Romania. Facts of Romania. Capital-Bucharest Total Area- total: 237,500 sq km land: 230,340 sq km water: 7,160 sq km Population-22,329,977 Languages- Romanian, Hungarian, German. Facts of Romania. Literacy in Romania
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 98.4% male: 99.1% female: 97.7% (2003 est.)
Religions in Romania
Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1% (2002 census)
Life Expectancy in Romania
total population: 71.35 years male: 67.86 years female: 75.06 years (2005 est.)
Romania's history has not been as idyllically peaceful as its geography. Over the centuries, various migrating people invaded Romania. Romania's historical provinces Wallachia and Moldova offered furious resistance to the invading Ottoman Turks. Transylvania was successively under Hapsburg, Ottoman or Wallachian rule, while remaining an autonomous province.
Romania's post WWII history as a communist-block nation is more widely known, primarily due to the excesses of the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In December 1989 a national uprising led to his overthrow. The 1991 Constitution established Romania as a republic with a multiparty system, market economy and individual rights of free speech, religion and private ownership.
10,000 B.C. — approximate date of the first known art in present day Romania: cave paintings in northwest Transylvania.
4,000 B.C. — approximate date of pottery (dated to the Neolithic Age) that is foundin all regions of Romania.
3,000 B.C. — Thracian tribes of Indo-European origin, who migrated from Asia, occupied the actual territory of Romania.
2,000 B.C. — a distinctive Thracian sub-group emerged in what is now Romania. The Greeks called these people Getae, but to the Romans they were Dacians. Herodotus called them "the fairest and most courageous of men" because they believed in the immortality of the soul and were not afraid to die.
700 B.C. — Greeks arrived and settled near the Black Sea. The cities of Histria, Tomis(now Constanta) and Callatis (now Mangalia) were established. Western-style civilization developed significantly.70-44 B.C. — Dacian king Burebista controlled the territory of modern-day Romania. Burebista created a powerful Dacian kingdom.100 A.D. — Dacian civilization reaches its peak.101-106 A.D. — Romans conquer and colonize Dacia (today's Romania). Dacia becomes a Roman province and Dacians adopt the conquerors' language.106-274 A.D. — Dacia is a province of the Roman Empire.271 A.D. — after fighting off the barbarian Goths, Roman troops abandon Dacia.
4th Century — Christianity is adopted by the Daco-Roman, Latin-speaking people.4th-10th Centuries — nomadic tribes from Asia and Europe (Goths, Visigoths, Huns, Slavs, Magyars) invade Dacia.11th Century — Romanians were the only Latin people in the eastern part of the former Roman Empire and the only Latin people to belong to the Orthodox faith.Hungarian (Magyar) forces invade northwestern and central Romania (Transylvania).12th Century — Saxon (German) settlers begin to establish several towns in Transylvania. (Germans were invited to settle in Transylvania by the king of Hungary who wanted to consolidate his position in the newly occupied territory).13th Century — The first formal division of the formerly unified Romanian population. The principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania are established. Transylvania becomes an autonomous principality under Magyar rule, until 1526. Magyar forces tried unsuccessfully to capture Wallachia and Moldavia.14th-15th Centuries — Wallachia and Moldavia offered strong resistance to the Ottoman Empire expansion.16th Century — Threatened by the Turks who conquered Hungary, the three Romanian provinces of Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania are able to retain their autonomy by paying tribute to the Turks.
17th Century — Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania are briefly united under MihaiViteazul (Michael the Brave), prince of Wallachia. Unity lasted only one year after which, Michael the Brave was defeated by the Turks and Hapsburg forces. Transylvania came under Hapsburg rule while Turkish suzerainty continued in Wallachia and Moldavia.18th Century — Transylvania and the northern part of Moldavia (called Bucovina) are incorporated in the Hapsburg Empire.1821 — Moldavia looses its eastern territory, Bessarabia, to Russia.1848 — Transylvania falls under the direct rule of Hungary and a strong push for Magyarisation (of names and official language), from Budapest, follows. 1859 — AlexandruIoanCuza is elected to the thrones of Moldavia and Wallachia.1862 — Wallachia and Moldavia unite to form a national state: Romania.1866 — Carol I (German born) succeeds AlexandruIoanCuza, as prince of Romania.1881 — Romania becomes a Kingdom.
1914 — King Carol I dies. He is succeeded by his nephew King Ferdinand I (1914-1927). Romania enters WWI on the side of the Triple Entente aiming to regain its lost territories (part of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina).1918 — During large public assemblies representatives of most towns, villages and local communities in Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bucovina declare union with Romania.1930 — Carol II, Ferdinand's I son becomes king of Romania.1939 — Germany demands a monopoly on Romanian exports (mainly oil, lumber and agricultural products) in exchange for the guarantee of its borders.1940 — The Soviet Union annexes Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina. Germany and Italy force Romania to cede Northern Transylvania to Hungary and Southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria.Widespread demonstrations against King Carol II. Marshall Ion Antonescu forces him to abdicate in favor of his 19-year-old son Michael. Carol II flees Romania.
1941 — Marshall Ion Antonescu imposes a military dictatorship. In order to regain Bessarabia, Romania joins Germany against the Soviet Union.1944 — King Michael engineers a royal coup and arrests Marshall Ion Antonescu. Romania changes sides and joins Soviet forces against Fascist Germany.1945 — The Yalta Agreement makes Romania part of the Soviet system.1947 — With Soviet troops on its territory, Romania enters the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. The communists, who gradually took power, force King Michael to abdicate and proclaim Romania a People's Republic.
1950s — After Stalin's death, Romania begins to distance itself from Moscow.1968 — The condemnation of Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia by Romania's communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu, earns him praise and economic aid from the West.1980s — Obsessed with repaying the national debt and megalomaniac building projects Ceausescu orders a ban on importation of any consumer products and commands exportation of all goods produced in Romania except minimum food supplies. Severe restrictions of civil rights are imposed.1989 — Romanians unite in protests against the communist leadership and local demonstrations sparked a national uprising that finally ousted communist ruler Nicolae Ceausescu and his cabinet.1991 — Romanians vote for a new Constitution.2004 — Romania joins NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization).2007 — Romania becomes a member of the European Union (EU).
Romania's main sea resorts are centred on 45 miles of fine sand beaches and include Mamaia, Eforie, Neptun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mangalia.
The Black Sea coast has long been known for cures of arthritic, rheumatic, internal and nervous disorders. Eforie Nord and Mangalia Spas specialize in mud baths (the mud is taken from the area's salty lake waters) as well as in world famous "Gerovital" and "Aslavital" original rejuvenation treatments.
Vacationers at Romania's Black Sea Coast can also join organized trips from the seaside to a number of locations in the country, including the Danube Delta, the painted monasteries of Bucovina, to the nation's capital city, Bucharest, or to nearby Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
Romania’s collection of castles and fortresses perhaps best illustrates the rich medieval heritage of the country. While castles built from the 14th to the 18th centuries are strong and austere fortresses built mainly for defence against invaders, those erected beginning in the late 1800s are imposing and luxurious. The most popular include the 14th century Corvinesti Castle, built on the site of a former Roman camp, the elegant 19th century Peles Castle with its 160 rooms filled with priceless European art and, of course, the Bran Castle, built in the mid-1300s and legendary home to Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.
Central Romania encompasses what is popularly known as Transylvania – a place that immediately brings to mind the legend of Count Dracula. While the legend is certainly intriguing and a genuine tourist attraction, the region has much more to offer. Some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Sighisoara, Brasov and Sibiu, are located here.
Transylvania is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Brasov, featuring Old Saxon architecture and citadel ruins; Sibiu with its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses, and Sighisoara, adorned with a hilltop citadel, secret passageways and a 14th century clock tower. Tiny shops offer antiques and fine hand-made products by local artisans and artists.
Visitors to Transylvania will also encounter stunning castles such Bran, near Brasov, - a Gothic fairy-tale structure, often associated with 15th century Walachian Prince VladTepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While the connection with Vlad is tenuous, the deep bond of local villagers with the legend is not.
In close proximity to Brasov and Bran are the fortified churches at Harman, with its massive 13th Saxon towers, and Prejmer, the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe. The 15th-century Corvinesti Castle, the most beautiful in Transylvania, located nearby Hunedoara, has a sumptuous Knights Hall – that can be used for functions or parties, as well as towers and buttresses reminiscent of the medieval times.
Transylvania’s multi-ethnic heritage (including German and Hungarian ) is delightfully apparent in the folk costumes, architecture, cuisine, music and festivals.
Colorful centuries-old traditions are alive and well in the small villages of Transylvania. People here still make a living at such time-honored occupations as shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters.
The Apuseni Mountain range, in the western Carpathians, is a landscape of exquisite beauty and mystery. Here, you’ll find ancient legends of mountain spirits and rare species of wildlife, along with 4,000 caves, many of which can be explored. Scarisoara Glacier, a national monument, shelters the second largest underground glacier on the continent.
The most readily recognizable examples of Romanian art are the famed painted eggs, especially prominent around Easter time. Painting of real hollowed-out eggs was an integral part of preparations for this festival of renewal. Women and children gathered in someone’s home and spent a day painting and gossiping. Intricate patterns were actually secret languages known only to residents of the regions where they were painted. The oldest known were painted with aqua fortis (nitric acid) on a traditional red background. They’re available in nearly all shops and street markets.
Romanian pottery is still made mainly on traditional kick-wheels with simple finishing tools. Shapes, sizes and patterns reflect the different clays and cultures of diverse areas where are produced. Color glazes and decorations vary from strong geometrics, to delicate florals, animals and humans. There are approximately 30 pottery centers throughout the country, each with its own distinctive style, but the main areas are in Horezu in Oltenia; Miercurea-Ciuc and Corund in western Transylvania; Baia Mare near the northern border, and Radauti and Marginea in Moldavia.
Maramures is the area to see the art of woodwork. Homes are trimmed in elaborately carved wood, wooden gates and even fences are intricately carved. Historically, in this area, a family’s community status was displayed through the gate – the more elaborate, the more important the family. The “Merry Cemetery” of Sapanta is in this region, open all year long, at all times -- it’s worth a visit. Hand-carved decorations in complex patterns hold meanings beyond the purely decorative. Trees of life, twisted rope, moons, stars, flowers and wolf teeth to ward off evil spirits are associated with myths and superstitions. They show up in furniture, spoons, ladles, walking sticks, keepsake chests and other decorative objects, sometimes embellished with paint. Wooden flutes and recorders are also elaborately carved. Most prized are the multi-piped pan flutes, which are now very rare, as few artisans know how to make them and even fewer know how to play them.
Palace of Parliament, Cotroceni Palace, Royal Palace, Patriarchal Complex, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Italian Church, Russian Church, Anglican Church, Armenian Church, Great Synagogue, Choral Temple, Sutu Palace, Mogosoaia Palace.
Peles and Pelisor Castles (Sinaia), Iulia Hasdeu Castle (Campina), Hurez Monastery, DinuMihail Palace (Craiova).
Painted Monasteries of Southern Bucovina (Voronet, Sucevita, Moldovita, Humor and Putna), Ruginoasa Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, Great Synagogue, Palace of Culture (Iasi).
The Palace of Parliament, located in Bucharest, ranks as the biggest office building in Europe and second-largest in the world, after the U.S. Pentagon?
Voronet Monastery, located in northeastern Romania, is also known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the East’?
Romania has the second largest underground glacier in Europe (in terms of volume) ?
The 3500-year old Scarisoara glacier, located in the Bihor Mountains – 90 miles southwest of ClujNapoca - has a volume of 2,649,000 cubic feet (75,000 cubic metres), making it the second largest European underground glacier, after the Eisriesenwelt ice cave in Austria. The 154 foot deep entrance shaft leads to some impressive ice structures, including spectacular 20 foot high ice stalagmites. Scarisoara ice-cave is open to the public.
The city of Brasov (Transylvania) is home to the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul ?
Brasov's famous landmark and Romania's leading gothic church, the Black Church was built between 1385 and 1477 and got its nickname after the Great Fire of 1689 blackened its the walls.
The meaning of the word “Transylvania” is the land beyond the forest?
Transylvania was first referred to in a Medieval Latin document dating from 1075 as Ultra Silvam (Ultra meaning "beyond" or "on the far side of …" and Sylva (sylvam) meaning "wood or forest").
Romania has the second-largest outdoor museum in the world?
Astra Museum in Sibiu features more than 300 buildings as well as watermills and windmills, gigantic presses for wine, fruit and oil, hydraulic forges and structures representing village architectural styles from many parts of Romania.
Hollywood’s original Tarzan was born in the city of Timisoara, Romania?
Considered by movie-makers “the only man in Hollywood who’s natural in the flesh and can act without clothes”, Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) was a box-office hit in the 1932 Tarzan the Ape Man. The ship's roster from his family's arrival at Ellis Island lists his birthplace as Freidorf, now a district of the city of Timisoara. Freidorf maintains beautiful architecture, old German homes, and lots of green spaces.
The first fountain pen was invented by Craiova-born PetrachePoenaru(1799-1875)?
Mr. Poenaru's invention was patented in May 1827.
The movie Cold Mountain was filmed on location in Romania?
Hollywood celebrities Jude Law, Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman relaxed in Poiana Brasov after shooting the film Cold Mountain on location in nearby fields and farms.
The Romanian city of Timisoara was the first in Europe to have electric street-lighting?
Timisoara was the first European city to introduce horse-drawn trams (in 1869) and electrical street lighting (in 1889).
The Bruckenthal museum in Sibiu opened its doors to the public three years prior to the Louvre Museum in Paris ?
Founded in 1790 by Samuel Brukenthal, the governor of Transylvania, the museum opened to the public in 1817. It is the oldest museum in Romania and one of the first museums in Europe. The art collection includes paintings by Rubens, Van Dyk and Teniers, as well as works of German, Austrian and Romanian masters.
Insulin was discovered by a Romanian physiologist ?
Only after two Canadians received a Noble prize, some 50 years later, for the same invention Nicolai Paulescu’s precedence was finally recognized and he was rightfully acknowledged as the true inventor of insulin.
The jet engine used by modern airplanes was invented by Bucharest-born inventor Henri Coanda ?
Romanian inventor and aerodynamics pioneer, Henri Coanda designed and built in 1910 the world's first jet powered aircraft, known as the Coandă-1910, which he demonstrated publicly at the second International Aeronautic Salon in Paris. Coanda died in Bucharest November 25, 1972 at the age of 86. Romania's main international airport, Henri Coanda, is named after the great inventor.
Without a Romanian gymnast the computers wouldn’t have had the capability to display a perfect 10 ?
Nadia Camaneci got the first 10 in the history of gymnastics in Montreal in 1976.
Universal literature found valuable sources of inspiration in Romania's castles ?
The most famous novels written are "The Castle in the Carpathians" by Jules Verne, and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.
Romania features the youngest continental land (Danube Delta) in Europe ?
The mighty Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea. Just before reaching the sea it forms the second largest and best preserved of Europe's deltas: 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The Danube Delta is a wildlife enthusiast’s (especially a bird watcher’s) paradise. Formed over a period of more than 10,000 years, the Danube Delta continues to grow due to the 67 million tons of alluvia deposited every year by the Danube River.
Brasov is home to what is said to be the narrowest street in Europe ?
The Rope Street (StradaSforii) is approximately four feet wide and links Cerbului Street with PoartaSchei Street. The street was initially used as an access route by firefighters.