Brief Facts About Romania

There is much to see and do in Romania, from its beautiful Carpathian Mountains to lush fertile plains, flowing rivers and plentiful lakes. Virgin forests, rich flora and fauna, a bevy of brown bears and ancient caves and bones attract tourists and locals alike.

#1. The first written record of people inhabiting the region of what is today Romania was in 513 BC. The kingdom of Dacia endured invasions by Goths, Avars, Huns, Magyars and Bulgars during its centuries of existence as a Roman protectorate.

#2. After the end of Mongul rule in the 15th century, its history involved two Romanian principalities, Moldavia and Walachia, and Transylvania, which was a Hungarian dependency most of the time. The princes who ruled the first two became vassals of the Ottoman Empire until all three were united under the rule of Michael the Brave in 1601.

#3. The next year (1602) Transylvania became independent again and the princes of Moldavia and Walachia made an ill-fated alliance with Russia’s Peter I that led to Turkish domination of the country. By the end of the 1828-29 Russo-Turkish War, with Russian forces occupying the two provinces, they remained in the Ottoman Empire but became Russian protectorates.

#4. During the Crimean War in 1854 Russian troops finally evacuated Walachia and Moldavia and the Congress of Paris (1856) at the end of the war established them as principalities back under Turkish rule. Transylvania is still part of Hungary. The election of Cuza as the prince of both of them prepared the way for the official union of Moldavia and Walachia as Romania (1861-62). Constantin Maruzi was the first Prime Minister.

#5. King Carol I became ruler in 1866 after Cuza was deposed in a coup. During his reign the country established an Air Force and its first oil refinery and Bram Stoker published “Dracula” based on Vlad Tepes. He is followed by his nephew King Ferdinand I.

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