Geography ofRomania

On the Globe, Romania is situated in the northern hemisphere, at the intersection of the 45 north parallel with the 25 east meridian.

In Europe, Romania is situated in the south-east part, on the lower course and at the mouths of the Danube, bordering the Black Sea and having the Carpathians as its central ax. It lies at an approximately equal distance from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean, from the Urals and the Mediterranean Sea.

Boundaries and neighbors: the total length of boundaries is about 3,175 km of which 1,000 terrestrial and 2,175 river and maritime. Romania borders in the north and in the east Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova; in the south-east, the Black Sea; in south Bulgaria; in the south-west Serbia and in the west Hungary.

Area: about 238,000 km, the 11th place in Europe and the 79th place in the world.

Population: about 21 million inhabitants, the 8th place in Europe and the 38th place in the world., the population structure by nationalities being as follows: about 87% Romanians, 7% Hungarians, 5% Gypsies, 0,5% Germans, 0,3% Ukrainians, 0,3% Russians, Tartars, Serbians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Jews, Czechs, Greeks, Armenians etc.

Cults: There are 15 legal religions in Romania: from Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Reformed, Greek Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Adventist, to Muslim and Mosaic.

Administrative divisions: the territory is divided into 41 counties and Bucharest municipality with county status; there are more then 2600 towns, 2,500 communes, 12,000 villages and 380 settlements which are part of towns and municipal towns.

Capital: Bucharest, with more then 2 million inhabitants

Towns with over 100,000 inhabitants: Arad, Baia Mare, Bacau, Botosani, Braiva, Buzau, Drobeta, Focsani, Oradea, Piatra Neamt, Ploiesti, Ramnicu Valcea, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava and Targu Mures

Towns with over 300,000 inhabitants: Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Galati, lasi and Timisoara.

Maritime Ports: Constanta, Mangalia, Midia-Navodari and Sulina

River Ports on the Danube: Moldova Noua, Orsova, Drobeta-Tumu Severin, Calafat, Corabia, Turnu Magurele, Zimnicea, Giurgiu, Oltenita, Calarasi, Cernavoda, Harsova, Macin, Braila, Galati, and Tulcea,

Ports on the Danube-Black Sea Channel: (starting at Cernavoda and ending at Constanta): Cernavoda, Medgidia and Basarabi-South Constanta.

Airports: Bucharest - Henri Coanda, Bucharest - Baneasa, Mihail Kogalniceanu (Constanta), Timisoara, Arad, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava, Oradea, Satu Mare, Baia Mare, Targu Mures, Bacau, Iasi, Tulcea, Craiova, Sibiu, Caransebes.

Landscape: Romania has a diverse landscape, harmoniously spread, disposed in a concentric way. The central part, the Transylvanian Plateau, is surrounded by the Carpathians. From the mountains, with heights between 2,500 and 800 meters, the relief displays itself to the exterior in lower levels resembling a vast amphitheatre.

At the foot of the mountains, the hills and the plateaus form the middle level of the relief: the Sub - Carpathians, the Moldavian Plateau the Dobrogean Plateau, the Getic plateau, the West Hills and the Somes Plateau. They all have heights varying between 900 and 400 meters. The lower level of the relief is made up of the Romanian plain, in the south, and the West Plain, with altitudes under 300 meters. The relief of Romania stretches in altitude between 0 m, at the Black Sea coast, and 2,545 meters, on Moldoveanu Peak in the Fagaras Mountains.

The forms of relief are yet evenly distributed: the mountains occupy approximately 31% of the territory, the hills and the plateaus 33% and the plains 36%. Only 12% of the territory is occupied by heights over 1,000 meters and the rest of 88% is represented by low mountains, hills, plateaus and plains.

In Romania there is the largest part of the Danube Delta (more then 4,300 square km, including the Razim - Sinoe Complex), which was declared biosphere reservation in 1990. Situated in the north of Dobrogea, the Danube Delta is the youngest Romanian territory. It includes the three branches of the river: Chilia, Sulina and Sfintu Gheorghe.

Also in the north part of Dobrogea, on the west side, lays the oldest land: Macin Mountains, with heights of less then 470 meters.

Climate: Romania has a temperate continental climate, with oceanic, Balkan and sea influences. The average multi-annual temperature is differentiated function of latitude (8"C in the north and 11"C in the south) and of altitude (2.6"C in the high mountain areas and 11.7"C in the plain areas). The annual precipitations are lower in the east, from 600 mm in the West Plain to 500 mm in the Romanian Plain and under 400 mm in Dobrogea; in the mountain zones being up to 1,400 mm.

Hydrography: the hydrographical network of Romania belongs to the Black Sea basin, the Danube collecting the waters of more then 93,000 rivers. The Danube runs through the southern part of the country on a length of 1.075 km and it flows into the Black Sea. Most of the rivers spring from the Carpathians and they are disposed in a radial way. The main water courses are: Tisa, Somes, Crisurile, Mures, Timis, Jiu, Olt, Arges, Ialomita, Siret and Prut. The total length of the water courses with permanent regime was estimated at more then 115,000 km.

There are over 3,500 lakes which sum up an area of approximately 2,620 km. Most of them have over 1 sq km, getting up to 415 sq km (Lake Razim).

Flora: Romania has diverse vegetation determined by the relief and by the climatic conditions. It's leveled as follow: the mountain zones are covered with coniferous forests (fir trees, spruce firs), mixed forests (beech trees, fir trees, spruce firs), and beech forests. On the high areas there are alpine meadows, juniper trees and blueberry bushes. In the plateau and hilly areas there are deciduous forests, where beeches or oak tees are predominant. The steppe vegetation covers the Dobrogean Plateau, the Romanian Plain, the Moldavian Plateau and the West Plain, most of it being replaced by agricultural crops.

Fauna: In the alpine zones still are chamois and mountain eagles. In the Carpathian forests there live a large number of birds and deer, lynxes, wolves, wild boars, roebucks, squirrels. In some regions capercailzies and birch tree cocks can still be found. In hills and plains there are rabbits, moles, hedgehogs, different birds, lizards. It is usual to find ground squirrels and hamsters in the steppe zones. The aquatic fauna is represented by the following species: trout in the mountain waters, chubs and barbells in the hilly zones, carps in the plains and in the Danube Delta. In the Danube Delta there are a large variety of bird and fish species, as well as mammals. The fauna and the vegetation are protected through the foundation of parks and natural reserves such as the Retezat National Park, the Danube Delta reservation, the Razim complex and a part of the Lower Danube.

The Danube Delta, Retezat and Rodna are declared reservations of the biosphere. There are also some other protected zones: the national parks of Domogled - Cerna Valley, Nera Gorges, areas in Apuseni, Bucegi, Semenic - Caras Gorges, Ceahlau, Cozia, Calimani, Piatra Craiului, Bicaz Gorges - Hasmas, Gradistea de Munte, the lron Gates.

Natural Resources: Known as a petroleum country even since the first world conflagration, Romania has oil in southern and eastern part of the Carpathians, natural gas in Transylvanian, non-ferrous and iron minerals, gold and silver, uranium, salt, coal, construction rocks (marble, granite, limestone). A special characteristic is the existence of over 2,000 mineral springs used both for consumption and for medical treatment.