Romania Facts

Romania Facts and History


Romania – the land of the Carpathians

Romania, the land of oriental fragrances, which is blessed with a capital that has long been considered the Paris of the East, is also a land of castles, monasteries and churches. The Carpathian Country Romania with its beautiful coast on the Black Sea and the large Danube Delta offers the traveler an impressive natural backdrop that is well worth seeing. The dominant element of the Romanian landscape is the Carpathian Mountains, which run like a large arch through the country. A third of the landscape is made up of mountains, hills or plateaus and lowland plains. The Danube lowlands in the south and east of Romania are called Wallachia.

The region of Transylvania in northwestern Romania is known as the home of Prince Vlad III. Draculea (1431-1471). This ruler was the historical model for the well-known vampire novel “Dracula”. Based on the novel, numerous “scary stories and films” with the famous vampire figure were created. The prince himself once ruled the country with merciless cruelty. His preferred method of execution was staking.

Politically, Romania initially stood loyally on Moscow’s side after the Second World War. That changed under the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-1989), who ruled the country between 1965 and 1989 and tried to take a political course between the two big blocs. Today Romania is a stable democracy and has been a member of the European Union since January 1st, 2007. And in 2007 Sibiu (Hermannstadt) was European Capital of Culture together with Luxembourg.

Name of the country Republic of Romania
Form of government Parliamentary republic with a bicameral system
Head of state President, Traian Basescu (since December 12, 2004)
Geographical location Southeast Europe
National anthem Desteapta-te, române
European Union Member of the EU since January 1, 2007
Population 21.4 million (Credit: Countryaah: Romania Population)
Ethnicities 85.5% Romanians as well as Hungarians, Roma, Ukrainians, Serbs
Religions 87% Romanian Orthodox Christians and approx. 5% Catholics, 3.5% ReformedGreek Catholics 1%
Languages Romanian, in Transylvania also Hungarian and German
Capital Bucharest with approx. 1.7 million residents
Surface 237,500 km²
Highest mountain Moldoveanu with a height of 2,544 m
Longest river Danube with a length in Romania of 1,075 km
Largest lake Razelm lake
International license plate RO
National currency 1 leu (plural: lei) = 100 bani (1 ban)
Difference to CET + 1h
International phone code 0040 or +40
Mains voltage, frequency 220 to 230 volts, 50 hertz
Internet Top Level Domain (TLD) .ro

Romania: history

Until around the year 1000

As early as the Middle Bronze Age (around 2000 BC) the special culture of a metal processing community settled in the Danube-Carpathian region. It was most likely the Indo-European Traker. This population of what is now southern Romania was known as the Geten or Dacian. From the 7th century BC Chr. Founded milesische sailors first city colonies on the Black Sea. In close cooperation with the Geto-Dacian residents, there was a brisk trade between ancient Greece and the peoples of the Black Sea region.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, from 29th BC Chr. Came the Black Sea cities and the Dacian territories north of the Danube under Roman influence. The attempt of the Geto-Dacians to drive out the Romans ended in the Dacian-Roman war, which was decided in favor of the Romans. The Romanization of the country began in the early second century.

After the end of Roman rule, the Visigoths took over power in the Danube region for a short time. But as early as 376 the Huns conquered the Goths and ruled the Danube-Carpathian region for a long time. From 395 to 580 the Danube region belonged to the Byzantine Empire. After the end of the Eastern Roman rule, Slavs settled in the Dako-Romanesque region.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

Between 1000 and 1241, plundering Turkic peoples invaded the area. In 1241 the Mongols invaded the country and ruled the region for around a hundred years.

In the 14th century, the Principality of Wallachia and the Principality of Moldova emerged. Both principalities were able to hold their own economically and politically. In Transylvania, too, one could defend oneself against incursions from the east. The leading Hungarian nobility brought Hungarians and Germans into the area from 1150 and gave the settlers great privileges. With relative autonomy, the Transylvanian Saxons secured peace for the Hungarian kings.

In the 15th century, the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia accepted tribute rule from the Turks. Only two princes dared to fight against the Ottoman rule: the Wallachian ruler Vlad III, who went down in history and horror literature at the end of the 19th century as Count Dracula, and the Moldavian prince Stefan the Great. However, both rulers tried in vain to defend Christianity against the Muslim Ottomans.

It was not until the 16th century that the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave was able to achieve a victory over the Ottomans, which was destroyed again in 1601.

In 1699 Transylvania was captured by the Habsburgs. Wallachia and Moldavia continued to be under Ottoman rule.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

In the 18th century, the Ottoman sultans installed Greek puppet princes, so-called fanariots, in Wallachia and Moldova.

Between 1711 and 1812 there were six wars between the Habsburgs and Russia and the Ottomans. Russia emerged stronger from these wars and from 1829 the Danube principalities were under Russian protectorate. An uprising of the population in 1821 was suppressed, but now the Ottomans also gave the principalities some sovereign rights again.

After the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856, the Western powers took over responsibility for the principalities. In 1859 Wallachia and Moldova chose only one prince, which led to the Moldavian-Wallachian personal union, which was also desired by the population. The elected Prince Cuza proclaimed the unification of the two principalities under the name Romania in 1861. Bucharest was chosen as the capital.

Transylvania was in 1867 by Hungary incorporated.

Under Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Romania was able to declare its independence in 1877. In 1878 the Dobruja region was incorporated into Romania.

20th century until today

In 1913, the South Dobruja region fell to Romania.

It was not until 1916 that Romania entered the First World War as an ally of the Entente powers France, Great Britain and Russia.

In 1920 Romania came to the areas of Transylvania, Maramures, the eastern Banat, Bukovina and Bessarabia. With this, Romania had doubled its territory and population and now extended from the Carpathian Mountains to the Black Sea. But as early as 1940, Bessarabia and north Bukovina fell to the USSR, north Transylvania to Hungary and south Dobruja to Bulgaria.

From 1941 Romania under Antonescu followed a clear pro- Germany course and fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union during World War II. In the Paris Peace Treaty, Northern Transylvania returned to Romania.

The People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed in 1947 after Stalin had strengthened the Communist Party in the country and brought it to power. From then on, the country adhered to the Marxist-Leninist worldview. Under Prime Minister Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Romania stood loyally by Moscow’s side until the 1970s. From 1965 onwards, Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-1989) followed a new political course. The state was renamed and from then on was called the “Socialist Republic of Romania”. From 1967 diplomatic relations with Germany were established. When the Eastern bloc troops marched into Czechoslovakia during the so-called Prague Spring, no Romanian troops were present.

Under Ceausescu, however, the country became increasingly impoverished. Citizens’ freedom was also largely curtailed. Romania isolated itself from world events and became one of the most backward and poorest areas in Europe. From 1974 until his execution, the dictator held numerous other functions as well as the office of President.

1989Demonstrations and uprisings forced a turning point in the country. Ceausescu was arrested. Ceausescu was shot dead on December 25, 1989 together with his wife Elena. However, the situation in the country did not change significantly under the newly elected government. Anti-communists faced severe punishments. Citizens’ freedom was still severely restricted. It was only with the takeover of the Conservatives in 1996 that Romania’s course and situation began to change for the better.

Romania has been a full member of the Council of Europe since 1993. Admission negotiations regarding admission to the European Union have been in progress since 2000, and these were brought to a positive conclusion. Romania has been a member of the EU since January 1st, 2007.

Romania Facts