Herta Müller
Herta Müller is a Romanian-born German novelist, poet and essayist noted for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, usually in the setting of Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime which she experienced herself...

 also received the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 in 2009.

Romanian contemporary cinema has achieved worldwide acclaim with the appearance of such films as The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is a 2005 Romanian dark comedy film by director Cristi Puiu. In the film an old man is carried by an ambulance from hospital to hospital all night long, as doctors keep refusing to treat him and send him away....

, directed by Cristi Puiu
Cristi Puiu
Cristi Puiu is a Romanian film director and screenwriter.Puiu's first interest in art was painting and in 1992, he was admitted as a student at the Painting Department of Ecole Superieure d'Arts Visuels in Geneva. After the first year he switched to film studies at the same school and graduated in...

, (Cannes 2005
2005 Cannes Film Festival
The 2005 Cannes Film Festival started on May 11 and ran until May 22. Twenty movies from 13 countries were selected to compete. The awards were announced on May 21...

 Prix un certain regard winner) and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a 2007 Romanian film written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. It won the Palme d'Or and the FIPRESCI Award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival....

, directed by Cristian Mungiu (Cannes 2007
2007 Cannes Film Festival
The 2007 Cannes Film Festival, the sixtieth, ran from 16 to 27 May 2007. Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights opened the festival, and Denys Arcand's The Age of Ignorance closed...

 Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 winner). The latter, according to Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

, is "further proof of Romania's new prominence
Romanian New Wave
The Romanian New Wave is a blanket term applied to a torrent of internationally acclaimed films made in Romania from the mid 2000s, starting with Trafic, which won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival...

 in the film world." Also, the cinematographic drama
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

 If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle is a 2010 Romanian drama film directed by Florin Şerban.-Plot:Romanian youth Silviu serves a four-year prison sentence. A few days before his release, his younger brother visits him and tells him that their mother has returned, who has found work in Italy and will...

 directed by Florin Şerban
Florin Şerban
Florin Şerban is a Romanian film director whose film If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle won the Jury Grand Prix and the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2010 Berlin Film festival...

 was nominated for the Golden Bear
Golden Bear
According to legend, the Golden Bear was a large golden Ursus arctos. Members of the Ursus arctos species can reach masses of . The Grizzly Bear and the Kodiak Bear are North American subspecies of the Brown Bear....

 at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival
60th Berlin International Film Festival
The 60th annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to February 21, 2010, with Werner Herzog as President of the Jury. The opening film of the festival was Chinese director Wang Quan'an's romantic drama Apart Together, in competition, while the closing film is Japanese...

 and won the Jury Grand Prix
Jury Grand Prix
The Jury Grand Prix is a Silver Bear award given by the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival to one of the feature films in competition...

 (the Silver Bear).

Music


The first half of the 20th century saw the rise of George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.-Biography:Enescu was born in the village of Liveni , Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical...

, Romania's greatest composer. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical composition at the age of five and became an accomplished composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

ist, pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

, conductor
Conducting
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

 and teacher. The annual George Enescu Festival
George Enescu Festival
The George Enescu Festival , held in honor of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu, is the biggest classical music festival and classical international competition held in Romania and one of the biggest in Eastern Europe...

 is held in Bucharest in his honor. Also active in this period was Dinu Lipatti
Dinu Lipatti
Dinu Lipatti was a Romanian classical pianist and composer whose career was cut short by his death from Hodgkin's disease at age 33. He was elected posthumously to the Romanian Academy.-Biography:...

, a pianist notable for his interpretations of Chopin, Mozart and Bach
Bạch
Bạch is a Vietnamese surname. The name is transliterated as Bai in Chinese and Baek, in Korean.Bach is the anglicized variation of the surname Bạch.-Notable people with the surname Bạch:* Bạch Liêu...

.

Some famous postwar Romanian musicians are folk artists Maria Tănase
Maria Tanase
Maria Tănase was a renowned Romanian singer of Romanian traditional or non-contemporary folklore.-Biography:Born in the Bucharest suburb of Cărămidari, Maria Tănase's Primary School was nr. 11 Tăbăcari. She made her stage debut in Cărămidarii de Jos, at the Ion Heliade Rădulescu High School...

, Tudor Gheorghe
Tudor Gheorghe
Tudor Gheorghe is a Romanian musician, actor and poet known primarily for his politically charged musical career and his collaborations with well known figures of late 20th century Romanian poetry. Tudor's recording work is often associated with anti communist activism and has received much...

, and virtuoso of the pan flute
Pan flute
The pan flute or pan pipe is an ancient musical instrument based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting usually of five or more pipes of gradually increasing length...

 Gheorghe Zamfir
Gheorghe Zamfir
Gheorghe Zamfir is a Romanian pan flute musician.Zamfir is known for playing an expanded version of the traditional Romanian-style pan flute of 20 pipes to 22, 25, 28 and 30 pipes to increase its range, and obtaining as many as eight overtones from each pipe by changing the embouchure.He is...

, the latter having sold over 120 million albums worldwide.

Artists from Romania have recently begun to inch their way onto the international pop music scene, scoring millions of views on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 and selling hundreds of thousands of singles. Among the best known are Edward Maya
Edward Maya
Eduard Marian Ilie , better known as Edward Maya, is a Romanian musician, producer, performer, and composer...

 and Inna
Inna
Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu , best known as Inna, is a Romanian dance music singer. On November 12, 2008, she released her debut single "Hot", which was produced by Play & Win, a Romanian dance music trio and one of the leading music producers in Romania...

.

Maya's "Stereo Love
Stereo Love
"Stereo Love" is a 2009 song recorded by Romanian musician Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina, released as his debut single in late 2009 from his album The Stereo Love Show. The refrain is from "Bayatılar", composed by Azerbaijani musician Eldar Mansurov...

" became the first number one song in Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

s year-end Dance Airplay
Hot Dance Airplay
Dance/Mix Show Airplay is a monitored electronic dance music radio chart that is featured weekly in Billboard magazine. The chart came about as a result of the small but influential impact of electronic dance music on the radio in the United States and the stations that program it...

 chart to have reached number one three times in its chart run, while competing in a line-up that included Lady Gaga
Lady GaGa
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta , better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to...

. Since the 2009 release of "Stereo Love
Stereo Love
"Stereo Love" is a 2009 song recorded by Romanian musician Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina, released as his debut single in late 2009 from his album The Stereo Love Show. The refrain is from "Bayatılar", composed by Azerbaijani musician Eldar Mansurov...

", the Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

-born composer has won gold and platinum albums from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and toured clubs as far away as India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Inna
Inna
Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu , best known as Inna, is a Romanian dance music singer. On November 12, 2008, she released her debut single "Hot", which was produced by Play & Win, a Romanian dance music trio and one of the leading music producers in Romania...

, however, has been the most successful, having sold nearly two million singles worldwide, notably in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Inna has had more than 114 million views on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 for her hits like "Amazing
Amazing (Inna song)
"Amazing" is an electro-house song by Romanian recording artist Inna, from her debut album "Hot". The song debuted on Radio 21 FM on August 6, 2009, and was released in October 2009. It brought Inna the first number-one single in her home country Romania. It was released as her fourth single in...

", "Sun Is Up
Sun is Up
"Sun Is Up" is a song by Romanian recording artist Inna from her second studio album, I Am the Club Rocker. In the United Kingdom, the song will serve as Inna's fifth single to be taken from her debut album, Hot. The song was written and produced by Play & Win and was officially sent to Romanian...

", "Hot
Hot (Inna song)
"Hot" is a song by Romanian recording artist Inna from her debut studio album, Hot. It was released on November 12, 2008 by Roton Records as the lead single from the album. Produced and written by Sebastian Barac, Radu Bolfea and Marcel Botezan of Play & Win, "Hot" is an uptempo electro house song...

", "10 Minutes
10 Minutes
10 Minutes is a 2002 short film contrasting ten minutes in the life of a Japanese tourist in Rome with the bloody drama of a Bosnian family taking place at the same time less than an hour away in the besieged city of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War...

" or "Club Rocker
Club Rocker
"Club Rocker" is an electropop song by Romanian recording artist Inna. The song is included on her second full length studio album, entitled I Am The Club Rocker!. "Club Rocker" will serve as the third single from the album, whilst in Western Europe it will serve as the lead single, after "Sun Is...

" and more than two million fans on Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. Alexandra Stan
Alexandra Stan
Alexandra Stan is a Romanian singer-songwriter. She released her debut single in late 2009. The song impacted Romanian mainstream radios in early 2010, peaking at number-eighteen. Her sophomore release, "Mr...

, also a very popular singer has managed millions of views on YouTube and has won many song contests in countries like Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 or United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. She has also put together her first album consisting of songs such as "Mr. Saxobeat
Mr. Saxobeat
"Mr. Saxobeat" is an eurodance —Hi-NRG song by Romanian recording artist Alexandra Stan taken off her debut studio album Saxobeats . "Mr. Saxobeat" is an up-tempo Eurodance song with house elements. The song contains a love message, where Stan speaks of a man she is attracted to and the way he...

". The single
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

 "Get Back (ASAP)
Get Back (ASAP)
"Get Back " is an up-tempo song by Romanian recording artist Alexandra Stan, released in 2011. It serves as her third single in Romania and as her second single in countries such as Belgium, France or Italy. It is the follow-up to "Mr. Saxobeat" which was Alexandra Stan's first hit outside Romania,...

" was awarded in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 with Platinum Disc
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

, for sales of over 60,000 copies, also Inna being awarded with Gold Discs
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 in Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Mihai Trăistariu
Mihai Traistariu
Mihai Trăistariu is a Romanian singer and musician. He represented Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 held in Athens, Greece, with the song "Tornero". Since that competition the song has been broadcast in over 30 countries in Europe.- Biography :...

 is the Romanian singer with most international performances. His song, "Tornerò
Tornerò
Tornerò was the Romanian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, performed in English and Italian by Mihai Trăistariu and composed by Mihai Traistariu and Eduard Cîrcotă. Tornero was ranked first in the Romanian national selection on 26 February 2006, receiving 22 points in total.The song is an...

", was ranked the fourth place at Eurovision Song Contest 2006
Eurovision Song Contest 2006
The Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was the 51st Eurovision Song Contest, held at the Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece on 18 May and 20 May 2006 . The hosting national broadcaster of the contest was Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi . The Finnish band Lordi won the contest with the song "Hard Rock...

, with 172 points. He has sold over 1.5 million albums in Romania and abroad. Also, Paula Seling
Paula Seling
Paula Seling is a Romanian singer, composer, and radio DJ.She represented Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, with Ovidiu Cernăuțeanu, with the song "Playing with Fire". They finished third in the final.-Early life:...

 and Ovi Martin
Ovidiu Cernăuţeanu
Ovidiu Cernăuţeanu is a Romanian-Norwegian singer, also known as Ovi Martin, Ovidiu Jacobsen, or just Ovi.-Eurovision Song Contest 2010:...

 were ranked third place at televoting results of Eurovision Song Contest 2010
Eurovision Song Contest 2010
The Eurovision Song Contest 2010 was the 55th annual Eurovision Song Contest, broadcast from the Telenor Arena in Bærum, Greater Oslo, Norway. It was the third time Norway had hosted the contest, having previously done so in 1986 and 1996. The 2010 winner was Germany with Lena singing "Satellite",...

, with 162 points.

Monuments


The list of World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s includes Romanian sites such as the Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania
Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania
Saxon and Székely Transylvanian villages were often organised around a fortified church. With its more than 150 well preserved fortified churches of a great variety of architectural styles , south-eastern Transylvania region in Romania currently has one of the highest numbers of existing fortified...

, the Painted churches of northern Moldavia
Painted churches of northern Moldavia
The Churches of Moldavia are eight Romanian Orthodox churches in Suceava County, Romania in northern Moldavia, built approximately between 1487 and 1583.Since 1993, they have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site...

 with their fine exterior and interior frescoes, the Wooden Churches of Maramureş
Wooden Churches of Maramures
The Wooden Churches of Maramureş in the Maramureş region of northern Transylvania are a group of almost one hundred churches of different architectural solutions from different periods and areas. They are Orthodox churches. The Maramureş churches are high timber constructions with characteristic...

 unique examples that combine Gothic style with traditional timber construction, the Monastery of Horezu
Monastery of Horezu
The Monastery of Horezu was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the town of Horezu, Wallachia, Romania. It is considered to be a masterpiece of "Brâncovenesc style", known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious...

, the citadel of Sighişoara
Sighisoara
Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 27,706 ....

, and the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains
Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains
Built in murus dacicus style, the six Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, in Romania, were created in the 1st centuries BC and AD as protection against Roman conquest....

.

Peleş Castle
Peles Castle
Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914...

 (Sinaia
Sinaia
Sinaia is a town and a mountain resort in Prahova County, Romania. The town was named after Sinaia Monastery, around which it was built; the monastery in turn is named after the Biblical Mount Sinai...

), built between 1873–1914, is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Romania and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. Unique architecture and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 gilded rooms attract thousands of visitors daily. Voroneţ Monastery
Voronet Monastery
Voroneț is a monastery in Romania, located in the town of Gura Humorului, Moldavia. It is one of the famous painted monasteries from southern Bukovina, in Suceava County...

, built in 1488, is one of the most valuable foundations of Stephen the Great. Also, Unirii Square is the treasure in the heart of Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

, on which rises the St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, guarded by two "twin" buildings on the eastern side. Located at 29.7 km (18 mi) from Braşov
Brasov
Brașov is a city in Romania and the capital of Brașov County.According to the last Romanian census, from 2002, there were 284,596 people living within the city of Brașov, making it the 8th most populated city in Romania....

, between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bran Castle
Bran Castle
Bran Castle , situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73...

 is a major national monument and tourist landmark. Built by Saxons in the 14th century, today it hosts an art and furniture collection by Queen Marie
Marie of Romania
Marie of Romania was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand I of Romania.-Early life:...

, but is also marketed as the legendary residence of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Romania's contribution to the World Heritage List stands out because it consists of some groups of monuments scattered around the country, rather than one or two special landmarks. Also, in 2007, the city of Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

, famous for its Brukenthal National Museum
Brukenthal National Museum
The Brukenthal National Museum is a museum, erected in the late of 15th century in Sibiu, Romania, housed in the palace of Samuel von Brukenthal — who was Habsburg governor of Transylvania and who established its first collections around 1790...

, was the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 alongside the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

.

Sports


Oină
Oina
Oină is a Romanian traditional sport, similar in many ways to baseball and lapta.-History:Oină was first mentioned during the rule of Vlaicu Vodă in 1364, when it spread all across Wallachia...

 is a traditional Romanian sporting game continuously practiced at least since the 14th century, pursuant to chronicles and charters, first official documentary attestation dating since 1364, during the reign of Vladislav I of Wallachia
Vladislav I of Wallachia
Vladislav I of the Basarab dynasty, also known as Vlaicu-Vodă, was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia . He was a vassal of the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Alexander. In 1369 Vladislav I subdued Vidin and recognised Louis I of Hungary as his overlord in return for Severin, Amlaş, and Făgăraş...

. Oină is a sporting game practiced outdoors, on a rectangular field, preferably covered with grass, between two teams of eleven players. The game requires for complex sports skills and is similar to sports common in other countries, such as German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Schlagball, Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 palsepool, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 jeu de paume
Jeu de paume
Jeu de paume is a ball-and-court game that originated in France. It was an indoor precursor of tennis played without racquets, though these were eventually introduced. It is a former Olympic sport, and has the oldest ongoing annual world championship in sport, first established over 250 years ago...

, respectively Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 cluiche corr. Oină underlying the baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, being borrowed from the period in which it not evolved enough, compared to contemporary period, in which oină represents an extremely complex game.

Association football is the most popular sport in Romania. The governing body is the Romanian Football Federation
Romanian Football Federation
The Romanian Football Federation is the governing body of football in Romania. It organizes the Romania national football team and most of the Romanian football competitions. It is based in the Romanian capital city of Bucharest...

, which belongs to UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

.

At the international level, the Romanian National Football Team
Romania national football team
The Romania national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation.Romania is one of only four national teams, the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium, that took part in the first three World Cups.However, after that...

 has taken part seven times in the Football World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

. It had its most successful period in the 1990s, when during the 1994 World Cup in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Romania reached the quarter-finals and was ranked sixth by FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

.

The core player of this "Golden Generation
Golden Generation
In sport, a golden generation is an exceptionally gifted group of players of similar age, whose achievements reach or are expected to reach a level of success beyond that which their team had previously achieved...

" and perhaps the best known Romanian player internationally is Gheorghe Hagi
Gheorghe Hagi
Gheorghe Hagi is a former Romanian footballer. He was famous for his passing, close control, long shots and was regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s and is considered the greatest Romanian footballer of all time...

 (nicknamed the Maradona of the Carpathians).

Famous currently active players are Adrian Mutu
Adrian Mutu
Adrian Mutu is a Romanian footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Cesena.-Argeş Piteşti:Mutu began his professional career with his home club Argeş Piteşti...

 and Cristian Chivu
Cristian Chivu
Cristian Eugen Chivu is a Romanian footballer. He currently plays for Internazionale of the Italian Serie A. He usually plays as a left back but can play as a center back as well as in defensive midfield when needed....

.

The most famous football club is Steaua Bucureşti, who in 1986 became the first Eastern European club ever to win
European Cup 1985-86
The 1985–86 European Cup was the 31st season of UEFA's premier club football tournament, the European Cup. The European Champion Clubs' Cup was won by Steaua Bucharest on penalties in a final against Barcelona...

 the prestigious European Champions Cup
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 title, and who played the final again in 1989
European Cup 1988-89
The season 1988–89 of the European Cup football club tournament was won for the first time since 1969, and third time overall, by AC Milan comfortably in the final against former winners Steaua Bucureşti...

. Another successful Romanian team Dinamo Bucureşti played a semifinal in the European Champions Cup in 1984 and a Cup Winners Cup semifinal in the 1990. Other important Romanian football clubs are Rapid Bucureşti, CFR 1907 Cluj-Napoca and FC Universitatea Craiova
FC Universitatea Craiova
Fotbal Club Universitatea Craiova is a Romanian professional football club from Craiova. They became the first Romanian football team to reach the semi-finals of a European tournament, during the UEFA Cup in 1982–83...

.
Tennis is the second most popular sport in terms of registered sportsmen. Romania reached the Davis Cup
Davis Cup
The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from competing countries in a knock-out format. The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Britain and the United States. By...

 finals three times (1969, 1971, 1972). The tennis player Ilie Năstase
Ilie Nastase
Ilie Nastase is a Romanian former professional tennis player, one of the world's top players of the 1970s. Năstase was the World No. 1 tennis player between 1973 and 1974 . He is one of the five players in history to win more than 100 ATP professional titles . He was inducted into the...

 won several Grand Slam
Grand Slam (tennis)
The four Major tennis tournaments, also called the Slams, are the most important tennis events of the year in terms of world tour ranking points, tradition, prize-money awarded, strength and size of player field, and public attention. They are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and...

 titles and dozens of other tournaments, and was the first player to be ranked as number 1 by ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

 from 1973 to 1974. His doubles and Davis Cup Partner as well as mentor, Ion Ţiriac
Ion Tiriac
Ion Țiriac is a Romanian former tennis player and businessman. He is also the current owner of the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open.-Sports career:...

 is now the most successful businessman in the country. Virginia Ruzici
Virginia Ruzici
Virginia Ruzici is a former professional tennis player from Romania. She was born in Câmpia Turzii, Romania and turned professional in 1975. One of her main assets on court was her powerful forehand....

 won the French Open in 1978, while in 1980 she was runner-up. Florenţa Mihai
Florenta Mihai
Florenţa Mihai is a former female tennis player from Romania.She was the runner-up in two events at the 1977 French Open. She lost in the singles final to Mima Jaušovec...

 was another female tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 player from Romania who played the final of the French Open in 1977. The Romanian Open is held every fall in Bucharest since 1993.

Popular team sport
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

s are rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 (national rugby team
Romania national rugby union team
The Romania national rugby union team , nicknamed The Oaks , is the representative side of Romania in rugby union. Long considered one of the stronger European teams outside the Six Nations, they have participated in all six Rugby World Cups, and currently compete in the first division of the...

 has so far competed at every
National team appearances in the Rugby World Cup
This article lists the début of national teams that have so far qualified for the Rugby World Cup and their number of appearances.-Début of national teams:25 nations have thus far qualified for the Rugby World Cup...

 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby union competition organised by the International Rugby Board and held every four years since 1987....

), basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

. The Romania national handball team
Romania national handball team
The Romania national handball team is the national handball team of Romania. Controlled by the Romanian Handball Federation it represents Romania in international matches....

 is a four-time world champion team, with Sweden and France (record holder), while Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea
CS Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea
CS Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea is a Romanian women's handball club from Râmnicu Vâlcea, that plays in the Liga Naţională and in the EHF Women's Champions League....

 is a top team in women's handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

.

Some popular individual sport
Individual sport
-Examples:Examples of individual sports include:*Archery*Athletics*Bodybuilding*Badminton*Boomerang*Boxing*Chess*Croquet*Cycling*Darts*Equestrian*Fencing*Figure Skating*Golf*Gymnastics*Knife Throwing*Krav Maga*Judo*Lawn Bowls*Orienteering*Pilates...

s are: athletics, chess, sport dance, and martial arts and other fighting sports. Fighting sports are actually popular in Romania, especially in the TV broadcastings. Famous boxers include Nicolae Linca
Nicolae Linca
Nicolae Linca Nicolae Linca Nicolae Linca (1 January 1929 in Cergăul Mare (village now incorporated in the town of Blaj, Alba County, Romania – 27 June 2008 in Feisa, Alba County, Romania) was a Romanian amateur boxer and Romania's first olympic boxing champion....

, Francisc Vaştag
Francisc Vastag
Francisc Vaştag was the first Romanian boxer to win the supreme belt in his category. His victory greatly stimulated boxing in Romania. The champion boxer Adrian Diaconu said that he considers Vaştag to be a brother and mentor.-References:**...

, Mihai Leu
Mihai Leu
Mihai Leu also known as Michael Loewe is a Romanian former professional boxer who lived and fought out of Hamburg, Germany. He is the former WBO Welterweight Champion....

, Leonard Doroftei
Leonard Doroftei
Leonard Dorin Doroftei is a Romanian-Canadian former boxer, the WBA Lightweight World Champion from 5 January 2002 to 24 October 2003.-Amateur highlights:...

, Adrian Diaconu
Adrian Diaconu
Adrian Diaconu is a Romanian professional boxer, living and fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada...

 and Lucian Bute
Lucian Bute
Lucian Bute is a Romanian-Canadian professional boxer, currently based in Montreal, Canada. Bute is the current IBF Super Middleweight champion...

, while Daniel Ghiţă
Daniel Ghita
Daniel Ghiţă is a Romanian super heavyweight kickboxer. He is a former WKN European Muaythai champion, currently competing in the K-1, It's Showtime and Local Kombat promotions...

 became the first Romanian kickboxer to qualify for the K-1 World Grand Prix Final
K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final
K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final was a martial arts event that was held by the K-1 on Saturday, December 11, 2010. It was the 18th K-1 World GP Final, the culmination of a year full of regional elimination tournaments...

. Famous athletes with outstanding results in this sport were: Iolanda Balaş
Iolanda Balas
Iolanda Balaş is a former Romanian athlete of Hungarian descent, Olympic champion and world record holder in high jump, who is considered one of the greatest high jumpers ever.-Early life:...

, Lia Manoliu
Lia Manoliu
Lia Manoliu was a Romanian discus thrower who won three Olympic medals, including one gold. She was the first Track & Field athlete to compete at six Olympics....

, Doina Melinte
Doina Melinte
Doina Ofelia Melinte is a retired Romanian athlete.She won gold medals over 1500 metres at the European Indoor Championships in 1985, 1988 and 1990, the latter race even being a European record time with 4:00.27...

, Viorica Viscopoleanu
Viorica Viscopoleanu
Viorica Viscopoleanu is a Romanian athlete who competed mainly in the long jump.She was born in Budinet, then in Romania, now in Ukraine....

, Mihaela Peneş
Mihaela Penes
Mihaela Peneş is a former track and field athlete from Romania, who competed mainly in the javelin throw.She competed for Romania at the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan in the javelin, where she won the gold medal ahead of Hungary's Márta Rudas...

, Argentina Menis
Argentina Menis
Argentina Menis is a Romanian athlete who competed mainly in the discus throw event.She competed for Romania at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany where she won the silver medal in the women's discus throw competition.- References :*...

, Ileana Silai, Anişoara Cuşmir, Maricica Puică
Maricica Puica
Maricica Puică is a Romanian former middle distance athlete, who won the 3000 meters gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, a race also remembered for the collision of Mary Decker and Zola Budd....

, Paula Ivan
Paula Ivan
-References:...

, Gabriela Szabo
Gabriela Szabo
Gabriela Szabo is a Romanian track and field athlete, winner of the gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics in 5000 m and winner of bronze and silver medals in 1996 Summer Olympics and 2000 Summer Olympics in 1500 m, respectively....

, Lidia Simon
Lidia Simon
Lidia Slavuteanu-Simon is a Romanian long-distance runner. She has represented Romania on four consecutive occasions at Olympic level and is a six-time participant at the World Championships in Athletics....

 and lately Monica Iagăr
Monica Iagar
Monica Dinescu-Iagăr is a Romanian athlete competing in high jump. Her personal best jump is 2.02 metres....

, Marian Oprea
Marian Oprea
Marian Oprea is a Romanian athlete, competing in triple jump, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. His personal best is 17.81 meters....

, Mihaela Melinte
Mihaela Melinte
Mihaela Melinte is a Romanian hammer thrower. She holds the world junior record, and with 76.07 metres she held the world record until Tatyana Lysenko beat it in July 2005...

 or Constantina Diţă-Tomescu.

Romanian gymnastics
Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and balance. Internationally, all of the gymnastic sports are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique with each country having its own national governing body...

 has had a large number of successes – for which the country became known worldwide. In the 1976 Summer Olympics
1976 Summer Olympics
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1976. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games on May 12, 1970, at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam, over the bids of Moscow and...

, the gymnast Nadia Comăneci
Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Elena Comăneci is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is also the winner of two gold medals at the 1980 Summer...

 became the first gymnast ever to score a perfect ten in an Olympic event. She also won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, all at the age of fifteen. Her success continued in the 1980 Summer Olympics
1980 Summer Olympics
The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Moscow in the Soviet Union. In addition, the yachting events were held in Tallinn, and some of the preliminary matches and the quarter-finals of the football tournament...

, where she was awarded two gold medals and two silver medals. In her career she won 30 medals, of which 21 were gold.

Romania participated for the first time in the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 in 1900 and has taken part in 18 of the 24 summer games. Romania has been one of the more successful countries at the Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 (15th overall) with a total of 283 medals won throughout the years, 82 of which are gold medals.

Traditions



Along with religious aspects, in Romania, the Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 symbolizes the rebirth and the renewal of daily life. It's usual like in the Easter morning, after the returning of villagers from churches, children go to neighbors' homes, to bring luck and wealth, in exchange for a red egg. Also, in the Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

, young people carol the village homes, hosts giving in exchange nuts, sponge cakes, apples, pretzels and other delicacies. The Star boys' singing procession
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivity. In the week between Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 and New Year
New Year
The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

, in all villages, groups of lads prepare for "bid", complex system of customs and habits. On the evening, in the eve of respective year which arises promising, are expected to occur "Ursul", "Capra", "Bunghierii", "Căiuţii", "Malanca", "Jienii", "Mascaţii" and others.

The Romanian folkloric costumes
Romanian dress
Romanian dress refers to the traditional clothing worn by Romanians, who live primarily in Romania and Moldova, with smaller communities in Ukraine and Serbia. Today, a strong majority of Romanians wear Western-style dress on most occasions, and the garments described here largely fell out of use...

 characterize own attributes of the Romanian people and contribute essentially at the definition of ethnic specificity. Closely related to human existence, the folkloric costume reflected over time, as reflected nowadays, mentality and artistic conception of the people. The folkloric costume has been developed with history, being a genuine expression of coherent tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

s throughout centuries. Distinct clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 ornamentation, traditional methods used for sewing and tailoring the pieces of clothing, and wide variety of costumes from one region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 to another customize the defining spirit of the Romanian people.

Also, the folklore of Romania
Folklore of Romania
A feature of Romanian culture is the special relationship between folklore and the learned culture, determined by two factors. First, the rural character of the Romanian communities resulted in an exceptionally vital and creative traditional culture. Folk creations were the main literary genre...

 is defined by its mythology
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

, branch of folk literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 that integrates a variety of ancestral habits, tales, fable
Fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

s and ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s, whose authors are anonymous. The rural character of the Romanian communities resulted in an exceptionally vital and creative traditional culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. So, in Romanian mythology were conceived fabulous beings, unreal characters endowed with supernatural powers. These include Baba Cloanţa, a misshapen and recondite witch, Iele
Iele
The Iele are feminine mythical creatures In Romanian mythology. There are several differing descriptions of their characteristics. Often they are described as virgin fairies , with great seductive power over men, with magic skills and attributes similar to the Ancient Greek Nymphs, Naiads and...

, inconstant virgins endowed with unapproachable ability of seduction and superhuman features, Muma Pădurii
Muma Padurii
In Romanian folklore, Muma Pădurii is an ugly and mean old woman living in the forest.Muma Pădurii literally means "the Mother of the Forest", though "mumă" is an archaic version of "mamă" , which has a fairy-tale overtone for the Romanian reader...

, a hag
Hag
A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children's tales such as Hansel and Gretel. Hags are often seen as malevolent, but may also be one of the chosen forms of shapeshifting deities, such as the Morrígan or...

 that lives in deep forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

, Strigoi
Strigoi
In Romanian mythology, strigoi are the troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave. Some strigoi can be living people with certain magical properties. Some of the properties of the strigoi include: the ability to transform into an animal, invisibility, and the propensity to drain the vitality...

, troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave and Făt-Frumos
Fat-Frumos
Făt-Frumos is a knight hero in Romanian folklore, usually present in fairy tales....

, a knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

 hero that fights with griffons
Balaur
A balaur is a creature in Romanian folklore, similar to a European dragon. A bălaur is quite large, has fins, feet, and is polycephalous...

, dragons
Zmeu
The Zmeu is a fantastic creature of Romanian folklore and Romanian mythology. Sometimes compared to other fantastic creatures, such as the balaur or the vârcolac, the zmeu is nevertheless distinct, because it usually has clear anthropomorphic traits: it is humanoid and has legs, arms, the ability...

 and witches to liberate his heart chosen, Ileana Cosânzeana
Ileana Cosânzeana
Ileana Cosânzeana is a figure in Romanian mythology. This mythological personage is represented as a beautiful good-natured princess. Unlike in most fairy tales, where the princess is blonde, Ileana Cosânzeana is usually a brunette...

. The words "longing" and "mourning" have correspondent in another language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

, but the nonfigurative character remains undecipherable and define specificity of the Romanian soul. Doina
Doina
The Doina is a Romanian musical tune style, with Middle Eastern roots, that can be found in Romanian peasant music, as well as in Lăutărească and Klezmer music.-Origins and characteristics:...

, characteristic only Romanian literary folklore, represents the lyric creation that Romanian expresses the most varied and complex range of feelings, strongly rooted in his spiritual structure. In the Romanian folkloric tradition, "doina" was played mainly orally or accompanied by a single instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

, being the song of elegy
Elegy
In literature, an elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.-History:The Greek term elegeia originally referred to any verse written in elegiac couplets and covering a wide range of subject matter, including epitaphs for tombs...

, played for self comforting and not intended for festive events because of its sober nature.

Cuisine


Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character. It has been greatly influenced by Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine is the cuisine of the Ottoman Empire and its successors in Anatolia, the Balkans, and much of the Middle East.- Description :...

 but also includes influences from the cuisines of other neighbours, such as the Greeks (musaca
Moussaka
Moussaka is an eggplant based dish of the Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East. The best known variation outside the region is the Greek one.-Names and etymology:...

), Bulgarians
Bulgarian cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe. Essentially South Slavic, it shares characteristics with other Balkans cuisines...

 (zacuscă
Zacusca
Zacuscă is a vegetable spread very popular in Romania. Similar spreads are found in other countries throughout, or bordering, the Balkans.-Recipe:...

), Turks
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

 (pilaf
Pilaf
Pilaf is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth . In some cases, the rice may also attain its brown color by being stirred with bits of cooked onion, as well as a large mix of spices...

), and Hungarians (langoşi
Lángos
Lángos is a Hungarian food speciality, a deep fried flat bread made of a dough with flour, yeast, salt and water.-Variations:Lángos can be made with yoghurt, sour cream or milk instead of water, a dash of sugar along with salt and sometimes with flour and boiled mashed potatoes, which is called...

). Quite different types of dishes are sometimes included under a generic term; for example, the category ciorbă
Ciorba
Ciorbă , from Persian, via the Turkish word çorba is a general Romanian word describing sour soups consisting of various vegetables and meat...

 includes a wide range of soups with a characteristic sour taste. These may be meat and vegetable soups, tripe and calf foot soups, or fish soups, all of which are soured by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar, or traditionally borş
Bran
Bran is the hard outer layer of grain and consists of combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a by-product of milling in the production of refined grains. When bran is removed from grains, the grains lose a portion of their...

 (fermented wheat bran). Popular main courses include mititei
Mititei
Mititei or mici is a traditional Romanian dish of grilled minced-meat rolls made from meat of beef, lamb and pork mixed, which contain garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory and sometimes a touch of paprika. Sodium bicarbonate is also added to the mixture.It is best served...

, frigărui
Frigarui
Frigărui is a Romanian dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer, similar to the kebab. Often, the pieces of meat alternate with bacon, sausages or lard and vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms. It is seasoned with spices such as pepper, garlic,...

 and the şniţel. One of the most common dishes is mămăliga
Mamaliga
Mămăligă is a porridge made out of yellow maize flour, traditional in Romania and Moldova. It is similar to the Italian polenta.In Transylvania and in Carpathia mămăligă is also called puliszka...

, a cornmeal mush served on its own or as an accompaniment. Pork and chicken are the preferred meats, but beef, lamb and fish are also popular.

Sarmale
Sarma (food)
Sarma is a dish of grape, cabbage or chard leaves rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat. It is found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire from the Middle East to the Balkans and Central Europe.-Etymology and names:...

 are prepared from minced meat (pork, beef, mutton, poultry or fish meat, especially in the Danube Delta), mixed with rice and other aliments (pap, couscous etc.) and wrapped in cabbage
Cabbage
Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

 (fresh or sour) or vine
Vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

 leaves in the form of rolls. Usually, they are served with polenta and smetana, but can be served with a spoonful of fresh butter.

The list of desserts includes names like amandine, clătite
Crêpe
A crêpe or crepe , is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour . The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled". While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread in France...

, chec
Coffee cake
The term coffee cake can refer to either of the following:* A class of cakes intended to be eaten alongside coffee. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not contain coffee. They are typically single layer cakes that may be square or rectangular like a Stollen or loaf-shaped rectangular cakes....

, cozonac
Cozonac
Cozonac or Kozunak is a traditional Bulgarian, Romanian and Albanian sweet bread. It is usually prepared for Easter in Bulgaria and Albania, and mostly for every major holiday in Romania....

, gogoşi
Paczki
Pączki are pastries traditional to Polish cuisine . Pączki is the plural form of the Polish word pączek , though many English speakers use paczki as singular and paczkis as plural. In English, the common pronunciation imitates the Polish pronunciation, but some speakers pronounce the word or...

, griş cu lapte
Cream of Wheat
Cream of Wheat is a porridge-type breakfast food invented in 1893 by wheat millers in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The cereal is currently manufactured and sold by B&G Foods. Until 2007, it was the Nabisco brand made by Kraft Foods. It is similar in texture to grits, but made with farina instead...

, lapte de pasăre
Floating island (dessert)
A floating island is a French dessert consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise . The meringues are prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract then quickly poached. The crème anglaise is prepared with the egg yolks, vanilla, and hot milk, briefly cooked.There is some...

 etc. In the north-western Romania, are prepared so-called ciureghe, gomboţi cu prune, pancove
Paczki
Pączki are pastries traditional to Polish cuisine . Pączki is the plural form of the Polish word pączek , though many English speakers use paczki as singular and paczkis as plural. In English, the common pronunciation imitates the Polish pronunciation, but some speakers pronounce the word or...

, plăcinte creţe
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

, while in the north-eastern Romania, the traditional desserts are chec cu vişine
Coffee cake
The term coffee cake can refer to either of the following:* A class of cakes intended to be eaten alongside coffee. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not contain coffee. They are typically single layer cakes that may be square or rectangular like a Stollen or loaf-shaped rectangular cakes....

, tartă cu mere
Tart
A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. The pastry is usually shortcrust pastry; the filling may be sweet or savoury, though modern tarts are usually fruit-based, sometimes with custard....

, alivenci moldoveneşti
Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

.

Ţuică
Tuica
Ţuică is a traditional Romanian spirit of somewhere in between 45%-60% alcohol by volume. It is usually made from plums.Ţuică is the official name for the drink when it is prepared only from plums...

 is a strong plum brandy that is widely regarded as the country's traditional alcoholic beverage, along with wine
Romanian wine
Romania is one of the world's largest wine producers, producing around 610,000 tons of wine. In recent years, Romania has attracted many European business people and wine buyers, due to the affordable prices of both vineyards and wines compared to other wine producing nations such as France,...

. Romania is the world's second largest plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

 producer (after the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

) and as much as 75% of Romania's plum production is processed into the famous ţuică
Tuica
Ţuică is a traditional Romanian spirit of somewhere in between 45%-60% alcohol by volume. It is usually made from plums.Ţuică is the official name for the drink when it is prepared only from plums...

, a plum brandy obtained through one or more distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

 steps. Alcoholic beverages are also obtained from other fruits (see rachiu, palincă and vişinată
Visinata
Vişinată is a Romanian alcoholic beverage produced from sour cherries , sugar and alcohol.It is very flavorful and sweet, and most often home-made. As a consequence, there is no "official" recipe for it...

). Wine, however, is the preferred drink, and Romanian wines have a tradition of over three millennia. Romania is currently the world's 9th largest wine producer, and recently the export market has started to grow. Romania produces a wide selection of domestic varieties (Fetească
Feteasca
Fetească can refer to* One of the following traditional Romanian/Moldovan wine grapes or wines:** Fetească Albă** Fetească Neagră** Fetească Regală* Fetească of Romania*Feteasca, a village in Leuşeni Commune, Hînceşti district, Moldova...

, Grasă
Grasa de Cotnari
Grasă de Cotnari is a Romanian wine variety associated with the Cotnari vineyard, Moldavia, where it has been grown ever since the rule of Prince Stephen the Great . With the general decline in demand for sweet wines after the second world war and bad wine making during the communist era, Grasă...

, Tamâioasă
Tamâioasa Româneasca
Tămâioasă Românească is a Romanian - Moldovan grape variety used for the production of aromatic wines, Tămâioasă are natural sweet or semi-sweet wines, with alcohol content of 12%-12.5%....

, Băbească
Băbească Neagră
Băbească Neagră is an old native Romanian - Moldovan wine grape variety. It is cultivated in the south of Moldova and in Romania , and is the second most planted grape variety in Romania, with about in 2005...

), as well as varieties from across the world (Italian Riesling
Welschriesling
Welschriesling is an ancient variety of white wine grape, unrelated to the Rhine Riesling, that is grown throughout Central Europe. The origin of Welschriesling is uncertain. The German name "Welschriesling" literally means 'Romanic Riesling', and most of the synonyms in Central Europe are...

, Merlot
Merlot
Merlot is a darkly blue-coloured wine grape, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the Old French word for young blackbird, merlot, a diminutive of merle, the blackbird , probably from the color of the grape. Merlot-based wines...

, Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French word sauvage and blanc due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France., a possible descendant of savagnin...

, Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley...

, Chardonnay
Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It is originated from the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand...

, Muscat Ottonel
Muscat Ottonel
Muscat Ottonel or Muskat-Ottonel is a white wine grape that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. It is most notable for its use in dessert wines from Austria, Croatia and Serbia as well as dry wines from Alsace and Hungary...

). Beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 is also highly regarded, generally blonde pilsener beer
Pilsener
Pilsner is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the city of Pilsen , Bohemia, in today's Czech Republic, where it has been developed since 1842, when a bottom-fermented beer was first produced. The original Pilsner Urquell beer is produced there today.-Origin:Until the mid-1840s, most ...

, the traditional methods of preparation being generally influenced by German wheat beers. There are some Romanian breweries with a long tradition, such as Timişoreana
Timisoreana
Timişoreana is a brand of beer in Romania.- History :The first brewery of Timisoreana was built in 1718 to Timişoara. In 2001 it was bought by Ursus Breweries company, part of the international group SABMiller. On November 25, 2005 Timişoreana sponsored the city of Timişoara with 60,000 dollars for...

, Ursus and Azuga
Azuga
Azuga is a small resort town nestled in the mountains of Prahova county in the Wallachian region of Romania. Azuga is located at the foot of the Bucegi mountains, and contains the longest ski run in Romania, the Sorica - together with other ski slopes...

. Since the 19th century, beer has become increasingly popular, and today Romanians are amongst the heaviest beer drinkers in the world.

Certain recipes are made in direct connection with the season
Season
A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight.Seasons result from the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of revolution...

 or the holiday
Holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

s. At Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, each family usually sacrifice a pig
Pig
A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig, its ancestor the wild boar, and several other wild relatives...

 and prepare a large variety of dishes of its meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 and organs (cârnaţi
Sausage
A sausage is a food usually made from ground meat , mixed with salt, herbs, and other spices, although vegetarian sausages are available. The word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus, meaning salted.Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made...

, caltaboşi, chiftele
Kofta
Kofta is a Middle Eastern and South Asian meatball or meatloaf.In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions...

, tobă
Drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

, şniţele). At Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

, is customary to sacrifice a lamb, preparing of its meat drob de miel and roast lamb with thyme
Steak
A steak is a cut of meat . Most are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, improving the perceived tenderness of the meat. In North America, steaks are typically served grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. The more tender cuts from the loin and rib are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole...

, as dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

 being served pască cu brânză
Matzo
Matzo or matzah is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday, when eating chametz—bread and other food which is made with leavened grain—is forbidden according to Jewish law. Currently, the most ubiquitous type of Matzo is the traditional Ashkenazic...

 and cozonac cu nucă
Cozonac
Cozonac or Kozunak is a traditional Bulgarian, Romanian and Albanian sweet bread. It is usually prepared for Easter in Bulgaria and Albania, and mostly for every major holiday in Romania....

.

See also


External links


Government

General information
  • Country Profile from BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

  • Romania information from the United States Department of State
    United States Department of State
    The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

  • Portals to the World from the United States Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

  • Romania at UCB Libraries GovPubs


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