50 Facts About Romania That Are Worth Knowing

Last updated on November 17th, 2017

#26. One of the world’s largest populations of Roma lives in Romania. Still facing discrimination today, the Roma have been persecuted throughout history in Europe. Many have left in order to improve their lives, as the Roma have a high rate of unemployment, poverty and malnutrition. They stand out anywhere in the country in their brightly colored clothing, women in flowing skirts and men with white shirts and colorful sashes.

#27. Romanians in the urban areas wear Western-style clothing. Those in rural areas sometimes still wear more traditional clothing. Women wear wool vests and skirts with embroidery that varies according to a woman’s region. Men wear pants with a belt and white shirts. Hairstyles of women can indicate their marital status. Unmarried ones braid their hair while married women cover their heads with a naframa (head cloth).

#28. The Romanians’ largest meal of the day is eaten early in the afternoon. Breakfast is typically bread with jam and butter with tea. Lunch may start with an appetizer of Mitiei (grilled sausage with garlic) followed by a soup, such as Borsch (cabbage soup) or Ciorba (lamb, vegetables and mushrooms). Main dishes are usually of meat with vegetables served for side dishes. Dessert may be placinte (pie) or baklava (nut and honey pastry). Tuica (plum brandy) is popular too.

#29. Romania has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. These include: the Dacian Fortress of the Orastie Mountains; the Churches of Modavia; the Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania; the Churches of Moldavia; and the Wooden Churches of Maramures among others.

#30. Some notable Romanians who have made a difference in the world include: Henri Coandra (invented the modern jet engine); Nicolae Paulescu (discovered insulin); Eugen Pavel (inventor of Hyper CD-ROM; and Petrache Poenaru (inventor of the fountain pen).

Romania facts for Kids

#31. The flag of Romania consists of blue, yellow and red vertical stripes. These stripes represent Transylvania, Moldavia and Walachia, the three historic components of the combined country of Romania.

#32. Transylvania (which means ‘land beyond the forest’) was the home of Vlad the Impaler who inspired Bram Stoker’s novel, “Dracula”.

#33. One of the stars of the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics was fourteen year old Romanian Nadia Comăneci, a gymnast. During the team competition, the score for her stunningly perfect routine on the uneven parallel bars was displayed as a 1 on the scoreboard. The crowd quickly learned that Nadia had scored a ten, the first perfect score ever awarded in gymnastics, and the scoreboard had no zero for it. She would continue on to be awarded six more perfect tens in the same games as well as three gold medals.

#34. Romania is situated halfway between the North Pole and the equator.

#35. The capital of Romania is Bucharest, also spelled Bucuresti.

15 Interesting facts about Romania

#36. In a very remote area in Romania’s Apuseni National Park, cave drawings were discovered that are around 32,000 years old. The 13 drawings of rhinos, buffalos, horses, and cats are in the Coliboaia cave. Experts believe the drawings are very well preserved because this area is not subject to flooding.

#37. In the Pestera cu Oase (“Cave with Bones”) a human fossil was discovered in 2002 that is estimated to be between 37,800 to 42,000 years old, the earliest dated European human fossil.

#38. The tallest rock sculpture in Europe is located in Romania. The statue of Dacian king Decebal is 135 feet tall and is carved in a rocky bank near the Danube.

#39. An earthquake with a 7.4 magnitude occurred in Romania in March 1977. The quake killed more than 1,500 people and injured 11,000 more. Damages were estimated at over $2 billion dollars.

#40. In the city of Brad is The Gold Museum, also known as the Mineralogical Collection of Brad. The only one of its kind in Europe, it was founded 100 years ago and has a collection of over 2,000 pieces of gold from all around the world.

#41. The world’s largest salt mine museum is in Transylvania inside the old Turda Salt Mines. These massive mines were formed by machine and hand without using explosives.

#42. Pele Castle was Europe’s first castle lit entirely by electrical current. The castle’s own plant produced the electricity. Still functional and used today, the castle’s central heating system was built in 1888.

#43. The first city in Europe to have electric street lights was Timisoara, Romania (1889).

#44. In 1986, Steaua Bucureşti (Bucharest’s soccer team) won the European Cup. They are the only team from a Communist country to ever do so.

#45. The second largest building in the world is the Romanian Palace of Parliament. It is second only to the Pentagon in the United States.

#46. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is not the only famous novel inspired by Romania. So was Jules Verne’s “The Castle in the Carpathians”.

#47. Bucharest is home to thousands of stray dogs. Approximately 10,000 people are bitten by these abandoned dogs every year. Be careful and watch where you step.

#48. Near the Ukrainian border is the Merry Cemetery. Local woodcarver Stan Ion Patras designed it in 1940 and it is both tourist destination and open-air museum. Known for its colorful carved wooden crosses painted with scenes of the deceased’s life, each tombstone features a funny poem about the decedent. It is said to be the happiest cemetery on earth.

#49. Prince Charles of Great Britain loves the beauty of Romania and admires the spirit of her people. He visits often and owns land in Transylvania.

#50. Instituted on January 1, 2011, Romania implemented a black magic tax. Witches and fortune tellers are recognized in the country as legitimate business people. As such, they are subject to taxes. Witches must carry a permit with them as well.

From the flowing Danube to the soaring Carpathian Mountains, Romania is a beautiful country with many interesting sites and towns to visit.

Romania – country at a glance

Capital CityBucharest
(44°25′N 26°06′E)
Largest CityBucharest
(44°25′N 26°06′E)
Total area238,391 sq km
Population21,529,967 (July 2017 est.)
DemonymRomanian
Official LanguageRomanian
Land bordersBulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
CurrencyRomanian leu (RON)
Literacy rate98.8%
ReligionsEastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 81.9%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformed and Pentecostal) 6.4%, Roman Catholic 4.3%, other (includes Muslim) 0.9%, none or atheist 0.2%, unspecified 6.3% (2011 est.)
Life expectancy75.1 years
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetemperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms
Terraincentral Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Moldavian Plateau on the east by the Eastern Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps
Natural resourcespetroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower
Agricultural land60.7%
Government typesemi-presidential republic
PresidentKlaus Iohannis
Prime MinisterMihai Tudose
Birth rate8.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate12 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Independence9 May 1877 (independence proclaimed from the Ottoman Empire; independence recognized on 13 July 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin); 26 March 1881 (kingdom proclaimed); 30 December 1947 (republic proclaimed)
National symbolgolden eagle
National holidayUnification Day (unification of Romania and Transylvania), 1 December (1918)
National colorsblue, yellow, red
National anthem"Desteapta-te romane!" (Wake up, Romanian!)
Industrieselectric machinery and equipment, auto assembly, textiles and footwear, light machinery, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining, mining, timber, construction materials
Exports$56.03 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and equipment, other manufactured goods, agricultural products and foodstuffs, metals and metal products, chemicals, minerals and fuels, raw materials
Imports$66.45 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and equipment, other manufactured goods, chemicals, agricultural products and foodstuffs, fuels and minerals, metals and metal products, raw materials
GDP - per capita (PPP)$22,300 (2016 est.)
Time ZoneUTC+02:00
Internet country code.ro
Calling Code+40
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedSeptember 9, 2017

References:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Romanian_history
  • http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/world/romania-history.html
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  • http://www.everyculture.com/No-Sa/Romania.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania