Romania – a land of natural beauty and culture!
Romania is a country steeped in culture and beauty and is still one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Home to many world famous inventors, artists and nature reserves, Romania has an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered. Let’s take a journey there together and find out more about this fascinating country.
A geography lesson
Romania is the 12th largest country in Europe and shares its borders with Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. It also touches the Black Sea with a beach-lined coast stretching for almost 250 km. The country is divided into mountains, hills and plains.
The Carpathian mountain range occupies one third of the country and is host to many outdoor activities including skiing, climbing and biking. Europe’s second largest river, the legendary Danube, flows through Romania and ends its eight country journey there at the Black Sea. The Danube Delta is one of the largest and most biodiverse wetlands on the planet and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring over 300 species of birds and 45 different freshwater fish in its numerous lakes and marshes. A paradise for nature lovers from all over the world!
Little Paris was the name given to Bucharest during the 1900s as it enjoyed a reputation of being a fashionable city renowned for its glorious buildings and high life. According to Romanian legend, Bucharest was founded by a local shepherd named Bucur which literally means joy. Fond of his beautiful pipe playing and tasty wine, the locals decided to name the burgeoning town after him. Today, the capital and largest city of Romania is a great bustling metropolis.
Places of interest
If you ever decide to visit Romania or would like to recommend the country’s beautiful sights to a friend, here are some of the key places of interest to be found: Bucharest holds many delights for keen tourists. The oldest street Victory Avenue was built in 1692 and features Bucharest’s very own Arc de Triomphe commemorating soldiers returning from the First World War. The neoclassical royal palace was the former seat of the now deposed monarchy and houses the National Art Museum of Romania.
Leave Bucharest and take the dramatic and breath-takingly scenic Transfagarasan highway which links the region of Muntenia with Transylvania. Discover some of the best-preserved medieval towns and strik¬ing fortresses along the way including Bran Castle, which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. For awe-inspiring nature, make some time to enjoy the glories of one of Europe’s largest mountain ranges, the Carpathians, which boast untouched wilderness, glaciers, caves and rare species of flora and fauna.
World famous inventors
Romania is the birthplace of many important inventors who, over the centuries, have influenced the evolution of mankind in many ways. Professor of medicine and psychologist Nicolae Paulescu discovered insulin for the treatment of diabetes, while Romanian physicist and bacteriologist, Ioan Cantacuzino invented the anti-choleric vaccine method. Traian Vuia was a pioneer in world aviation and inventor of the first self-propelled airplane. Next time you sign a form or document remember the name of Petrache Poenaru, creator of the first fountain pen.
Romanians have historically contributed to the world of art for many years and continue to do so. Constantin Brancusi, for example, is one of the great sculptors of the 20th century. He has made an outstanding contribution to the renewal of plastic language and vision in contemporary sculpture. Composer, musician and conductor George Enescu is considered to be the finest Romanian musician of all time.
Perhaps you have heard his two Romanian Rhapsodies, or the dramatic musical opera Oedipus, which enjoyed great success in opera houses and theatres around the world. Then there’s Eugène Ionesco, a protagonist of the Theatre of the Absurd and author of a number of acclaimed plays including The Bald Soprano and Exit the King.