Romania

Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic located in Southeastern-Central Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine.   It also borders Hungary, Serbia, and Moldova.   It is the seventh most populous member of the European Union.   Its capital and largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth largest city in the EU. 

The Romanian Palace of the Parliament is located in Bucharest the country’s Capital.  It is a multi-purpose building, which contains both the Chambers of the Romanian Parliament.   This is the largest civilian building with an administrative function and is ranked one of the largest buildings in the world second to the Pentagon of the United States.  It has been confirmed that it is the most expensive administration building having an estimation of 6 billion dollars.  And it is the heaviest building, made from bronze, steel, marble, crystal glass and wood.

Atheneum Roman The Atheneum Bucharest’s Landmark

Atheneul Roman the Atheneum in Bucharest landmark by alesia17 freeimages     898900_31228938

Image courtesy of alesia17 at freeimages.com

Tourism

Bran Castle near Brașov, sometimes advertised as “Dracula’s Castle”, is a popular attraction for tourists.

Bran Castle Dracula Castle in Bucharest Romania by Ibogdan at freeimages    779990_41251973

Image courtesy of Ibogdan at freeimages.com

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Romania was estimated to have the fourth fastest growing travel and tourism total demand in the world.   Popular summer attractions of Mamaia and other Black Sea Resorts attracted 1.3 million tourists.   Most popular skiing resorts are along the Valea Prahovei and in Poiana Brașov.   Castles in Transylvanian cities such as Sibiu, Brașov, and Sighișoara.    Rural tourism, focusing on folklore and traditions.    sites as Bran and its Dracula’s Castle, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, and the Wooden churches of Maramureș.    Other attractions include Danube Delta, and Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuși at Târgu Jiu.

Cuisine

Romania has various blends of dishes from countries it has come in contact with.  It has been influenced by the Ottoman Empire and countries, such as, Germany, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary.

Restaurants in Romania

Trattoria Il Calcio – This is the local branch of a Romanian chain of Italian restaurants. The food and service are excellent.  Located in Drobeta-Turnu Severin.  International.

La Castel – French and Bavarian, wine, dessets, live music every night and a playground for children.  Located in Iaşi.  Eastern European.

Crama Veche – Transylvanian restaurant has stone floors, wood-carved tables and chairs, black-and-white photos of peasants on the walls… It is one of the top Eastern European Picks.  Located in Bistriţa.  International.

Irish Pub – It is the place to see and be seen, and one of the best meals in town.  Located in Constanta.  Eastern European.

Caru’ cu Bere – Bucharest’s oldest beer house with traditional song and dance numbers.  Located in Bucharest.  Seafood.

Cherhana – This is an informal grill-and-picnic-table beachfront place, which draws big crowds, particularly campers from the nearby wild campsites. The fresh fish is grilled on the spot.  Located in Vama Veche & Doi Mai (2 Mai).  Eastern European.

Crama Sibiul Vechi – This one is hidden in an old wine cellar and it’s the most rustically evocative restaurant in Sibiu.  Located in Sibiu.  International.

Central Park – Sighişoara is the best restaurant around, so plan to have a meal here even if you’re not staying at the Central Park Hotel.  Located in Sighişoara.  Eastern European.

Garden Pub – popular restaurant and pub excellent for it’s soups, salads and grilled meats and fish.  Located in Piteşti.  International.

Chevalet  – Head chef Nelu Păucă trained around the world before opening this romantic terrace restaurant on Lake Siutghiol, near the southern end of Mamaia.  Located in Mamaia.  Steakhouse.

Bricks – (M)eating Point Restaurant is the chi-chi urban bistro.  Located in Cluj-Napoca.  Steakhouse.

Epoca  – This luxury steakhouse, is a must for lovers of high-quality imported beef.  Located in Craiova.  International.

Graf  – is Oradea’s nicest restaurant and a perfect splurge option. The menu features wood-grilled steaks, fish and pork.  Located in Oradea.  Bistros & Brasseries.

Bistro de l’Arte  – Tucked down a cobbled street, Gazpacho soup, shrimps and tomato gratin, snails.  Located in Brasov.   Middle Eastern.
Golden Falcon  – Turkish Restaurant.  Located in Bucharest.  Eastern European.

Hotels

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand located in Bucharest, Romania

Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest located in Bucharest, Romania

Iaki located in Mamaia, Constanta, Romania

Novotel Bucharest City Centre located in Bucharest, Romania

Vega located in Mamaia, Constanta, Romania

Melodia located in Venus, Constanta, Romania

Continental Forum Oradea located in Oradea, Bihor, Romania

Doubletree by Hilton Bucharest – Unirii Square located in Bucharest, Romania

Ramada Cluj located in Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania

DoubleTree by Hilton Oradea located in Oradea, Bihor, Romania

Ibis Bucuresti Palatul Parlamentului located in Bucharest, Romania

Golden Tulip Victoria Bucharest located in Buchares, Romania

Relax Bucharest Comfort Suites located in Bucharest, Romania

K+K Elisabeta located in Bucharest, Romania

Capitol located in Bucharest, Romania

Αngelo Airporthotel Bucharest located in Bucharest, Romania

Del Mar Mamaia located in Mamaia, Constanta, Romania

Rin Express located in Otopeni, Ilfov, Romania

Opera located in Bucharest, Romania

Grand-Hotel Continental located in Bucharest, Romania

Le Boutique Hotel Moxa located in Bucharest, Romania

Ramada Bucharest Majestic Hotel located in Bucharest, Romania

Sun located in Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania

Classic Inn located in Brasov, Romania

Caro located in Bucharest, Romania

Romania’s 50% of brown bears population is the largest in Europe outside of Russia.  A high percentage 47% of the land is covered with natural and semi-natural ecosystems.   Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe covering almost 27% of the territory.

Language

The official language is Romanian, an Eastern Romance language similar to Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian, but sharing many features with other Romance languages such as Italian, French, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese.    Romanian is spoken as a first language by 85% of the population, while Hungarian and Vlax Romani are spoken by 6.2%.   German, Turkish, Ukrainian.   According to the Constitution, local councils ensure linguistic rights to all minorities, with localities with ethnic minorities of over 20%, Foreign citizens and stateless persons that live in Romania have access to justice and education in their own language.    English and French are the main foreign languages taught in schools.

Religion

The Iași Metropolitan Cathedral, founded in 1833, is the largest Orthodox church in Romania.
Eastern Orthodox 86.5%; Roman Catholic 4.6%; Reformed 3.2%; Pentecostal 1.9%; Greek Catholic 0.8%; Baptist 0.6%; Seventh-day Adventist 0.4%; Other 1.8%; Non-Religious 0.2%.   Romania is a secular state and has no state religion.

The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in full communion with other Orthodox churches, with a Patriarch as its leader.   It is the only Orthodox church using a Romance language and the second-largest in size after the Russian Orthodox Church.     Its jurisdiction covers the territory of Romania, with dioceses for Romanians living in nearby Moldova, Serbia and Hungary, as well as diaspora communities in Central and Western Europe, North America and Oceania.

Education

University of Bucharest was opened in 1864.   Schooling is compulsory until the first ten years of the primary and secondary schools.   Higher education is aligned with the European higher education area.  The results of the PISA assessment study in schools for the year 2012 placed Romania on the 45th rank out of 65 participant countries.   Romania often wins medals in the mathematical olympiads.

Top 73 Universities in Romania

1 Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Iasi

2 Universitatea Babes-Bolyai in Cluj Napoca

3 Universitatea din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

4 Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

5 Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara in Timisoara

6 Universitatea Transilvania din Brasov in Brasov

7 Universitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

8 Universitatea Tehnica Gheorghe Asachi din Iasi in Iasi

9 Universitatea Tehnica Cluj-Napoca in Cluj Napoca

10 Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu in Sibiu

11 Universitatea “Politehnica” din Timisoara in Timisoara

12 Universitatea din Craiova in Craiova

13 Universitatea Dunarea de Jos din Galati in Galati

14 Universitatea Stefan cel Mare Suceava in Suceava

15 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Iuliu Hatieganu din Cluj in Cluj Napoca

16 Universitatea Petru Maior din Târgu-Mures in Târgu Mures

17 Universitatea din Oradea in Oradea

18 Universitatea Tehnica de Constructii din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

19 Universitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara din Cluj-Napoca in Cluj Napoca

20 Universitatea Vasile Alecsandri din Bacau in Bacau

21 Universitatea Ovidius Constanta in Constanta

22 Scoala Nationala de Studii Politice si Administrative in Bucuresti

23 Universitatea Danubius in Galati

24 Universitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara din Iasi in Iasi

25 Universitatea de Arhitectura si Urbanism Ion Mincu din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

26 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Gr. T. Popa in Iasi

27 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Victor Babes, Timisoara in Timisoara

28 Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918 din Alba Iulia in Alba Iulia

29 Universitatea Spiru Haret in Bucuresti

30 Universitatea Valahia din Târgoviste in Târgoviste

31 Universitatea Româno-Americana din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

32 Universitatea Aurel Vlaicu din Arad in Arad

33 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie din Târgu-Mures in Târgu Mures

34 Universitatea Petrol-Gaze din Ploiesti in Ploiesti

35 Universitatea din Pitesti in Pitesti

36 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie din Craiova in Craiova

37 Universitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara a Banatului Timisoara in Timisoara

38 Universitatea Nicolae Titulescu din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

39 Universitatea din Petrosani in Petrosani

40 Universitatea Constantin Brâncusi in Târgu Jiu

41 Universitatea Crestina Dimitrie Cantemir in Bucuresti

42 Universitatea Ecologica din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

43 Universitatea de Vest Vasile Goldis Arad in Arad

44 Universitatea Titu Maiorescu in Bucuresti

45 Universitatea Agora din Oradea in Oradea

46 Universitatea Tibiscus din Timisoara in Timisoara

47 Universitatea Bioterra din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

48 Universitatea Nationala de Arta Teatrala si Cinematografica Ion Luca Caragiale in Bucuresti

49 Universitatea de Stiinte Agronomice si Medicina Veterinara din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

50 Universitatea Athenaeum din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

51 Universitatea de Arte George Enescu Iasi in Iasi

52 Academia de Muzica Gheorghe Dima in Cluj Napoca

53 Universitatea HYPERION in Bucuresti in Bucuresti

54 Universitatea Nationala de Arte Bucuresti in Bucuresti

55 Universitatea de Arta si Design, Cluj-Napoca in Cluj Napoca

56 Universitatea Româno-Germana din Sibiu in Sibiu

57 Universitatea Nationala de Aparare Carol I in Bucuresti

58 Universitatea Maritima din Constanta in Constanta

59 Universitatea Constantin Brâncoveanu in Pitesti

60 Universitatea Dimitrie Cantemir in Târgu Mures

61 Universitatea Eftimie Murgu din Resita in Resita

62 Universitatea de Arte din Târgu Mures in Târgu Mures

63 Universitatea Mihail Kogalniceanu in Iasi

64 Universitatea Bogdan Voda din Cluj-Napoca in Cluj-Napoca

65 Universitatea Emanuel din Oradea in Oradea

66 Universitatea Petre Andrei din Iasi in Iasi

67 Universitatea Nationala de Muzica Bucuresti in Bucuresti

68 Universitatea Nationala de Educatie Fizica si Sport in Bucuresti

69 Universitatea Andrei Saguna in Constanta

70 Universitatea Europeana Dragan in Lugoj

71 Universitatea Artifex din Bucuresti in Bucuresti

72 Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Carol Davila in Bucuresti

73 Universitatea George Baritiu din Brasov in Brasov

Healthcare

Romania has a universal health care system, and the total health expenditures by the government are roughly 5% of the GDP.   It covers medical examinations, any surgical interventions, and any post-operator medical care, and provides free or subsidized medicine for a range of diseases.   The state is obliged to fund public hospitals and clinics.

In 2010, Romania had 428 state and 25 private hospitals, with 6.2 hospital beds per 1,000 people, and over 200,000 medical staff, including over 52,000 doctors.   As of 2013, the emigration rate of doctors was 9%, higher than the European average of 2.5%.

Sports

Simona Halep is among the top-ranked female tennis players in the world.

Association football is the most popular sport in Romania with over 234,000 are registered players as of 2010.    The governing body is the Romanian Football Federation, which belongs to UEFA.   The Romania national football team has taken part seven times in the FIFA World Cup games and had its most successful period during the 1990s, when they reached the quarterfinals of the 1994 FIFA World Cup and was ranked third by FIFA in 1997.    The core player of this “Golden Generation” was Gheorghe Hagi, who was nicknamed “the Maradona of the Carpathians.”    Other successful players include Nicolae Dobrin, Dudu Georgescu, Florea Dumitrache, Liță Dumitru, Ilie Balaci, Loți Bölöni, Costică Ștefănescu, Cornel Dinu or Gheorghe Popescu, and most recently Adrian Mutu, Cristian Chivu, Dan Petrescu or Cosmin Contra.


The most famous successful club is Steaua București and was the first Eastern European team to win the European Champions Cup in 1986, and bing runners-up and in 1989.  Dinamo București reached the European Champions’ Cup semifinal in 1984 and the Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal in 1990.   Other important Romanian football clubs are Rapid București, UTA Arad, Universitatea Craiova, CFR Cluj and Petrolul Ploiești.

Nadia Comăneci was the first gymnast to score a perfect ten in an Olympic event.


Tennis is the second most popular sport, with over 15,000 registered players.   Romania reached the Davis Cup finals three times (1969, 1971, 1972).    The tennis player Ilie Năstase won several Grand Slam titles, and was the first player to be ranked as number 1 by ATP between 1973 and 1974.   Virginia Ruzici won the French Open in 1978, and was runner-up in 1980, Simona Halep played the final in 2014 and is currently ranked 2nd by the WTA.    Other popular team sport clubs are rugby union and handball.    The rugby national team has competed in every Rugby World Cup, while both the men’s and women’s handball national teams are multiples world champions.    On 13 January 2010, Cristina Neagu became the first Romanian in handball to win the IHF World Player of the Year award.    Popular individual sports include athletics, chess, judo, dancesport, table tennis and combat sports, Lucian Bute, Leonard Dorin Doroftei, Mihai Leu aka Michael Loewe, Daniel Ghiță, Benjamin Adegbuyi, Andrei Stoica, etc.    While it has a limited popularity nowadays, oină is a traditional Romanian sporting game similar to baseball that has been continuously practiced since at least the 14th century.


Romania participated in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1900 and has taken part in 18 of the 24 summer games.   It has been one of the more successful countries at the Summer Olympic Games, with a total of 301 medals won throughout the years, of which 88 gold ones, ranking 15th overall, and second, behind neighbour Hungary, of the nations that have never hosted the game.   It participated at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in defiance of a Warsaw Pact boycott and finished second in gold medals (20) and third in total medal count (53).    Almost a quarter of all the medals and 25 of the gold ones were won in gymnastics, with Nadia Comăneci becoming the first gymnast ever to score a perfect ten in an Olympic event at the 1976 Summer Olympics.   Romanian competitors have won gold medals in other Olympic sports: rowing, athletics, canoeing, wrestling, shooting, fencing, swimming, weightlifting, boxing, and judo. At the Winter Olympic Games, Romania has won only a bronze medal in bobsleigh at the 1968 Winter Olympics.

 

 

 

 

Introductory photo of Bucharest’s Fountain on top courtesy of alesia17 at freeimages.com

 

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