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Introduction

  • Adamclisi

    Adamclisi "Tropaem Traiani" - triumphal monument

INTRODUCTION

Romania is the perfect land of contrasts and paradoxes the country of Constantin Brancusi, Eugene Ionesco, Emil Cioran, Mircea Eliade, and Nadia Comaneci, but also of Dracula and Nicolae Ceausescu. The Old World of Romania is a vast museum of ancient heritage and still alive even if only through its famous painted churches and monasteries, its folk art, or its feudal castles in the Carpathian Mountains. The New World may be embodied by the Parliament Palace and the subway network in Bucharest, or by the Western styles of life adopted by Romania's townsfolk.

Romania lies in South-Eastern Europe. Its neighbours are Bulgaria (South), Yugoslavia (South-West), Hungary (North-West), Ukraine (North), Moldavia (East), the Black Sea (East). The area of Romania is 91,699 sq. miles (237,500 sq. km and its population, according to the 2003 census, is 21,680,974, mainly Romanian, alongside Hungarian, German and Gypsy minorities. About 55% of Romania's inhabitants live in urban areas, and the rest in rural areas.

Romanian is a Romance language with some archaic forms and with admixtures of Slavonic, Turkish, French and Magyar words. There is a wealth of folk tales, legends, poetry, music and dance passed on through the centuries. The main religion is the Romanian Greek Orthodoxism (86.9%). The other significant denominations in Romania are Roman Catholicism (5%), Lutheranism, Calvinism (3.5%), Greek-Catholicism (1%), Pentecostalism (1%), Baptism (0.5%), Islamism (0.24%) and Judaism (0.04%).

Romania is a Republic as a form of government.Romania's capital city is Bucharest, with an area of 1,521 sq. km and a population of 1,926,334 inhabitants.The Romanian currency is Leu. The Romanian flag has three vertical bands – red, yellow and blue. The National Day is December 1 – in memory of the Romanians' Great Union (December 1, 1918).