Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine. It also borders Hungary, Serbia, and Moldova.

Corvin Castle, Romania

Modern Romania emerged within the territories of the ancient Roman province of Dacia, and was formed in 1859 through apersonal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. During World War II, Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union, fighting side by side with the Wehrmacht until 1944, then it joined the Allied powers after being occupied by the Red Army forces. During the war, Romania lost several territories, of which Northern Transylvania was regained after the war. Following the war, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards democracy and a capitalist market economy.

With an area of 238,391 square kilometres (92,043 sq mi), Romania is the largest country in Southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. It lies between latitudes 43° and 49° N, and longitudes 20° and 30° E. The terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountains, hills and plains.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the centre of Romania, with 14 mountain ranges reaching above 2,000 m or 6,600 ft, and the highest point at Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m or 8,346 ft). They are surrounded by the Moldavian and Transylvanian plateaus and Carpathian Basinand Wallachian plains. The Danube river forms a large part of the border with Serbia and Bulgaria and flows into the Black Sea forming the Danube Delta, the second largest and best preserved delta in Europe, and also a biosphere reserve and a biodiversity World Heritage Site.

Danube Delta, Romania

Owing to its distance from open sea and position on the southeastern portion of the European continent, Romania has a climate that is temperate and continental, with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) in the south and 8 °C (46 °F) in the north. In summer, average maximum temperatures in Bucharest rise to 28 °C (82 °F), and temperatures over 35 °C (95 °F) are fairly common in the lower-lying areas of the country. In winter, the average maximum temperature is below 2 °C (36 °F).

Precipitation is average, with over 750 mm (30 in) per year only on the highest western mountains, while around Bucharest it drops to around 600 mm (24 in). There are some regional differences: in the western parts (such as Banat), the climate is milder, and has some Mediterranean influences; while the eastern part of the country has a more pronounced continental climate. In Dobruja, the Black Sea also exerts an influence over the region’s climate.

47% of the country’s land area 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.

The Eurasian Lynx is the National Animal of Romania

The fauna consists of 33,792 species of animals, 33,085 invertebrate and 707 vertebrate, with almost 400 unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, including about 50% of Europe’s (excluding Russia) brown bears and 20% of its wolves. Some 3,700 plant species have been identified in the country, from which to date 23 have been declared natural monuments, 74 missing, 39 endangered, 171 vulnerable and 1,253 rare. There are almost 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) (about 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania covering 13 national parks and three biosphere reserves. The Danube Delta, at 5,800 km2 (2,200 sq mi), is the largest continuous marshland in Europe, and supports 1,688 different plant species alone.

The following is a list the National Parks of Romania:

  1. Buila-Vânturarița National Park
  2. Călimani National Park
  3. Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park
  4. Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park
  5. Cozia National Park
  6. Defileul Jiului National Park
  7. Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park
  8. Letea Forest
  9. Piatra Craiului Mountains
  10. Retezat National Park
  11. Rodna National Park
  12. Semenic-Cheile Carașului National Park
  13. Ceahlău Massif National Park
Retezat National Park, Romania


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