7 fascinating facts about Romania
As any Romanian will eagerly explain, there’s much more to know about Romania than the legend of Dracula and Ceauşescu‘s legacy. Constantly featured among Europe’s best travel destinations, Romania has plenty to surprise those looking for an exciting, off the beaten track destination. From natural wonders to achievements by some of its famous people, we’ve rounded up 12 surprising facts you didn’t know about Romania.
1.Europe’s best preserved delta can be found in Romania
Located in Eastern Romania, a four hour drive away from the capital Bucharest, the Danube Delta is the second largest delta in Europe and the best preserved on the continent. With 300 species of birds and 160 species of fish, it is a true birdwatcher’s paradise and a dream destination for wildlife lovers. Remarkably, this is also the best place to spot some of Europe’s last wild horses. Also, the seafood and fish dishes served here are the best in the country!
2.Romania has plenty of active volcanoes
Alright, they may be only six meters (19.6 ft) tall, and they may not spit fire, but Romania’s mud volcanoes are nonetheless very photogenic. Visit at sunset, when the wet surfaces created by the fresh mix of mud, water and gases reflect the setting sun.
The 60 hectare botanical and geological reservation where they are located is unique in Europe, and is divided into two sections, Pâclele Mari and Pâclele Mici. To see the spectacular mud volcanoes you must travel to Berca, Buzău County, 22 kilometers from the city of Buzău and 122 km from Romania’s capital, Bucharest.
4.In Romania there’s one cemetery that makes light of death
Romania’s Merry Cemetery, located in Săpânța, Maramureş County, is the world’s most colorful graveyard. It started one day when a very talented local craftsman, Stan Ioan Pătraş, started using his creativity to make colorful wooden crosses which he painted with poems about the lives of his customers.
A walk in the Săpânța Merry Cemetery will delight you visually as well as challenge you to meditate on the transient nature of life. In particular, pay attention to the symbols hidden in the colorful palette. Green is used to mean life, yellow represents fertility, red signifies passion and black represents death.
5. Romania boasts the world’s heaviest building
Dominating the skyline of Romania’s capital Bucharest, The Palace of Parliament is the heaviest and most expensive administrative building in the world. It is also the world’s second-largest, after the Pentagon. Designed by 28 year old Anca Petrescu, the House of the People, as it was called during Romania’s Communist rule, was commissioned by the country’s former dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu. Out of its 1,100 rooms, many disposed on its eight underground levels, only 400 are finished and used.
6. Bucharest has a replica of Paris’ Arc de Triumph
One of Bucharest’s symbols is the Arch of Triumph, which was built in 1936 to celebrate the country’s participation in WWI. Standing at 27 meters (88 ft), the arch was modeled on the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile on Paris’s Champs-Élysées. Covered in Rușchița marble, Romania’s best, it features sculptures by the finest artists of the interwar period.
7. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania
Romania is home to no less than seven World Heritage Sites. The Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania, the old center of the city of Sighișoara, the ruins of Sarmizegetusa Regia, the former Dacian capital in the Oraștie Mountains, the Horezu Monastery, the wooden churches of Maramureș, Moldavia’s painted churches, including Voroneț, and, for its tremendous diversity, the Danube Delta.
Photos source: https://pixabay.com/ro/