The one minute summary on Romania
This is it: one minute to the best info on Romania. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Romania, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia – for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire – secured their autonomy in 1856; they were de facto linked in 1859 and formally united in 1862 under the new name of Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories – most notably Transylvania – following the conflict. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR.
Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a communist “people’s republic” in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in Romania
- Does my current phone work in Romania ? Tips to cell phone usage in Romania
- Local food you should try in Romania and No miss drinks in Romania
Now, cheers to the most Romania aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for Romania?
In ancient times the territory of present day Romania was inhabited mainly by Dacian tribes, who had a remarkable, although not very well known, culture. The Dacian kingdom reached its peak in the 1st century BC, when their king Burebista ruled from his power base in the Carpathian Mountains over a vast territory stretching from Central Europe to the Black Sea. The intriguing network of fortifications and shrines built around the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa, in today’s south-western Transylvania, has been relatively well preserved through the ages and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In 106 AD the Dacians were defeated by the Romans and most of their homeland became part of the Roman Empire. Being very rich in natural resources (especially gold), the region prospered under the Roman administration: cities developed rapidly, important roads were built and people from all over the Empire settled here. That’s why, despite the fact that Roman rule lasted less than 200 years, a population with a distinctive Latin character and language emerged, which were however influenced by the Slavic peoples with whom it later came in contact. Timisoara In the Early Middle Ages Hungarians began settling in the area, today known as Transylvania, which would eventually become part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Germans also settled in that area (in several waves), some coming as early as the 12th century. In order to protect themselves from the frequent Tartar and Turkish invasions they set about building fortified cities and castles, many of which remained to this day.
South and east of the Carpathians the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were created in the 14th century. Starting with the 15th century, both of them (and for a while Transylvania too) fell under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. For a short period in 1600, Michael The Brave (Mihai Viteazul) ruled over all three principalities, thus briefly becoming the de-facto ruler of a unified Romania. The international scene, however, was not ready yet for a unified Romania, and thus his union fell a short while later. A Romanian national revival movement started in Transylvania in the late 1700’s and swept across the Carpathians, inspiring the 1859 unification of Moldavia and Wallachia, thus creating modern national Romania.
In 1917-1919 Transylvania and Eastern Moldavia (today part of the Republic of Moldova) were united with Romania (“Greater Romania”). “Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a Communist “people’s republic” (“R.P.R”) in 1947 and the abdication of the king. Between 1947 and 1965, Romania was led by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej with a pro-Soviet stance throughout most of his administration. In 1965, he was succeeded by Nicolae Ceau?escu who was less enthusiastic towards the Soviet Union and maintained a more neutral foreign policy than his predecessor alongside a harsh internal terror regime. During the 1980s, his notorious Securitate secret police became a strong force. The leader was overthrown and executed in late 1989.
Former Communists, regrouped around the Front of National Salvation and the Romanian Party for Social Democracy dominated the government until the 1996 elections, when they were swept from power by a fractious coalition of centrist parties, after failed reforms were replaced by the Social Democratic Party. Both groups attempted to amend ties with Hungary, which were deeply fractured back in the 1980s, when Ceausescu either encouraged the large Hungarian community to leave the country or exiled them outright (5.000 Hungarians left Romania anually). The 2004 elections brought to power an alliance formed by the National Liberal and Democratic parties. They currently govern the country with the support of most minority parties in Romania. In 2008 Romania held its legislative elections with the right wing party of the PDL (Democratic Liberal Party) winning the national elections by a small margin against the PSD (Social Democratic Party). The current Prime Minister is Victor Ponta while the Deputy Prime Minister is Dan Nica of the Social Democratic Party.
As of the year 2009 the Romanian Government has decided to implement a massive infrastructure investment programme which will benefit the whole country. The Romanian Government hopes to successfully implement the massive infrastructure program by the end of their mandate in 2012. When the economic, social and political development is concerned Romania is doing well in comparison to other countries in the Western Balkans region and other surrounding countries in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine and Moldova. However when compared to Western Europe, Romania still has some ways to go to reach that level of development that is enjoyed by the Western Europeans. However Romania’s membership in the European Union will help in closing the gap in the years to come.
Best places to see in Romania
- Peles Castle
- Bran Castle
- Alba Carolina Citadel in Alba Iulia
- City of Sibiu
- Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
- Rasnov Fortress
- The Danube Delta
- The Casino in Constanta, an amazing piece of Art Nouveau Architecture (now in disrepair)
- The salt mine in Turda
Epic roads: – Transfagarasan – Transalpina
Beautyful Cities: – Brasov – Sighisoara – Oradea – Timisoara – Cluj-Napoca – Bucharest ( the old city center )