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ROMANIA

romanian landscape

' If you only knew how beautiful my country is! '  These are the words of pride and nostalgia that the painter Nicolae Grigorescu used in order to challenge his colleagues and friends to visit Romania, while he was living in Paris. The soft Carpathians, appreciated more than other european mountins due to their rich gold deposits, the hills covered by meadows and vineyards, the long plain paths going down until they reach the bank of the Danube...

Geography

map of europe showing Romania

Romania is situated in SE Central Europe, north of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube and bordering on the Black Sea. It lies between 43°37'07" and 48°15'06" Latitude North and 20°15'44" and 29°41'24" Longitude East. Romania covers an area only slightly smaller than the UK. Neighbours:Ukraine (north-east), the Republic of Moldova (east), the Black Sea (south-east), Bulgaria (south), Serbia-Montenegro ( south-west), Hungary (west).


Nature has been particularly generous with the land of Romania, a country whose relief is not only varied but also harmoniously distributed. There are three major, well-differentiated relief steps: the highest is represented by the Carpathian Mountains, the middle by the Sub-Carpathians, the hils and the tablelands, and the low one by the plains, the river meadows and the Danube Delta.


The Danube, the second longest river in Europe (2,860 km), flows on Romania's territory along 1,075 km and empties into the Black Sea through three arms (Chilia, Sulina, Sfântu Gheorghe) which form a delta.


There are around 3,500 lakes, but only 0.9% of them have an area exceeding 1 sq.km More important are the lagoons and the Black sea coast lakes (Razim 425 sq.km., Sinoe 171 sq.km.) and the lakes along the Danuble bank (Oltenia 22 sq.km., Brates 21 sq.km.).

Romania's history has not been as idyllically peaceful as its geography.


Situated at a crossroads of civilizations, graced with a harmoniously distributed relief, Romania brought an original touch in the concert of universal history and culture, attesting to a tormented but not less glorious past.

The history of the Romanians is, undoubtedly, part of the European history, perhaps one of the most eventful. More historical information here

Dracula, between legend and reality, more information on Count Dracula here
Area: 238,391 sq km (91,843 sq miles).

Administrative Divisions

41 counties 265 towns (93 of which are municipalities)
2,686 communes (with 13,092 villages)

Ethnic Structure

According to the census returns of January 7, 1992, Romania's population was 22,810,035 of whom 20,408,542 (89.4%) were Romanians and 2,401,493 (10.6%) were ethnic minorities. Of the latter, 1,624,959 (7.1% of total population) were Hungarians; 401,087 (1.7%) Gypsies; 119,462 (0.5%) Germans; 65,764 (0.3%) Ukrainians; 8,955 (0.04%) Jews, etc


The first cities, according to population, are: Bucharest - the Capital (2,032,000), Iasi (349,000), Constanta (344,000), Cluj-Napoca (333,000), Galati (332,000), Timisoara (327,000), Brasov (316,000), Craiova (314,000), Ploiesti (253,000) and Braila (234,000).
- Languages: Romanian, Hungarian, German, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian
- Religions: Romanian Orthodox Church, Catholicism, Judaism
- Currency: Leu
- International disputes: None

Climate

Romania has a temperate-continental climate of transitional type, specific to Central Europe, with four clearly defined seasons. In winter time the mean temperature falls below - 3°C and in summertime it ranges betwen 24°C and 28°C. The mean annual temperatures is 11°C in the south of the country and 8°C in the north of the country. The absolute minimum temperature registered was - 38.5°C at Bod in the Brasov Depression, and the absolute maximum temperature was + 44.5°C (at Ion Sion in the Baragan Plain).

Tourism


The main tourist spots in Romania are: the Capital (Bucharest), the Black Sea Coast with its belt of resorts (Mamaia, Eforie Nord, Neptun etc.), the Danube Delta, the Carpathian Mountins, specially the Prahova Valley and Poiana Brasov (the most frequented mountain zone), Bucovina (in the north Moldavia) with the famous monastries and churches with outer frescoes dating back to the 16th century and declared UNESCO patrimony,Maramures, the Southern part of Transylvania, the Hateg land and the surrounding zone (the cradle of the Dacian kingdom, and later on of the Roman province of Dacia) and Northern Oltenia. More information on Tourism here

Airports

Direct flights from the United Kingdom to Romania take around 3 hours.
British Airways operates daily flights from Heathrow Airport to Bucharest.


The main international airport in Romania is Bucharest-Otopeni (opened in 1970), located 18 km from the central part of Bucharest - 15 towns have airports: Constanta - Mihail Kogalniceanu, Timisoara, Arad, Sibiu, Suceava (all for interntional traffic as well), Bacau, Baia Mare, Caransebes, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iasi, Oradea, Satu Mare, Târgu Mures, Tulcea

Economy

Romania produces coal, natural gas, iron ore and petroleum but most raw material for the country's large industrial capacity potential are imported. Prominent industries include chemical (petrochemical, paints and varnishes), metal processing, machine manufacturing, industrial and transport equipment, textiles, manufactured consumer goods, lumbering and furniture.