90 Interesting Facts about Romania and Romanians

1.  Romania is a Latin country and Romanian is a Romance language.

2.  Romania is located at the crossroad of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

3.  The ancestors of the Romanians are considered the Dacians, which after assimilating the conquering Romans and under the influence of migratory populations (mainly Slavs), created the Romanians of today.

4.  The name of Romania comes from the Latin name “Romanus“, which means “citizen of Rome“.

5.  Romania is a semi-presidential republic with a Parliament that has two chambers. Its constitution is based on the constitution of France’s Fifth Republic.

6.  The population of Romania is about 19 million people, with another few millions living abroad.

7.  The official currency of Romania is the leu (RON), which means lion and is divided into 100 bani.

8.  Romania is part of the European Union from 2007 and a member of NATO from 2004.

9.  The great geographical features of Romania are the Carpathian Mountains, the Black Sea and the Danube River.

10.  Romania has an almost unbelievable variety of natural resources, including oil, coal, iron, gold, wood and many more.

11.  The color of the Romanian flag are cobalt blue, chrome yellow and vermilion red.

12.  Romania is about one third mountains, one third plateaus and one third plains.

13.  The national day of Romania is 1st of December, marking the Great Union of 1918 between the three Romanian Principalities.

14.  The oldest document written in the Romanian language dates from 1521, although the language is a lot older.

15.  The first attempt at a unified Romanian country was in 1600, when Michael the Brave united the three principalities for a brief period.

Cărturești Carusel Library in Bucharest | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

16.  The historical Romanian principalities during medieval times were Walachia, Transylvania and Moldavia.

17.  Romania had the first female neurosurgeon, the first woman war correspondent, the first woman with a doctorate in law and the first woman chemical engineer.

18.  The Dacian ancestors had a battle standard called the Dacian Draco, representing a wolf head with an open mouth and a snake-like body.

19.  Romania is located on the 45 degrees latitude parallel, with four distinct seasons.

20.  The most important cities of Romania are Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova and Brașov.

21.  The highest mountain peak of Romania is Moldoveanu at 2544 meters.

22.  Romania has the largest population of brown bears in Europe, outside of Russia.

23.  The ethnic configuration of Romania includes about 89% Romanians, 6.5% Hungarians and about 3.2% Roma population.

24.  Romania has a huge hydroelectric potential on its rivers, only partly developed.

25.  The anthem of Romania is “Deșteaptă-te Române” (Wake Up, Romanian!).

26.  Some of the oldest traces of Homo Sapiens habitation of Europe were discovered in the caves of Romania.

27.  Romania is one of the largest wine producers in Europe, with some excellent varieties.

28.  The majority religion of Romania is Christian Orthodoxy with 81% of the population.

29.  The Palace of Parliament or Peoples’ House in Bucharest is the second largest building in the world and the heaviest building in the world.

30.  Constantin Brâncuși, considered the father of modern sculpture, was born in a small village in Romania from a peasant family.

The Endless Column by Constantin Brâncuși | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

31.  In medicine, Romania also holds the record for most neurosurgeries performed by dr. Leon Dănăilă – the “Brain Sculptor” (40.200) and the most pediatric operations performed by dr. Alexandru Pesamosca – the “Angel of Children” (40.000)

32.  Romania also has the first Institute of Legal Medicine, Institute of Geriatrics and Institute of Endocrinology in the world.

33.  Romania has the world’s most powerful laser in the town of Măgurele near Bucharest.

34.  Some of the last areas of virgin forests in Europe can be found in the Romanian Carpathians.

35.  The longest functional natural bridge in the world is located in the village of Ponoarele, Romania.

36.  The first plane to take off under its own power was built by Traian Vuia, while Aurel Vlaicu built and flew the first arrow-shaped aircraft.

37.  Romania has one of the largest railway networks in the world, especially compared to its size.

38.  There is a Merry Cemetery in Romania, with each cross a veritable work of art in vibrant colors that tell the story of the departed in a satirical way.

39.  The highest stone sculpture in Romania is 55 meters tall and represents Decebalus, the king of the Dacians.

40.  The traditional sport of Romania is called oină and is similar to baseball, although it was first documented in the 14th century.

41.  Romanian scientist Emil Racoviță was the founder of biospeleology (the study of caves).

42.  The second largest open-air museum in the world can be found in Sibiu, Romania, with a surface of about 1 sq km and 300 buildings.

43.  The Gate of the Kiss created by Constantin Brâncuși in the town of Târgu Jiu is the largest monument dedicated to the kiss in the world.

Gate of the Kiss in Târgu Jiu | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

44.  The city of Brașov has one of the narrowest streets in the world, String Street being just about 120 centimeters wide.

45.  The largest sanctuary for brown bears in the world is located in Zărnești, Romania, holding almost 100 rescued bears.

46.  The tallest wooden church in the world is located in a Romanian village, standing at 78 meters tall.

47.  Sebastian Stan, known for his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was born in Romania and moved to New York at 12 years old.

48.  The Romanian alphabet is a variant of the Latin alphabet with 31 letters, of which 5 have been modified from their originals (ă, â, î, ș and ț).

49.  The territory of Romania is divided into 41 counties and the city of Bucharest.

50.  The longest love poem in the world is Luceafărul, written by national poet Mihai Eminescu.

51.  Insulin was discovered by a Romanian biologist named Nicolae Paulescu.

52.  Romania ranks 5th in the all-time International Mathematics Olympiad and 6th in the Informatics Olympiad.

53.  The best-known pan flute artist in the world is Gheorghe Zamfir, composing over 300 songs and receiving numerous awards.

54.  The largest World War I Mausoleum is the one of Mărășești in Romania, containing the remains of 5073 soldiers and officers.

55.  Romanians really like to drink, ranking in the top 10 in the world for alcohol consumption.

56.  Football, handball and tennis are the most popular sports in Romania.

57.  The longest career as a shepherd was 80 years, a record set by Ștefan Gros who retired at the age of 100.

58.  The first city in Europe to have street lighting was Timișoara in 1889.

Orthodox Cathedral of Timișoara | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

59.  Wild bison have been reintroduced into the mountain forests of Romania.

60.  The Danube – Black Sea Channel is the third longest artificial channel in the world after the Suez and Panama channels.

61.  The most awarded wine in the world is the Romanian Grasa de Cotnari, a sweet wine produced in Moldavian vineyards for centuries.

62.  The Heroes Cross of Mount Caraiman is the tallest summit cross in the world, built at an altitude of 2291 meters.

63.  The first gymnast to receive a perfect 10 in a competition was Nadia Comăneci at the Montreal 1976 Olympics.

64.  Romania has 13 national parks, 16 natural parks and almost 1000 protected natural reserves.

65.  Although geographically not part of the Balkan Peninsula, Romania has strong ties with all the Balkan countries.

66.  The Danube Delta, Retezat Mountains and Rodna Mountains are also Biosphere Reserves.

Retezat Mountains National Park | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

67.  Over 350 species of birds can be found in the Danube Delta of Romania.

68.  Romanians celebrate the 1st of March as the arrival of spring, offering small gifts to women called mărțișor.

69.  The most successful young alpinist in the world is Crina Popescu who completed the Seven Volcanoes circuit at just 16, holding many other records.

70.  The impressive outdoor fountains in Bucharest’s center are the longest choreographed fountains in the world (1.4 km).

71.  Romanian is said to be the second spoken language in the Microsoft offices, as Romania is known for amazing information technicians.

72.  The youngest female soldier who died in World War I was Maria Zaharia, who was just 12 years old when she replaced a Romanian soldier after he was killed in his outpost.

73.  The youngest male soldier of World War II was Marin Lungu, who enlisted at almost 7 years old. He accomplished 30 missions behind enemy lines before he was captured by the Germans.

74.  There were almost 13 million foreign visitors to Romania registered in 2019.

75.  The Dacia Duster is the most affordable SUV car in the world.

76.  Romania won a staggering total of 53 medals, with 20 gold medals, at the 1984 Summer Olympics, placing second behind USA.

77.  The world record for the largest flag is held by a Romanian village that created a 5-ton flag.

78.  The glacier in Scărișoara Cave is the second largest in Europe, with a volume of 75.000 cubic meters.

79.  A veritable traditional art, the painted Easter eggs of Romania are true masterpieces.

80.  The church of Voroneț Monastery in Bucovina has been surnamed the “Sistine Chapel” of Romania, with exceptional paintings and unique blue nuances.

81.  The first goalkeeper to save four consecutive penalties was Helmuth Duckadam in the Champions League final of 1986 won by Steaua Bucharest against FC Barcelona.

82.  The movie Cold Mountain was filmed in the Carpathians of Romania.

83.  The record for most letters received is held by a Romanian who has over 22.000 letters from children in the Soviet Union and later Russia.

84.  The People’s Salvation Cathedral that is being built in Bucharest will be the largest and the tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world.

85.  The cathedral will also have the largest mosaic collection, iconostasis and free-swinging bell in the world.

86.  The Black Church of Brașov is the biggest Gothic church in eastern Europe.

87.  Romania has the largest monument dedicated to onion in the world, located in the village of Pericei.

88.  The largest chalk pavement art in the world was completed in Cluj-Napoca by over 1500 children, measuring over 6.600 square meters.

89. The largest traditional hora dance gathered over 13.000 people in the city of Slatina.

90. There are dozens of ethnographical areas in Romania, each with unique traditions and songs, dances and costumes.

Traditional Romanian Costume | © Silviu-Florin Salomia

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