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  1. 1. Romania: Key Facts Official Name: Romania Official Language: Romanian National Day: December 1st Location: Eastern Europe Surface: 237.502 sq. km Population: 19.350.000 (2012) Capital: Bucharest
  2. 2. Geography and Climate  Romania’s territory is almost evenly divided between mountains, hills and plains.  The Danube Delta is a UNESCO Biosphere Reservation and the natural habitat for rare species of plants and animals.  The Black Sea Coast stretches over about 245 km.  Romania has a temperate climate with four distinctive seasons.
  3. 3. Cities, Ethnic and Religious Groups  Main Cities: București (about 1 million and a half inhabitants), Cluj-Napoca (almost 310.000), Timișoara (about 303.000), Iași (about 260.000), Constanța (about 250.000).  Ethnic Groups: Romanian 89%, Hungarian 6.5%, Gypsy 3,2%, Ukrainian, German and Other 1,3%  Religious Groups: Christian Orthodox 78%, Greek- Catholic 10%, Roman Catholic 5%, Protestant 5%, Jewish, Unitarian 2%
  4. 4. History  The territory of Romania has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age as evidenced by carved stone tools discovered here.  101-106 AD Romans conquer Dacia (today’s Romania).  In the 13th century the Principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania are established.  1600 Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania are briefly united under Michael the Brave.  1862 Wallachia and Moldavia unite again to form a national state , Romania.  1918 Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bucovina declare their union with Romania.  1947 Romania enters the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union.  1989 a national uprising leads to the end of the communist rule in Romania.  2004 Romania joins NATO.  2007 Romania becomes member of the European Union.
  5. 5. Some Attractions  Castles and Fortresses  Medieval Towns  The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina  The Wooden Churches of Maramureș
  6. 6. Biertan Fortified Church  A 15th century fortified church placed on a hill in the middle of Biertan village in Transylvania.  The Biertan village was first mentioned in an official dosument in 1283.  The Biertan Fortified Church is an UNECO World Heritage Site.
  7. 7. Bran Castle  The Bran Castle is situated in Transylvania and first documented in 1377.  From 1920 to 1957 the castle served as a residence for the Romania royal family.  Today, the Bran Castle is a museum.
  8. 8. Peleș Castle  The Peleș Castle is situated in Sinaia at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains.  It is considered a masterpiece of the new-Renaissance architecture.  Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947.  The Peleș Castle was the first European castle entirely lit by electrical current. The electricity was produced by the castle’s own plant.  The first movie projection in Romania took place in 1906 in the castle’s Theater Hall.
  9. 9. Sighișoara Medieval Town  Sighișoara is considered an intact 15th century gem with nine towers, narrow passageways and cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches.  A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sighișoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Draculea, nicknamed Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), ruler of Walachia from 1456 to 1462.  It was Vlad who inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional creation, Count Dracula. His house is just one of many attractions here.
  10. 10. Painted Monasteries  These exterior walls of these monasteries are decorated with elaborate 15th and 16th century frescoes featuring portraits of saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and heaven and hell.  The purpose of the frescoes was to make the story of the Bible and the lives of the most important Orthodox saints known to villagers by the use of images.
  11. 11. Painted Monasteries  Visitors to the Painted Monasteries will often witness a nun or a monk beating a long beam with a mallet, tapping out a call to prayer.  The tradition started during the siege of Moldova by the Ottoman Empire when the ringing of bells was forbidden.  The striking of wooden or metal bars, known as toaca, replaced the ringing of bells and thus, became a tradition, reinforced by the fact that in times of war, bells were often melted down to make cannons.
  12. 12. Wooden Churches  There is a strong tradition of building wooden churches across Eastern Europe, but the Wooden Churches of Maramureș are unique in shape and ornamentation.  Most of these churches date back from the 16th and 17th century.  Eight of these churches have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
  13. 13. Did You Know that…  The Palace of Parliament, located in Bucharest, ranks as the biggest office building in Europe and second-largest in the world, after the U.S. Pentagon?
  14. 14. Did You Know that…  Romania has the second largest underground glacier in Europe in terms of volume (the 3500-year old Scărișoara glacier)?
  15. 15. Did You Know that…  The city of Brasov (Transylvania) is home to the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul?
  16. 16. Did You Know that…  Romania has the second-largest outdoor museum in the world (the Astra Museum in Sibiu)?
  17. 17. Did You Know that…  The Romanian city of Timișoara was the first European city to introduce horse-drawn trams (in 1869) and electrical street lighting (in 1889)?
  18. 18. Did You Know that… Insulin was discovered by a Romanian physiologist (Nicolae Paulescu)?
  19. 19. Did You Know that…  The jet engine used by modern airplanes was invented by Bucharest-born inventor Henri Coandă?
  20. 20. Did You Know that… Nadia Camăneci got the first 10 in the history of gymnastics in Montreal in 1976?
  21. 21. THANK YOU!
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