Romania is an Eastern European country. Bathed by the Black Sea in the east, it borders Ukraine and Moldova in the northeast and north, Hungary in the northwest, Serbia in the southwest and Bulgaria in the south. It covers an area of 237 500 km2. The main cities in Romania are Bucharest, the capital, with 1,897,100 residents (2004), Iasi (318,400 residents), Timisoara (314,500 residents), Constanta (307,400 residents) and Galati (295,600 residents). Much of the country is covered by the Carpathian mountains. The so-called Transylvanic Alps, with altitudes of the order of 2500 meters, are located in the central part of the territory, in a west-east direction. They limit, to the north, the terminal section of the Danube River, which drains an extensive plain before flowing into the Black Sea.
The climate is temperate continental, with harsh winters and relatively hot summers. Precipitation is more concentrated in the summer months.
The main Romanian agricultural products are maize, wheat, potatoes, sugar beet and barley. In cattle breeding, the number of sheep, pigs and cattle has significance. In mining and energy production, oil and natural gas deserve mention, although the depletion of reserves makes internal supply insufficient. The industry, previously based on petrochemicals, tries to diversify its production and evolve technologically. Romania’s main trading partners are Germany, Italy, Russia and France. Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita(metric tons, 1999), is 3.6.
The population was, in 2006, estimated at 22,303,552 residents. Corresponds to a population density of 94.02 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 10.7% and 11.77%. Average life expectancy is 71.63 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.773 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.771 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will decrease to 20 854 000 residents. Romanians make up the majority, with 89% of Romania’s population; the Hungarian minority represents 7%. In religious terms, the Romanian Orthodox Church predominates (87%), with Catholics 5%, Greek Orthodox 3% and others 5%. Romanian is the official language, however minorities preserve their language community.
Ancient Rome subdued this territory, the then province of Dacia, made up of people who inhabited the Carpathian mountains and Transylvania, leading it to the acceptance of its laws and its own language (Romanian comes from Latin). The constant invasions, between the 6th and 12th centuries, by Huns, Bulgarians, Slavs and other invaders led to the abandonment of Dacia by the Romans. In the 11th century Transylvania was absorbed by the Hungarian Empire. The first Romanian state was established in Wallachia, in the Southern Carpathians, in the 14th century. The second Romanian state was Moldova, which was founded in 1349, east of the Carpathians, in the Prut River valley, both becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. For Romania democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
Turkish rule followed Russian rule between 1829 and 1856. Romanians from Transylvania continued to live under Hungarian control. Nationalism started to be born in Romania in the 19th century; uprisings arose in Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania, which were suppressed by the Ottomans and the Russians. After the Crimean War (1853-56), Wallachia and Moldova again became independent principalities, electing a single prince and in effect creating the Romanian state. The state unified administratively in 1861, but was only recognized internationally by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878, following the Russo-Turkish War.
Romania participated in the First World War with the Allies, but the forces of central power soon occupied Bucharest and most of the country. Romanian territory doubled with the annexation of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia. The incorporation of these territories was not peaceful, due to several factors, such as coexistence, the new minorities, the economic depression of the thirties, the growth of an extremist policy and the rise of fascist movements, similarly to what happened in Germany and Italy.. Romania made an alliance with the German Nazi government in 1941. A total of 500,000 German soldiers joined the Romanian army in order to jointly invade the Soviet Union. In 1944 Soviet troops assaulted Romania. Under this occupation, the leaders of the right and the king abdicated power. Romanian communists acquired full control of the country in 1948; they proclaimed a constitution, based on the Russian, and this country was renamed the People’s Republic of Romania.
The Communist Party of Romania, led by Nicolae Ceausescu, began to implement a policy independent of the Soviet State, although it used the flag of socialism and the same economic doctrines, the country was governed by its family and the population was under its authoritarianism, aided by the terror of the secret police. While the country was plunged into debt, the dictator’s family wasted the nation’s wealth on public monuments and urban plans. In 1989, with the fall of communism in Europe, Ceausescu tried to resist, imposing unpopular measures. In December of that year, anti-government demonstrations immersed in cities, which had the support of the army. The Romanian dictator fled. Soon after, he was arrested and executed by the new provisional government. In the course of the revolution, a group called the National Salvation Front came to head the government. A new constitution was adopted in 1991. Romania has a multiparty system, where minorities are guaranteed seats in parliament.
Romanians made an important contribution to the arts and letters. The poet Mikhail Eminescu founded a school of poetry that would influence the writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The composer and violinist Georges Enesco became the best known Romanian composer. The country became part of the European Union on January 1, 2007, twelve years after the application for membership, made on June 22, 1995.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Romania, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Romania. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Romania
Browse a collection of city, country, political and shaded relief maps of this European country. Check out the maps of Bucharest city, land use and economic activity.
Expedia.com Maps – Romania
Explore this eastern European country by using the zoom function of the interactive map. Includes a link to essential travel information.
MSN Encarta Maps – Romania
Offers an outline map of the country and region and a detailed map for referencing and printing.
Romania – Atlapedia Online
View two maps, one political, the other physical, of this former Soviet bloc country. Includes a historical summary and country facts.
Romania – InfoPlease.com Map
Features a large, color-coded graphical map of this eastern European country. Easily locate cities, towns and land features.
Romania – National Geographic Map Machine
Find an expandable map of the eastern European country, along with statistics on population, commerce and literacy.
Romania – Rec.org Map
Offers two views of Romania, one from a global atlas perspective, and more useful, a detailed country map with towns and cities indicated.
Romania – Romania Maps
University of Texas at Austin library offers its collection of maps. See the layout of the country, as well as political and city maps.
Romania – WorldAtlas.com
Access a selection of maps, quick facts and figures, country details, and related resources.