Romania, My Country

A Survey of Romania | General data | Politics | History | Culture | Education-Sports | Geography | Localities | Economics

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A Survey of Romania

Location: Romania is situated to the north of the Balkan peninsula, on the lower course of the Danube River. It is placed in the center of Europe at a roughly equal distance between the west coast of Ireland and the Ural Mountains. The country's center lies at the crossing of the 46th, parallel of north latitude with the 25th meridian of east longitude.

Area: Romania's present area since World War II, within the boundaries established by the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, covers a total of 237,500 square kilometers.

Neighbouring Countries: Bulgaria to the south, Serbia to the south-west, Hungary to the north-west, The Republic of Moldavia and the Ukraine to the north and north-east.

Physical Features: The Carpathian Mountains encase the fertile, well-watered Transylvanian Plateau. There are wide plains to the west and south-west of this plateau as well as south and east of the mountains, through which flow the radially displayed lower reaches of the rivers of the Danube system. The distribution of the main physical features is: mountains 31%, hills and plateaus 36%, plains and meadows 33%. The Danube from the point where it starts to form a part of the southern border of Romania to the Delta through which it flows into the Black Sea, covers a distance of 1,075 km of its total length of 2,860 km. It is the second largest river of Europe, after the Volga, and it is now connected with the Rhein River and the North Sea through the Rhein-Main Canal, and with the Black Sea through the short-cut of the Danube-Black Sea canal across the Dobrudja, thus making the Danube River one of the most important waterways for the eastern trade across Europe from the Black Sea to the North Sea.

Climate: Moderate continental in the west to excessive continental in the east, with Mediterranean aspects in the south. Average yearly temperatures from 8.5~C in the north to 11~C in the south, and summer extremes of 40~C to winter extremes of -30~C.

Population (1992 census): 22,760,000. Age distribution: 0-14: 25%;15-59: 60%; over 60:15%. Population density: 97 per sq. km. Urban: 49%. Ethnic groups: Romanians 89.4%, Hungarians: 7.1%, Germans:1.5% and others: 2%. Religion: Greek-Orthodox: 87%, Roman-Catholic: 5%, Protestants: 3.5%, others:4.5"%. Official language: Romanian.

Average life expectancy: men 66.5, women 73.

Government: Republic with bicameral Parliament (Senate and Chamber of Deputies).

Capital: Bucharest (Bucuresti) 2,067,000 inhabitants (1992 census).

Important cities: (inhabitants in 1,000): Constanta (350), Yassy (lasi) (344), Timisoara (344), Cluj-Napoca (328), Galati (326), Brasov (323), Craiova (303), Ploiesti (252), Braila (234), Oradea (222), Bacau (205), Arad (190), PiteSti (179), Sibiu (169).

Chief ports: Constanta on the Black Sea, Sulina, Galati, Braila, Giurgiu on the Danube. Natural resources: oil, gas, coal, salt, bauxite, manganese, lead, zinc, gold, silver, marble, other minerals and ores, timber. Chief crops: corn, wheat, barley, oats, sugar beet, grapes, fruits. Agricul- tural industries: food, stock farms, poultry farms, swine breeding farms, sheep, game. Industries: steel, metals, machinery, motor vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding, oil products and petrochemicals, other chemicals and pharmaceuticals, cement, aluminium, electronics, textiles, leather, shoes. Tourism.

Currency: Leu (pl. Lei): 8000 Lei = 1 US$

General Informations

Location Romania lies in the south-east of Europe, on parallel 45, between 43 37' 07" and 48 15' 06" north, and 20 15' 44" and 29 41' 24" east.
Neighbours Ukraine N, Hungary W, Yugoslavia SW, Bulgaria S, Black Sea and republic of Moldavia E. Much of the border with Yugoslavia and Bulgaria is formed by the Lower Danube. The total length of borders is 3190 km.
Topography and climate Topography varies from sea level to the altitude of 2544 m (Mt Moldoveanu, Fagara Range), including plains, plateaus and hills. The Carpathians are the main mountain chain, also known as the Transylvanian Alps. Climate is temperate.
Area Total area is around 237500 sq km.
PercentagePeople (1992 Census) 22,760,449
1.8% Gypsies
0.5% Germans
0.03%Jews and other ethnic mitorities like Ukrainians, Armenians, Serbans, Slaks, Greeks, Lippovan-Russians, Bulgarians, Poles etc.

Romanian ethnics living abroad 8 milion.

Official language: Romanian (a Latin language) Religion The dominant religion is Romanian Orthodox shared by 86.8"% of the population. Other 14 religious denominations are officially recognized: Roman-Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Armenian-Orthodox, Reformed, Old-rite, Christian, Evangelical of the Augsbufg Confession, Synod-Presbyterian, Unitarian, Christian Baptist, Christian according to the Gospel, Pentecostal, Christian Adventist, Mosaic and Muslim.

National Day The 1th December - the anniversary of the Union accomplished in 1918 with the return to the mother-country of all historical Romanian provinces. Colours : Blue-yellow-red, displayed vertically. Anthem "Wake Up, Romanian", lines by Andrei Mureanu (participant in the 1848 Revolution).

Currency: Leu (pl. Lei): 8000 Lei = 1 US$ Administrative Division 40 counties (jud) headed by Prefects, and a municipality - Bucharest, which is assimilated to a distinct county.

Capital Bucharest. From abroad the capital can be reached by car, by train (North Railway Station) and by plane (Otopeni International Airport). The city is also connected by airlines to the other major towns in the country.

Local time Bucharest time is GMT + 2 hrs (Eastern European Time)

Weights and Measures : Metric system. Traffic On the right side, with speed limit of 60 km/h in towns and villages.

Foreign relations Member of the UNO since 1955, signatory of the Helsinki Final Act. Diplomatic relations with over 160 states.


After almost half a century of communist dictatorship, with a single government party and elections, which were actually a simulacrum, December 1989 signified Romania's return to the pluriparty democratic political system. Thus traditional political parties were revitalized and new parties were set up.

The first free elections, afther this grievous period from the history of this country, led to the formation of Parliament, which has two houses: the Senate and the Assembly of the Deputies. Mention should be made of the fact that in Parliament, there were elected Romanian citizens, who had reached the age of 18 years, irrespective of sex, religion, occupation or ethnicity, who were entered on the electoral lists of a political formation or as independents. While the ethnic minorities, which did not succeed in getting a seat in Parliament through, elections, received the right of representation through a deputy.

The Parliament, elected in 1990, gave to Romania a new Constitution, endorsed by a popular referendum on November 8 1991. According to the Constitution, Romania is a parliamentary republic, the president of the country is elected democratically through general voting every four years.

Romania is an independent and sovereign, unitary national state. The Constitution guarantees the separation of the powers in the state - legislative, judicial and executive. It guarantees property and human rights. Through its provisions, the Constitution of Romania is considered one of the most democratic ones in Europe.

The Government of Romania includes: the prime minister, the general secretariate with press-office and spokesman, the Council for coordination, economic strategy and reform, the ministries - Labour and Social Protection, Finance, External Affairs, Justice, National Defence, Internal Affairs, Industry, Agriculture, Transports, Communications, Trade, Tourism, Public Works, Waters Forests and Environment Protection, Education, Research and Technology, Public Health, Culture, Youth and Sports; there is also a minister for the relations with Parliament, Romanian Development Agency, Romanian Agency for Privatisation and SOF - Privatisation's Guarantee.

In foreign policy, Romania has long-standing diplomatic traditions, in solving national interests within an international context, militating in favor of peace and understanding. These traditions are traced back, in history, to the ruling-princes of the Romanian provinces, who sent their envoys and trained their young men both in the West and in the East ot the continent, from Italy, France, Vienna, Berlin to Istanbul and Moscow.

However the name which the Romanians inscribed lastingly in world diplomacy is, of course, that of Nicolae Titulescu (1882-1942), president for 2 successive years of the League of Nations, whose works will remain of reference.

At present, Romania maintains diplomatic relations with over 160 countries of the world, being a member of numerous international organizations and a signatory of international treaties and agreements.


In the year 50 B.C., the Dacian king Burebista united within one state the Thraco-Dacians from a territory exceeding present-day Romania.

Beyond this historical fact, the archaeological discoveries trace back to the beginnings of the latter's inhabitance as early as the Neolithic, in the 5th millennium B.C. The best known cultures of the time were those from Cucuteni, Hamangia and Gumelnita. Splendid pieces of pottery and tools are exhibited in the museums from this country.

At the beginning of our era, the Central and Southern part of the flourishing Dacian state, ruled by king Decebalus, whose capital was Sarmizegethusa (Hunedoara county of today) was conquered after two ruthless wars, from 101-102 A.D. and 105-106 A.D., by the legions of the Roman Emperor Trajan. The history of this conquest is rendered on the Column in Rome, erected in 107 A.D. at the expense of the Dacian treasury. It, features with equal regard both the vanquished and the victors.

The Roman rule lasted in Dacia down to 271 A.D. and as far as the area of the Dobruja is concerned even later. The withdrawal of Roman administration and the passage of the migratory invaders from the North- East of the continent (Huns, Slavs, Tartars) during the 3rd - 8th centuries left behind a Romanized Dacian population, of Christian faith, a fact testified to by the churches, dug in the chalk caves in the Dobruja, dating back to the 2nd - 4th centuries. This was actually the beginning of the history of the Romanian people, as the Romanian medieval state formations, documentarily attested as early as the l0th century, boasting of an extraordinary unity of language and spiritual traditions, were an isle of Latinity amidst the surrounding countries, a quality preserved to this day. (In the basic word-stock, which is Latin, there exist Latin words, which have been preserved only in the Romanian language, for instance vara (summer), vis (dream), vultur (eagle), there exist words of Thracian origin, for example copil (child), capsuna (strawberry), stejar (oak-tree), fluier (shepherd's flute), strugure (grapes) as well as words of unknown origin, probably handed down from an older word-stock, for instance a gandi (to think), a hoinari (to wander), a gasi (to find) and of course words of Slavic, Greek, Turkish, Hungarian, origin, however in a low percentage).

As early as the 14th century European history recorded three Romanian provinces - Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania - well-known for the resistance they permanently put up against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. The names of the ruling-princes and army commanders Stephen the Great, Mircea the Old, lancu of Hunedoara are but a few from those, who became legendary in Romanian history and folklore.

Transylvania developed as an autonomous principality under Hungarian, Ottoman, Hapsburg or Austro-Hungarian temporary suzerainity. Wallachia and Moldavia were under the domination of the Ottoman Porte however preserving their own institutions, religion and statal insignia.

In 1600 the Wallachian ruling-prince Michael the Brave entered Alba lulia, achieving the unification of the Romanian provinces. This union did not resist in front of external conditions but it stayed on as an aspiration, many generations of Romanians struggled for.

The 1848 revolutionary year revigorated political life in Romania as well, the first political aim of the militants, such as Nicolae Balcescu, Mihai Kogalniceanu, Avram lancu, being the Romanians' right to decide themselves over their destiny.

In 1859 Moldavia and Wallachia united, by the will of the people, electing the same ruling-prince, Alexandru loan Cuza, setting up the first Romanian national state. In 1866 Prince Carol of Hohenzollern was bought o the throne of Romania. Under the latter's leadership, while participating directly in the Russo-Turkish War, the country conquered its independece in 1887. In 1881 Carol I of Hohenzollern was crowned and Romania became a kingdom. At the end of World War I, on December 1, 1918, the unification of all the Romanian historical provinces was achieved, the great ideal of the Romanian people thus coming true.

The period over 1918-1939 brought great progress on all planes - economic, political, social, cultural.

During World War II, through the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, territories of Romania, from Northern Moldavia and the Northern Bukovina were annexed by the U.S.S.R Although Romania declared officially an armistice with the allied powers, on August 23, 1944, many soldiers were disarmed and deported to Siberia alongside of Romanian population from the occupied territories. Further, over 1944-1945, the Romanian army paid a heavy tribute of blood, side by side with the Soviet army, which shortened considerably the war. Nevertheless Romania was excluded from the table of negotiations, had to pay war damages and the ravished territories were not returned. Driven into the zone of influence of the U.S.S.R a regime of communist dictatorship was set up in the country, which led to the abolition of monarchy and the proclamation of the people's republic in 1947.

The period of dictatorship meant a heavy burden for the country however there always existed people of good faith, who made their contribution to its development - creators of arts and culture, teachers, physicians, research- workers in the tields of science and industry, peasants. There existed a steady, though silent resistance, which the communist regime did not succeed in breaking.

After almost half a century, the day of December 22, 1989, brought out in the streets Romania's entire population, meaning the first avowed anti-communist movement among the countries from East Europe. The return to democratic values in political and social life engaged Romania along the irreversible course towards democracy and market economy.


Lying at the crossroads of countless invasions, during the past millennium, not even the fortresses from the territory of the country remained erect. Only ruins, with numerous archaeological vestiges testify to the Romanian people's continuation, along the centuries.

Only from the 13th - 14th centuries have been preserved churches, with a specific architectonic, such as the churches with "moldavian vault", with exterior wall-paintings, included into the patrimony of U.N.E.S.C.O. nowadays, the church from Curtea de Arges , a genuine piece of art jewelry, the ruling- princes' courts from Targoviste and Bucharest, the Castle of the Huniads, from Hunedoara county, the fortress-towns of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Brasov.

At its beginnings, Romanian culture stood in the Byzantine area of influence, with original evolutions and syntheses, havining encorporated elements from the European trends - Gothic, Baroque, Humanism, the Enlightenment but also from Eastern art. Thus some famous travellers in Romanian provences, during the 17th - 18th centuries, had the opportunity to discover beautiful sights, witch "fill with wonder the mind", such as The Trei Ierarhi (Three Hierarchs) Church - a lacework in stone from the time of ruling-prince Vasile Lupu, in Moldavia, Constantin Brancoveanu's castles, which created a style in Wallachia . It was the epoch of the chroniclers Miron Costin and Nicolar Milescu, of the printed works of Dosoftei, the poet- Metropolitan, of bishop Nicolae Olahus, a well-known humanist of the time, of ruling-prince Dimitrie Cantemir, a reputed researcher of Turkism, a member of the Academy of Berlin. It was the period when numerous Greek Orthodox communities and monastic centres, from Mount Athos to Alexandria in Egypt, felt under the cultural patronage of the Romanian countries.

It should be pointed out that all the three Romanian provinces made their contribution equally to the development of culture, without any blanks, throughout the territory, inhabited by the Romanians, especially with regard to religious and lay oral tradition, that is to say Romanian folklore, boasting of a wealth, well-known the world over, at present. Such are the mythological poems "Mioritza" and "Master Builder Manole", the dances and songs, the costumes and woven materials, of an amazing profusion of colours, pottery, the objects of carved wood, which can be admired in exhibitions and museums, in all the cities of this country as well as in the everyday existence of Romanian villages of today.

Reaching the modern epoch, the l9th-20th centuries, Romanian culture inscribes a name of reference into world culture.

In literature, the poet-philosopher Mihai Eminescu, the playwrights lon Luca Caragiale and Eugen lonesco, the writer-historian of religions Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, already well-known but also the philosophers Lucian Blaga, Petra Iutea and Constantin Noica, the poets Tudor Arghezi and Nichita Stanescu, the playwright Marin Sorescu, the writers lon Creanga, Mihail Sadoveanu, Liviu Rebreanu and many others, who were not sufficiently translated, passed through the gates of immortality.

Painters and sculptors, trained in France and Italy, such as Nicolae Grigorescu, lon Andreescu, Constantin Brancusi, Dimitrie Paciurea, Corneliu Baba, lon Irimescu and many others, who exhibit throughout the world, at present, confer on Romanian fine arts international value.

In music, famous composers and performers, such as George Enescu, lon Voicu, Sergiu Celibidache and voices of gold such as Darcle, Nicolae Herlea, Ileana Cotruba , ballet dancers such as Magdalena Popa and Gelu Barbu appeared and constantly appear on the stages of the world. It was by no way accidental, that at Christmas 1993, the walls of the Vatican church eched Romanian Christmas carols, through Mariana Nicolesco's unique voice.

Liviu Ciulei and Andrei Serban stage performances in America and Europe. The Romanian theatre conquers prizes and applause in countries with long- standing traditions. On the other hand, foreiger theatrical companies visit Romania. And moreover not only Bucharest, but many other cities, cultural centres such as Craiova, Constanta, Iasi (Jassy), Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara.

After December 1988 Romania began to assimilate likewise its values, which developed beyond its frontiers. After years, when these were rejected, a growing number of artists, living abroad, declare their nationality of origin and are received in exhibitions, on the radio and television stations, beginning to become known in this country.

In Romania there are organized international festivals, such as: for performing classical music "George Enescu", for musicology "Dinu Lipatti", for light music "The Golden Stag" - Brasov, for folkloric dance and music - Deva, the international book fair displayed in the building of the National Theatre a.s.o.

There are also annual national festivals: for theatre in Bucharest, Tirgu- Mures and Piatra Neamt , for films in Costinesti, for light music in Mamaia, for traditional sentimental songs "The Golden Chrysanthemum" in Targoviste, for Christmas carols in Bacau. Besides mention should be made of the annual courses of Romanian language and culture for foreigners in Sinaia. Having the tradition of some literary, scientific and artistic societies, set up around 1830, besides the Unions of Writers, Journalists, Plastic Artists, Musicians, Film-makers, Theatre artists, in 1990 was set up the Romanian Cultural Foundation.

It is a national, non-political and non-profit institution aiming at the integration of Romanian cultural values into the universal ones, the recept on of other cultures into tne Romanian space and the establishment of cultural relations with the Romanian diaspora as well as with the Romanians living around this country.

If we can say that a nat on lasts through its culture. which is more powerful than the mishaps of history. then the Romanian nation can face its destiny.

Sport and education

In Romania, education is provided by Constitution, free of charge and compulsory, for children in elementary and secondary schools, to the age of sixteen. Further there exist post-lycee schools of speciality, for example pedagogical and paramedical ones and on the basis of entrance examinations, higher-education courses can be attended by students. These are also free of charge, furthermore the state universities granting a considerable number of scholarships. After 1990, private education was set up, as well. Ethnic minorities have acccss to education in their mother tongue. Moreover, in Romania there are foreign students from more than 70 countries, attending in particular the faculties of art and medicine.

The Romanian school boasts of old traditions. There existed courses patronized by monasteries as early as the l5th century. The first printed works: in this country date back to 1508. The organized education was established after 1800 and with the appearance of the School Regulations, in 1833, higher education atso came into existence.

The unification of the principalities and the introduction of the Latin alphabet led to a rapid advance of education. In 1860 the University of Iasi(Jassy) was set up while in 1864 the one of Bucharest. In addition schools of fine arts came into being in numerous town from this country.

In his turn Dr. Carol Davil laid the foundations of the medical education system, so brilliantly represented nowadays by the Nobel Prize winner George Emil Palade.

Simultaneusly with the setting up of the Romanian Opera, the musical and ballet education likewise developed.

At present, the Romanian school is renowned, by earning, at each international Olympiad, a considerable number of gold medals, both at the tests of science - mathematics, physics, chemistry - and at those of art - drawing, music.

The sports school and education are based on century - old traditions, if we were to mention only the "oina" game (similar to the "rounders", to a certain extent), archery, riding, characteristic of these parts.

The first athletic events in Bucharest date back to 1815 - long-distance races in the streets, while the first organized athletic contest took place in 1882. The first stadium was inaugurated in 1926 - Romania's first participation in the Olympic Games took place in 1928.

Athletics, gymnastics, boxing, target shooting, kayak, boating, model plane and boat are sports in which Romania constantly won gold medals in world and Olympic contests. Names, such as Iolanda Bala , Lia Manoliu, Nadia Comaneci, Ivan Pataichin, Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac, Corneliu Ion and countless others, while more recently the racer Gabi Szabo are already famous throughout the world.


The arc of the Carpathian Mountains, crossed by deep valleys, clad with forests, hollowed out by caves, which enabled the withdrawal of the population in times of tribulations but treasured communion permanently, constitute most certainly the mystery of the latter's continuity on the territory of this country.

Swift streams, which are running down from the North and the central tableland, flowing into one another till they reach the Danube, radiate endless beauty, in their playful small cascades, with cool glitters. And when they silently sink under the heavy burden of the mountains, the underground streams dig galleries towards the latter's mineral deposits, gathering healthful salts, which have rendered famous our spas.

The watercourses, which have always guided the sheep flocks in a continuous transhumance, through fir and beech tree forests, coloured by the corollas of wild cherry and hazelnut trees, with squirrels and bees generously sprinkle the nourishing grass, interspersed profusely with wild strawberries.

Let us further mention the tableland of Transylvania where people are more straightforward and rugged but at the time matchless dancers on holidays, avowedly the direct descendants of those who called themselves the "free Dacians".

In the Dobruja, there are some mountains eroded into low hills, left over from a primeval range, perhaps the oldest in Europe. Now the grapes are ripning on their slopes, in the hot sun, the same as on all the hillsides in this country, covered with orchards and vineyards.

In spring all species of rare birds are gathering in the Danube Delta, to spend the summer in colonies, turned famous by now. And last but not least, the Black Sea, sometimes smooth, at other times rough but always fascinating in its endless swirl.

Many places from the country are declared geological, spaeological, biological, flora and fauna reserves. Of course, first and foremost, reference is made to the Danube Delta. However equally well-known are the area of the glacial lakes from the Retezat Mountains, the caves from the Bihor Mountains, the valleys of the Cerna and Nera rivers from the Banat, recently the Apuseni Mountains. The lotus from the Petea stream, a relic from the tertiary, near the Felix spa, the mountain peony, the glades with daffodils, the wild lilac thickets and black pine trees are precious gems of the Romanian territories, protected by law.

More than one hundred plants, considered medicinal as well as muds from salt lakes are used in traditional treatments and medicines.

What else could one do but bow thankfully before God, for so much beauty? Perhaps this is the reason why there are so many monasteries, no matter where you wend your way to, which are looking forward to guests, at their table and religious service !

Because the geography of Romania is her history, faith, culture and wealth, forming an inextricable link in these parts of the world!


From Romania's around 260 towns, 60 are municipalities and 40 of the latter are county seats. In rural areas people live in communes and villages.

It is worth mentioning that numerous localities from Romania are continuing their habitation in the precincts of the ancient Daco-Roman settlements, such as Alba lulia (Apullum), Cluj (Napoca), Turnu Severin (Drobeta), Deva (Ulpia), Constanta (Tomis) and others.

The capital-city of the country, Bucharest, is the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of Romania. It has a stable population of around 2,100,000 inhabitants and over 1,000,000 in transit. Lying in the Romanian Plain, it is located at the intersection of the roads leading from the North to South of the continent, from the latter's West to the East. The first documetary attestation of Bucharest dates back to 1459, when it is mentrioned as the seat of the ruling-prince of Wallachia, Vlad the Impaler, known as Dracula.

For the area of Moldavia, the most important town is its former capital-city, Jassy, sited on seven hills, both a university and economic centre, with over 300,000 inhabitants. Then come Suceava, Piatra Neamt, Bacau and Buzau. For the centre of the country, in the former provinces of Transylvania and the Banat, there are to be mentioned Cluj, Timisoara, Brasov, Targu Mure, Sibiu, which are likewise cultural and industrial centres. For the North of the country, Baia Mare, the capital of the Maramuresh and Satu Mare, realms of legend, with their famous carved gates andwooden churches, in the Gothic style. In the South of the country, Craiova, Piteti, Ploieshti, then the ports on the Black Sea - Constanta and Mangalia as well as those on the Danube - Tulcea, Braila, Galati, Calarasi, Turnu Severin.

From the over 150 spas rich in mineral waters, apart from the ones on the sea- side, Mamaia, Constanta, Eforie and Mangalia, several names readily spring to the mind - Baile Herculane, Calimanesti-Caciulata in Valcea county, Baile Tusnad near Sibiu, Vatra Dornei in Moldavia, Covasna, Slanic Prahova perched on a salt hill, Amara on the shore of a salt lake. Besides the medical treatment specific to each, they also offer associated treatment throughout the year. These are equipped with facilities for sports and tourism, so as to secure holidays and recreation. Among these the mnountain resorts for practising skiing: Poiana Braov, Predeal, Sinaia, Semenic, Cheia an many others.

In the plain areas, in the hilly or mountainous regions, Romania's localities provide unforgettable landscapes, museums, art exhibitions, theatrical and folkloric performances, parks, wildlife reserves, lakes with aquatic sports facilities, restarants with specific cuisine and drinks and particularly the joy and warmth of a hospitable population, by tradition, glad to invite in their homes, at their table new friends from any part of the world, over a glass of Romanian wine.


During the first half of our century Romania was considered a preeminently agricultural country. However, after 1918, in Great Romania, the length of the railways exceeded 11,500 km., supported by its own industry of rolling stock. There existed a metallurgical industry in Hunedoara, mechanical industry in Baia Mare, Resita and Braila, mining industry in the Apuseni Mountains, timber exploitation and processing industry, building-materials industry and an industry of electric power. In the Prahova Valley there developed oil industry, with a technical education and research laboratories, with complementary branches of the naval transport and drilling equipment.

Before 1900 textile industry bloomed at Buhusi, sugar processing at Bod and later on such branches extended operation throught the country.

The Romanian Credit Bank opened in 1888 to be followed in 1906 by the Romanian Commercial Bank. They were to ensure the continous growth of economy. In 1827 was registered in Paris the first patent by a Romanian inventor. In 1906 patents were issue in this country. OSIM (State Office fpr Inventions and trademarks) is now a well established body Romanian inventors have won an impressive number of awards af international exhtbitions, other in the country and abroad.

In 1906 Traian Vuia took of, abroad the first aeroplane, designed and built by himself and in 1910 Henry Coanda created the first jet-propelled aircraft in the world.

The exchange of technical-scientific information with the advanced countries from West Europe was very intense; for example, the Pasteur Nationai Institute of Veterinary Medicine was set up on Bucharest, in 1895. In his turn, Emil Racovita founded in Romania the first Speology Institute.

However. during the second half of this century, the communist regime carried on a policy of forced industrialization, which destroyed the Romanian village, to a large extent, and determined the peasantry to migrate to town. In industry some branches were developed, which are no longer competitive on the world market. The need of some investments with foreign credits is felt. In this respect, after 1989, a number of laws were passed, which encourage and guarantee the rights of foreign investors in Romania. Thus the transition to market economy is aimed at, in which Romanian agriculture and industry should find their right place.

Partners from this country and abroad, who wish to establish business relations with companies from Romania should contact the Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The latter's system, reinstated after 1990, is formed of 40 county chambers and the one of Romania, based on relations of cooperation. Their activity protects the interests of the legally established commercial or state companies, in their relations with the Romanian state as well as with specialized organizations from abroad. They organize economic missions in this country and abroad, fairs and exhibitions, provide consulting, bring out informational papers and tracts, arbitrate disputes.

Author: Mihai Parlea, "Eforie South" College, 1998