Romania’s UNESCO Worl Heritage Sites
25 beautifully preserved architectural gems of Romania have been included by UNESCO in the World Cultural Heritage. Each and every one of it is unique:
- the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina( Arbore, Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Saint George’s, Voronet);
- the Dacian Fortress of the Orastie Mountains ( Sarmisegetusa Regia);
- the Historic Centre of Sighisoara;
- the Monastery of Horezu;
- the Medieval Fortified Churches in Transylvania( Biertan, Calnic, Darjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor, Viscri);
- the Wooden Churches of Maramures ( Barsana, Budesti, Desesti,Ieud, Plopis, Poienile Izei, Rogoz, Surdesti);
- the Danube Delta;
Famous people from Romania
Romania offered the world and still does many highly-talented, exceptional people, who had a huge impact not only on Romania but on the whole world in so many fields and ways. Below you can find a small fraction of this list. In reality, it is much longer and new names are constantly added.
Nadia Elena Comăneci is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.
Gheorghe Hagi, nicknamed “The Maradona of the Carpathians”, was one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s and is considered the greatest Romanian footballer of all time.
Simona Halep is a professional tennis player and the current Romanian number 1, out of four Romanian players in the top 60. Halep first broke into the world’s top 50 at the end of 2012, and won her first 6 WTA titles in 2013.
Ilie Năstase is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player of the 1970s. Năstase was ranked World No. 1 between 1973 and 1974. He is one of the five players in history to win more than 100 ATP professional titles.
Michael I is the former King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced to abdicate by the government controlled by the Communist Party of Romania.
Constantin Brâncuși was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. Famous Brâncuși works include the Sleeping Muse, The Kiss, Prometheus, Mademoiselle Pogany, The Newborn, Bird in Space and The Column of the Infinite, popularly known as The Endless Column.
Gheorghe Zamfir, a world famous Romanian nai (pan flute) musician, plays this instrument like no one else, expanding the traditional 20 pipes version to 22, 25, 28 and 30 pipes. “The pan flute sounds like an echo of the heart and mind. You can laugh or cry with it.” Gheorghe Zamfir Greatest Hits
George Enescu, known in France as Georges Enesco, was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He is regarded by many as Romania’s most important musician. George Enescu Rapsodia Română
Ciprian Porumbescu, one of the most famous Romanian composers, born in 1853, Stupca (today Ciprian Porumbescu), Jud. Suceava. His popular works include Crai nou, Trei culori, Song for the 1st of May, Ballad for violin and piano, and Serenada.
Henri Marie Coandă was a Romanian inventor, aerodynamics pioneer and builder of an experimental aircraft, the Coandă-1910 described by Coandă in the mid-1950s as the world’s first jet, a controversial claim disputed by some and supported by others.
A passionate researcher of the natural world, Emil Racovita was the first biologist to study life in Antarctica, in an expedition that lasted from 1897 until 1899. He explored over 1,400 caves and founded the first Speological Institute in the world.
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist. His poetry was first published when he was 16 and he went to Vienna to study when he was 19. Notable works include Luceafărul, Odă în metru antic, and the five Letters.
Ion Luca Caragiale was a playwright, short story writer, poet, theater manager, political commentator and journalist. Caragiale’s plays constituted an important venue for criticism of late 19th-century Romanian society, while in later works of fiction Caragiale adopted the fantasy genre or turned to historical fiction.
Ion Creangă was a writer and schoolteacher. He is best known for his Childhood Memories volume, his novellas and short stories, and his many anecdotes. Creangă’s main contribution to fantasy and children’s literature includes narratives structured around eponymous protagonists, as well as fairy tales indebted to conventional forms.
Sergiu Florin Nicolaescu was a film director, actor and politician. He was best known for his historical films, such as Mihai Viteazul, Dacii, Razboiul Independenţei, as well as for his series of thrillers that take place in the interwar Kingdom of Romania, such as Un comisar acuză.
Mircea Eliade was a historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. His literary works belong to the fantastic and autobiographical genres. The best known are the novels Maitreyi, Noaptea de Sânziene, Romanul Adolescentului Miop, the novellas Domnișoara Christina and Tinerețe fără tinerețe, and the short story La Țigănci.
Here are also some of Romania’s geographic superlatives:
- Offering breathtaking landscapes, Romania is the most bio-geographically diverse country in Europe.
- The Black Church in Braşov is the largest gothic church east of Vienna. It has the largest organ in Europe with 4000 tubes, built by Buchholz, Berlin’s famous organ builder, in 1836, as well as the largest bell in Romania, weighing 6.3 tons.
- Braşov is home to what is said to be the narrowest street in Europe, the Rope Street (Strada Sforii), which is approximately four feet wide and was initially used as an access-route by firefighters.
- Sighişoara’s fortress is thought to be the best preserved and continuously inhabited, early middle age city in Europe.Sighisoara is also the most colorful town in Romania with all types of pastel shades possible.
- The Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is, according to the World Records Academy, the largest and most expensive civil administration building in the world. It is also considered to be the biggest office building in Europe, having 3.9 million square feet and second-largest in the world, after the U.S. Pentagon.
- The Merry Cemetery in the village of Săpânța – Maramureş is one of the happiest cemeteries on Earth. One of the world’s most unique – in all respects – resting places, is well known for over 800 colorful gravestones, carved in oak and decorated with colorful paintings and funny epitaphs about the deceased.
- The Danube Delta, the most extended wet area in Europe, occupies the third place in the world as biodiversity, after the Great Barrier Reef and Galapagos islands.
- The tallest wooden church in the world, Săpânţa Peri, Maramureş, can be found in the northwestern part of Romania. The 257 feet tall church, dedicated to St. Michael, culminates with a 23 feet cross that weighs 1,000 lbs.
- Romania is home to the second largest outdoor museum in the world, Astra Museum in Sibiu, featuring more than 300 buildings, as well as watermills, windmills and many village architectural style structures.
- The largest population of brown bears in Europe lives in Romania.
- According to data published by Eurostat on April 4, 2017, Romania has the largest number of vineyards in the European Union, with 855,000 individual registered areas, ie 36 % of their total, in Europe. The vineyards are reunited in eight main wine regions, namely: Târnave, Cotnari, Huşi, Panciu, Odobeşti, Dealu Mare, Murfatlar, Recaş. Learn more about our wines reading
- The wine book of Romania
- Romania is Europe’s richest country in gold resources . Also known as the Mineralogical Collection of Brad, The Gold Museum in the small Romanian city of Brad is the only one of its kind in Europe.
- Along the Danube, near the small city of Orsova, in southwestern Romania, lies a high rock sculpture depicting Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, which reaches 9 m in height and 31.6 m in width . The monument is the largest rock sculpture in Europe. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, a monumental bas-relief with a sculptural aspect, dedicated to the four American presidents, is only 18 m high.
- Inside the old Salina Turda Salt Mines located in Transylvania, stands the world’s largest salt mine museum. Originally established in the 17th century, the massive mines were formed completely by hand and machine rather than by using explosives. Visitors are invited to descend as far down as almost 400 feet into the Earth in order to witness the history of the trade.
- The second largest underground glacier in Europe in terms of volume, Scarisoara glacier, can be found in Transylvania, in the Bihor Mountains. The 3500-year old glacier has some impressive ice structures, including spectacular 20 foot high ice stalagmite.