Romania is a mid-sized country, though depending on where you are from, you might view it as a small country. Because Romania is not as big as some of the other, more popular vacation destinations in Europe, people often do not know that much about this magnificent country. Even if you know a little about Romania, perhaps to do with Transylvania or the splendid wine from this country, you probably did not know the interesting facts that we are about to list. Wow your friends with your knowledge on Romania, read below!
1. Romania has Europe’s largest rock sculpture
Did you think Mount Rushmore was the only living mountain sculpture out there? Check out the Statue of Decebalus in Orsova, Romania, it is a whopping 55 meters high!
2. Timisoara was the first city to have electric street lamps in continental Europe
3. Prince Charles loves Romania!
He even owns property in Transylvania.
4. Your life would not be the same without the inventions of Romanians
That’s right, Romanians have discovered insulin, invented the CD-ROM, designed cars with wheels inside its aerodynamic line, and invented the fountain pen. These things might not seem revolutionary, but the way you listen to audio, the way you drive a car, or the way that you (or your loved ones) manage blood sugar levels would not be the same without these feats.
5. Romania has some of the fastest internet in the world
Bernie Sanders says that the US needs to catch up!
6. A Romanian created espresso
You have probably heard of the name Illy, right? Francesco Illy was born in Romania, but he eventually went to Italy to open up his first espresso shop.
7. Romania has the tallest wooden church in the world
It is a whopping 78 meters high (or 256 feet high).
8. Romania has one of the happiest cemeteries in the world
Also known at the Merry Cemetery, this cemetery is located in northern Romania in the Maramures region. The Merry Cemetery is a cemetery that is, well, merry. All the tombstones are decorated colorfully and have poetry or other writing describing and celebrating the life of each person buried there. It is believed that Dacian culture viewed death as a joyful moment, as the person passes from this life of suffering to one filled with peace and happiness.
9. Romanian is the only Romance language spoken in Eastern Europe
That is right, there is not another Romance language spoken in Eastern Europe. Many people don’t even realize that Romanian is in fact a Romance language – often it gets overshadowed by the more popular Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.
10. The World Heritage Sites are plentiful and impressive
There is a grand total of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania. You can visit the beautifully preserved Danube Delta, the awe-inspiring paintings in the churches of Moldavia, the Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains, and so much more! If you have the chance to go to Romania, visiting a World Heritage Site is a must!
11. Romania is richer in gold than any other European country
And Romania has a gold museum, go check it out!
12. Romania has the heaviest building in the world
You have got to check out the Palace of the Parliament – it is a monstrous and impressive site to see!
13. The national Romanian currency is the Leu, which literally means lion
14. Romania is soon going to adopt the Euro
Yeah, that means that the government is getting rid of the Leu – visit the country soon and bring home some Lei (that’s Leu in plural) at a souvenir.
15. Romania has the best-preserved Delta in Europe
That’s right, go check out the Danube Delta and take in a deep breath of this beautifully preserved piece of nature.
16. Romania has the largest population of brown bears in Europe
Roughly 6,000 brown bears live in this country, and there are only 200,000 brown bears world wide.
17. Romania is as big as the UK!
This seems to surprise a lot of people, because many seem to think that Romania is a small country. It is not huge, but it is relatively big for Europe.
18. Bucharest’s nickname is “Little Paris”
This is perhaps in part because Bucharest has a copy of the Arch de Triomphe.
19. Romania has active volcanoes
Ok, we are not talking about volcanoes with molten lava, but mud volcanoes. And even if they won’t burn you, they are still really cool to see and take pictures of!
20. Sarmale is Romania’s national dish
Known as sarmale or samalute, this is a cabbage roll stuffed with spicy pork and rice. Romania has tons of amazing food, but this dish is quite delicious. When you visit the country, make sure you try the local plates!
21. The Dacians were the original inhabitants of present-day Romania
The Dacians are also known as Getae and they are the original people who populated the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea. They were eventually conquered by the Romans, which is why today the country is called “Romania,” which means “citizen of the Roman Empire.”
22. Romania is the site of some of the oldest modern human fossils
These fossils were found in 2002 in the southwestern part of the country. They are believed to be from 37,800 to 42,000 years old.
23. Romania also has the oldest cave drawings of Central and Eastern Europe
These drawings have been found in Coliboaia cave and are roughly 32,000 years old.
24. Romania has some of the oldest writing in the world too
The writing was found on clay tablets and this writing is believed to be the oldest known form of writing in the world. It is from around 5300 BC.
25. Romania invented the original game of baseball.
It is not exactly baseball, but it is a very similar game, in Romania it is called “Oina”.