is the perfect land of contrasts and paradoxes: the country
of Constantin Brancusi, Eugene Ionesco, Emil Cioran, Mircea
Eliade, and Nadia Comaneci, but also of Dracula and Nicolae
Ceausescu. The Old World of Romania is a vast museum of ancient
heritage and still alive even if only through its famous painted
churches and monasteries, its folk art, or its feudal castles
in the Carpathian Mountains. The New World may be embodied
by the Parliament Palace and the subway network in Bucharest,
or by the Western styles of life adopted by Romania's townsfolk.
Romania lies in South-Eastern Europe. Its neighbours are Bulgaria
(South), Yugoslavia (South-West), Hungary (North-West), Ukraine
(North), Moldavia (East), the Black Sea (East). The area of
Romania is 91,699 sq. miles (237,500 sq. km and its population,
according to the 1992 census, is 22,788,993, mainly Romanian,
alongside Hungarian, German and Gypsy minorities. About 55%
of Romania's inhabitants live in urban areas, and the rest
in rural areas.
Romanian is a Romance language with some archaic forms and
with admixtures of Slavonic, Turkish, French and Magyar words.
There is a wealth of folk tales, legends, poetry, music and
dance passed on through the centuries. The main religion is
the Romanian Greek Orthodoxism (86.9%). The other significant
denominations in Romania are: Roman Catholicism (5%), Lutheranism,
Calvinism (3.5%), Greek-Catholicism (1%), Pentecostalism (1%),
Baptism (0.5%), Islamism (0.24%) and Judaism (0.04%).
Romania is a Republic as a form of government.
Romania's capital city is Bucharest, with an area of 1,521
sq. km and a population of 2,351,000 inhabitants.
The Romanian currency is Leu. The Romanian flag has three
vertical bands - red, yellow and blue. The National Day is
December 1 - in memory of the Romanians' Great Union (December
principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under
the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their
autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 and a few years later
adopted the new name of Romania. The country gained full independence
in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired
new territories following the conflict. In 1940, it allied
with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion
of the USSR. Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania
signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to
the formation of a Communist "people's republic"
in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule
of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and
his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive
and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown
and executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the
government until 1996, when they were swept from power by
a fractious coalition of centrist parties. In 2000, the center-left
Social Democratic Party (PSD) became Romania's leading party,
governing with the support of the Democratic Union of Hungarians
in Romania (UDMR). The opposition center-right alliance formed
by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Party
(PD) scored a surprise victory over the ruling PSD in December
2004 presidential elections. The PNL-PD alliance maintains
a parliamentary majority with the support of the UDMR, the
Humanist Party (PUR), and various ethnic minority groups.
Although Romania completed accession talks with the European
Union (EU) in December 2004, it must continue to address rampant
corruption - while invigorating lagging economic and democratic
reforms - before it can achieve its hope of joining the EU,
tentatively set for 2007. Romania joined NATO in March of
If you want to found out how to reach Romania by car please
visit the following link: Romania