Facts about Bucharest & Romania

Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459, as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Țepeș).

In 1569, Prince Gheorghe Ghica designates Bucharest to be capital city of Wallachia.

The first road in Bucharest was Drumul de Lemn (The Wooden Road), today Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue).

The first horse driven omnibuses were inaugurated in Bucharest in 1840, being among the first European cities to have such means of transport.

Bucharest was the first city in the world lighted up with lamp oil (1858).

Filaret is the oldest station in Bucharest (inaugurated in 1869).

The first cinematographic projection in Romania took place in Bucharest, on the 27th of May 1896 (less than five months after the first film exhibition by the Lumière brothers).

In 1952, the National Institute of Gerontology 'Ana Aslan' is founded; the first institude of geriatrics in the world.

The modern Romania was born when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia merged in 1859, and became independent in 1877.

Most Romanians are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is one of the churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

The most widespread form of Romanian folk music is the doina
(a Romanian musical tune style, with Middle Eastern roots, that can be found in Romanian peasant music, as well as in Lăutărească and Klezmer music. Similar tunes are found throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In some parts of the Balkans the doina is referred to as scaros/scaru).

That the words "dor" (to miss someone) have synonym just in Albanian language ("mall").

The highest mountains are the Carpathians, describing an arch on the Romanian territory. The highest peak is Moldoveanu, from the Meridional Carpathians, reaching 2,444 metres.

Romanians celebrate Marțisorul, a traditional holiday announcing the beginning of spring (1st of March).

Constanța is the largest port of the Black Sea.

The name Transylvania comes from Latin, and its meaning is 'beyond the forest' ["trans" = beyond and "silva" = forest].

Romanian is one of the five languages in which religious services are performed in the autonomous monastic state of Mount Athos.

The currency is leu (RON).

The name Romania comes from Rome or the (Eastern) Roman Empire and asserts the country's origins as a Roman colony. (In Late Antiquity the Roman Empire was often called simply Romania in Latin).

In the Middle Ages Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania.

Romania features some of the most beautiful monasteries worldwide, especially the Moldavian ones, which are hand-painted.

Nadia Comăneci was the first gymnast in the world to get the maximun mark (10) in an international competition.

The legend of Dracula is just an invention made by the Irish writer Bram Stocker. The actual character, Vlad Țepeș or Vlad the Impaler has nothing to do with Dracula. He has never been to the castle where the books and the movies say he lived. (He might be confused to the Hungarian contese Báthory who used to kill people and make baths in their blood.)

Sighișoara is the only medieval town (a former fortress) still existing in Europe and that is still inhabited.

Romania is the only country in Europe where the brown bear still live in the wilderness.

Of the 300 pelicans (Pelicanus onocrotalus) existent in the whole world, there are 20 pairs currently living in Romania.

The Danube, which is the longest international river in Europe, empties into the Black Sea at the Romanian coast.

Bucharest's Palace of the People is the world's second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon), according to the World Records Academy.

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991, it is a way-point for large flocks of birds migrating from northern Europe to Africa and is regularly home to more than 300 bird species, including pelicans, herons, egrets and eagles.