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Overview of Romania

The name “Romania” was adopted in 1862, after the merging of the Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldova in 1859, creating a new state.

Romania is located in the southeastern part of Central Europe, at the crossroads of eastern, central and southern Europe. It covers an area of 238,391 square kilometers, 2.5 times less than that of France.

The Danube River largely defines the Romanian borders with Serbia (to the west) and Bulgaria (to the south). The Prut River, a tributary of the Danube, forms the border between Romania and the Republic of Moldova (to the east). The eastern Carpathians separate the country from Ukraine (to the north), and there are no natural barriers between Romania and Hungary (to the northeast). Finally, Romania has a coastline of 245 kilometers along the Black Sea (southeast).

A characteristic feature of Romania is its position at the intersection of 45 ° north latitude and 25 ° east longitude. This location positions Romania halfway between the equator and the North Pole, and also between the Atlantic Ocean and Ural Mountains to the east. In other words, Romania is located at the center of geographical Europe!


Romania has a very similar climate to that of Bulgaria, featuring very low and very high temperatures. During the summer, temperatures vary between 22° and 24° Celsius and can even reach 45° Celsius, while the average temperature in the winter is -3° and can sometimes drop down to -25° Celsius. The overall climate is pleasant, with the exception of Bucharest, where the summer can get quite stuffy.


Nature has been very generous to Romania, where the relief is not only carried but also very harmoniously distributed. About 1/3rd of the country is mountainous, with the other two consisting of hilly landscapes and plains, the Danube Delta and the coast of the Black Sea. At the heart of Romania is Transylvania, a hilly region surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, which forms an arc from the Danube to Ukraine. Beyond the Carpathians, the regions of Banat, Krishana, Wallachia and Moldovia consist of plains, stretching east all the way to the Danube Delta.

More than half of the largest range of the Carpathians is located in Romania. The Romanian Carpathians occupy about one third of the country and are a major part of the landscape. These mountains define the location of rivers, depressions, hills and plains. The Southern Carpathians are the highest in Romania, with the Fagaras Mountains reaching a height of 2,544 meters at Moldoveanu Peak, while the Pietrosu Peak (2303 meters) is the highest point in the Eastern Carpathians.

These mountain ranges define the Romanian regions of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. The prominently limestone relief of the country has allowed for the formation of caves (about 12,000 throughout the country), gorges and canyons (Bicaz Gorge, Olt Defile, Lapus Gorge) and an especially dense network of rivers. 14 national parks have been created in order to protect this natural beauty, with 8 of them in Southern Carpathians, 4 in the Eastern Carpathians and 2 in the Danube Delta and its surroundings.


Founded during the 15th century, the city of Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862. Its name comes from the legend of the shepherd Bucur, who is considered to be the founder of the city. On the other hand, some suggest that the origin of this name is the Romanian word “bucur” or “bucurire”, which translates to “joy”, echoing the aura radiating from the city.

There is a significant French influence in Bucharest, and this is precisely the reason it is referred to as “Little Paris” or “Paris of the Balkans”. Many of the streets and boulevards in Bucharest remind us of this influence with their names, such as “La Strada Franceza” (French Street) in the old city cinter. Despite the large scale emigration, Bucharest’s population far exceeds that of other cities in Romania. The Bucharest municipality has a population of about 1.9 million people, a figure which increases to 2.4 million if you include all of the urban areas.

Bucharest has retained some of its old charm, despite the many changes in architecture made by Nicolae Ceausescu. However, the parks and green areas of the city have changed very little. Bucharest is one of the greenest capital cities in Europe and features many parks, the most famous of which are Herastrau, Tinerutului, Cismigiu, Carol I, Isvor and Titan.

Main Romanian Cities

The main cities of Romania are: Timsoara (310,000 residents), Cluj-Napoca (310,000 residents), Iasi (310,000 residents), Constanta(300,000 residents), Brasov (280,000 residents), Galati (230,000 inhabitants), and Sibiu (130,000 inhabitants).

Administrative Organization

Romania is made up of 41 counties, two of which are in the region of Bucharest (Bucharest and Ilfov). Bucharest is divided into six administrative units, each managed by a mayor. The territory of Romania has developed thanks to the support of Bucharest, which is the largest city in the country. A regionalization project has been underway for many years, with the aim of dividing Romania into seven regions, situated around the big cities (Bucharest, Brasov, Constanta, Craiova, Timisoara, Cluj- Napoca and Iasi).


Romania has a population of 21,710,000 inhabitants. 55% of the population resides in cities, while the other 45% lives in the countryside. The population density is about 94 people per square kilometer (compared with the population density of England: 414 people per square kilometer).
83.46% of the population is made of Romanians, but there are other ethnicities as well: 6.1% Hungarians, 3% Roma (gypsies), 0.1% Germans, 0.1% Serbs, 0.2% Turks, and 0.1% Slovaks (statistics from 2011).


The only Latin country with Orthodox religion, Romania is marked by faith and spirituality. The majority of the Romanian population is made up of Orthodox Christians (86.8%). There are also Catholics (5.1%), Greek Catholics (1%) and Protestants (3.5%)
The church has a strong influence, which you can see almost everywhere. Orthodox Christians, unlike their contemporary Catholics, have no central religious authority or monastic orders. In 1885, shortly after Romania gained independence, the Romanian church also became independent, thanks to the patriarchate in Bucharest. Today it includes 7 dioceses and 28 eparchies. Religious traditions are still practiced in Romania, and it is not uncommon to find a village empty on Sunday morning, and streets full of people on Christmas Eve. The Orthodox Church uses the Gregorian calendar.


The official language of Romania is Romanian, and is used by 85% of the population. This is the language that has remained closest to Latin, with more than 75% percent of the words being inherited from the language of the Romans. The Roman army had occupied the territory of the former territory of the Dacians, and the people very quickly integrated the Roman language into their own.

Slavic and Turkish influences also mingle in the Romanian language. However, these influences are a minority. The influence of the French language can also be noticed; here are some examples of words borrowed from French: vis-à-vis/ vizavi; à propos/ apropo ; parfum/ parfum. French was main secondary language in Romania, but English has already taken its place, and German is becoming more common as well.

In some areas, people still speak Hungarian and German. In these areas, the names of the streets and other public utilities are bilingual (Romanian and Hungarian or German) or even trilingual (Romanian, Hungarian and German).


The currency of Romania is called Lea, or Lei (plural). Since July of 2005, the Lea has been denominated, and dropped four zeros (a new lea (RON) is equal to 10,000 “old” lei. Despite this change, many Romanians continue to use the values of the old currencies. There are coins of 1, 5, 10 and 50 cents, and notes of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 lei. The lea is now in stable condition, following a serious decline (it lost half of its value from 1989 to 1990). One euro is worth about 3.5 lei.

Time difference

Romania is 2 hours ahead of the United Kingdom. Daylight savings time takes place at the same time as the rest of the European Union.


Romania’s government is a bicameral parliamentary republic. The Parliament consists of the Chamber of Deputies (332 members) and the Senate (137 senators). Representatives are elected by a system of voting, and serve for a term of four years. The Parliament is the supreme representative body of the Romanian people, and the sole legislative authority of the country.
Executive power is exercised by the Romanian government, which consists of 15 ministries. The government ensures the implementation of internal and foreign policy, and also manages public administrations. The government is politically accountable only to the Parliament.
The president of Romania is Klaus Werner Iohannis. He is the guarantor of national independence and security, as well as the Commander of the Armed Forces and Charman of the Supreme Council of National Defence.

The presidential terms in Romania last four years, and can only be renewed once. Today, this post is filled by Klaus Iohannis, who has occupied its position since 2014. His was preceded by Traian Basescu, Ion Iliescu, Emil Constantinescu and Nicolae Ceasescu.

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