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The Romania Portal

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

Romania (/rˈmni.ə/ (listen) roh-MAY-nee-ə; Romanian: România [romɨˈni.a] (listen)) is a country located at the crossroads 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, followed by Iași, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Constanța, Craiova, Sibiu, Brașov, and Galați.

Settlement in what is now Romania began in the Lower Paleolithic, with written records attesting the kingdom of Dacia, its conquest and subsequent Latinization by the Roman Empire. The modern Romanian state 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, Crișana, and Maramureș 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 47th 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 like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom. Romania has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, NATO since 2004 and the European Union (EU) since 2007. The majority of Romania's population are ethnic Romanian and religiously identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians, speaking Romanian, a Romance language. The Romanian Orthodox Church is the largest and traditional church of the country. (Full article...)

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Timișoara (UK: /ˌtɪmɪˈʃwɑːrə/, US: /ˌtm-/, Romanian: [timiˈʃo̯ara] (listen); German: Temeswar, also Temeschwar or Temeschburg; Hungarian: Temesvár; Serbian: Темишвар, romanizedTemišvar; see other names) is the capital city of Timiș County and the main economic, social and cultural centre in western Romania. Located on the Bega River, Timișoara is considered the informal capital city of the historical Banat, which is nowadays broadly considered a subregion of Transylvania. From 1848 to 1860 it was the capital of the Serbian Vojvodina and the Voivodeship of Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar. With 319,279 inhabitants at the 2011 census, Timișoara was then the country's third most populous city, after Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca. It is home to almost half a million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, while the Timișoara–Arad conurbation concentrates more than 70% of the population of Timiș and Arad counties. Timișoara is a multicultural city, being the home of 21 different ethnicities and 18 religions. Interculturality has long been a special characteristic for the western part of the country.

Conquered in 1716 by the Austrians from the Ottoman Turks, Timișoara developed in the following centuries behind the fortifications and in the urban nuclei located around them. During the second half of the 19th century, the fortress began to lose its usefulness, due to many developments in the military technology. Former bastions and military spaces were demolished and replaced with new boulevards and neighbourhoods. Timișoara was the first city in the Habsburg monarchy with street lighting (1760) and the first European city to be lit by electric street lamps in 1884. It opened the first public lending library in the Habsburg monarchy and built a municipal hospital 24 years before Vienna. Also, it published the first German newspaper in Southeast Europe (Temeswarer Nachrichten). Timișoara was the starting point of the Romanian Revolution. (Full article...)
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Nicolae "Nicu" Vlad (born 1 November 1963) is a retired heavyweight weightlifter from Romania. He competed for Romania at the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics and won a gold, a silver and a bronze medal. He won the world title in 1984, 1986 and 1990 and European title in 1985 and 1986 and set world records in the snatch in 1986 and 1993. Between 1991 and 1996, he lived in Australia and competed for it internationally. In 2006, he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame. He is still especially noteworthy for achieving the heaviest-ever snatch of double-bodyweight -- lifting 200.5kg in the 100kg class. (Full article...)
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The Palace of Culture is an edifice located in Iași, Romania

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  • ...that Romania's Palace of Parliament, despite the building process not being completely finished, is the biggest building in Europe and the second-largest building in the world?

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