Armchair Travel – Romania

Enjoying a nargila in the centre of Bucharest

Interesting facts about Romania

Like Poland, Romania is the home of the Europe’s largest mamal, the bison. The European bison was nearly hunted to extinction, but in recent years has been reintroduced to several Eastern European countries

The colours of Transylvanian forests.

Romania also has Europe’s largest population of brown bears.

Bucharest has one of the world’s prettiest bookshops. Cărturești Carusel opened in 2015 in a restored 19th century building. It contains more than 10,000 books, 5,000 albums and DVDs and a top floor bistro.

According to OpenSignal, Romania occupies 4th place out of 78 when it comes to 4G speed. The internet is faster than in UK or USA!

The Black Church in Brasov

Bucharest’s vast Palace of the Parliament is 240 metres long, 270 metres wide, 86 metres high, and cost a staggering €3 billion (£2.5bn) to build. Inside you’ll find 3,500 tonnes of crystal, 480 chandeliers and 1,409 ceiling lights, while 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze was used for monumental doors and windows. Guinness World Records recognises it as the heaviest building on the planet.

The front of the Palace of Parliament
A bit of a nice view of the same building.

Another Guinness World record is the tallest wooden church in Europe.

Bucharest has it’s own Arc de Triomphe.

Borat village scene was filmed in Romania – scenes of Borat’s Kazakh hometown were shot in the village of Glod, while its Roma residents were cast as extras. Those same extras later took (unsuccessful) legal action claiming they were unaware of the film’s subject matter.

This is the open air Village museum in Bucharest. Read more about it here

I mentioned several times that we love travelling with trains and often use the train to travel between towns. Romania’s 22,298km network is the 15th most extensive on Earth, even though it is only the world’s 81st largest country in terms of total area. 

The train station in Bucharest. We took the train to Brasov. It was one of the most comfortable rides ever!

Brasov and Rasnov are ripping off Hollywood with their own fancy signs.

Romania hides an underground glacier! The Scărișoara Glacier can be found underneath the Bihor Mountains, and is the second largest underground glacier in Europe. With a volume of 75,000 cubic meters, the glacier has been in existence for more than 3,500 years.

Snowy peaks of Transylvanian Alps

Did you know that Romania is the wealthiest country in Europe in terms of gold resources? Also, it has the only museum in Europe dedicated to gold. 

How pretty is this courtyard?!

Romania has many inventors and 4 Noble prize winners – George Emil Palade (medicine), Elie Wiesel (peace), Herta Müller (literature) and Stefan Hell (chemistry). Henri Coandă has been credited with inventing the modern jet engine; Nicolae Paulescu discovered insulin and demonstrated the effectiveness this substance has in reducing hyperglycemia; Petrache Poenaru created the fountain pen; Ioan Cantacuzino conducted extensive research on cholera, and invented the anticholinergic vaccine; Lazar Edeleanu was the first person to discover and synthesize amphetamines.

One of the gorgeous Orthodox churches in Bucharest

The creator of the coffee machine was also born here! Francesco Illy, creator of the automatic steam espresso coffee machine, was born in the Romanian city of Timișoara. He then moved to Italy where he opened its business, the world-known coffee roasting company Illy Caffe.

Trees in their autumn finery.

The Romanian language is 1,700 years old and it is the only Latin language spoken in Eastern Europe. 

on our way to the Parliament

The first Olympic gymnast to ever score a perfect 10 was the 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci.

The Danube-Black Sea Canal is the third-longest human-made navigation path. First two are the Suez and Panama Canals. The canal was built during Ceaușescu’s reign. Tens of thousands of political prisoners worked on its excavation, and many of them even died on this site. Doesn’t this remind you of how the Great Wall of China as built?

And a fun fact to end the post – Romania has a Merry Cemetery! It is in the town of Săpânţa. There are over 800 wooden crosses in bright colours that tell the life story of the graves occupant. You gotta admit, it’s a pretty cheerful cemetery.

Photo taken from Go Eat Give

Did you know any of these facts? Which one did you find most interesting?

Check out our other posts on Romania!

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