Portal:Romania
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Portal:Romania

The Romania Portal

Location of Romania
LocationAt the confluence of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Romania ( ro-MAY-nee-?; Romanian: România [rom?'ni.a] ) is a country at the confluence of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east and the Black Sea to the southeast. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate, and an area of 238,397 km2 (92,046 sq mi), with a population of around 19 million. Romania is the twelfth-largest country in Europe, and the sixth-most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest; other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timi?oara, Ia?i, Constan?a, Craiova, Bra?ov, and Gala?i.

Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal 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. During World War I, after declaring its neutrality in 1914, Romania fought together with the Allied Powers from 1916. In the aftermath of the war, Bukovina, Bessarabia, Transylvania and parts of Banat, Cri?ana, and Maramure? became part of the Kingdom of Romania. In June-August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, and Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and, consequently, in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war and occupation by the Red Army, Romania became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition towards democracy and a market economy.

Romania is a developing country, with a high-income economy, ranking 49th in the Human Development Index. It has the world's 45th largest economy by nominal GDP. Romania experienced rapid economic growth in the early 2000s; its economy is now based predominantly on services. It is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy through companies such as Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom. Romania has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, NATO since 2004, and the European Union since 2007. The majority of Romania's population are ethnic Romanian and Eastern Orthodox Christians, speaking Romanian, a Romance language. (Full article...)

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Map of Romania's railway system

C?ile Ferate Române (Romanian pronunciation: ['k?.ile fe'rate ro'm?ne]; abbreviated as the CFR) is the state railway carrier of Romania. As of 2014, the railway network of Romania consists of 10,777 km (6,697 mi), of which 4,029 km (2,504 mi) (37.4%) are electrified. The total track length is 22,247 km (13,824 mi), of which 8,585 km (5,334 mi) (38.5%) are electrified. The CIA World Factbook lists Romania with the 23rd largest railway network in the world. The network is significantly interconnected with other European railway networks, providing pan-European passenger and freight services. CFR as an entity has been operating since 1880, even though the first railway on current Romanian territory was opened in 1854. CFR is divided into four autonomous companies:

  • CFR C?l?tori, responsible for passenger services;
  • CFR Marf?, responsible for freight transport;
  • CFR Infrastructur? or CFR S.A., manages the infrastructure on the Romanian railway network; and
  • Societatea Feroviar? de Turism, or SFT, which manages scenic and tourist railways.
CFR is headquartered in Bucharest and has regional divisions centered in Bucharest, Bra?ov, Cluj-Napoca, Constan?a, Craiova, Gala?i, Ia?i and Timi?oara. Its International Union of Railways code is 53-CFR. (Full article...)

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Ambras Castle portrait of Vlad III (c. 1560), reputedly a copy of an original made during his lifetime

Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad ?epe? ['vlad 'tsepe?]) or Vlad Dracula (; Romanian: Vlad Dr?culea ['dr?kule?a]; 1428/31 – 1476/77), was Voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is often considered one of the most important rulers in Wallachian history and a national hero of Romania.

He was the second son of Vlad Dracul, who became the ruler of Wallachia in 1436. Vlad and his younger brother, Radu, were held as hostages in the Ottoman Empire in 1442 to secure their father's loyalty. Vlad's father and eldest brother, Mircea, were murdered after John Hunyadi, regent-governor of Hungary, invaded Wallachia in 1447. Hunyadi installed Vlad's second cousin, VladislavII, as the new voivode. Hunyadi launched a military campaign against the Ottomans in the autumn of 1448, and Vladislav accompanied him. Vlad broke into Wallachia with Ottoman support in October, but Vladislav returned and Vlad sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire before the end of the year. Vlad went to Moldavia in 1449 or 1450, and later to Hungary. (Full article...)

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