Romania won its freedom from the Ottoman empire in 1877. Being the twelfth biggest country in Europe, Romania has beautifully preserved medieval towns with scenic castles, beautiful churches, and majestic mountains.
Romania is a popular tourist destination, thanks to the beautiful landmarks you can find all over the country. Let’s find out more about Romania!
Here Are 15 Romania Facts that Surprise Most People!
1. Romania the Home of the Dracula Legend
Coming from the forested region of Transylvania in Romania, Dracula is a world-famous legend that has made its way to several books, movies, and TV shows. According to this legend, Dracula, which means the ‘son of Dracul’, was born in Transylvania. He was the second son of Vlad II Dracul, who was a nobleman in Transylvania. Dracula took this name because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon, an army of Christian knights of the Ottoman Empire of Muslims in the 1400s.
2. The Most Beautiful Road in the World Lies in Romania
Jeremy Clarkson is an English broadcaster and a game show host who declared the Transfagarasan highway in Romania as the most beautiful driving road in the world. He found the road in the middle of Romania and was amazed by its astonishing engineering, which is full of beautiful bridges, viaducts, and tarmac roads forming hairpin bends and surrounded by green landscapes and mountains.
The road was built by Nicolae Ceaușescu who was a Romanian dictator and communist politician. Nicolae built this highway to make sure that in case of a Soviet invasion, there was a quick and easy way to escape by using this scenic highway full of mountain passes. However, the highway was never used for this purpose.
3. Romanians Love Their Drink
Romanians are famous for being huge fans of alcohol. It is the fifth booziest nation in the world, coming behind 4 other Eastern European countries, including Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, and Moldova.
According to statistics, an average Romanian person consumes 14.4 liters of Alcohol every year, leaving behind the British who consume 11.6 liters of Alcohol. In terms of wine consumption, Romania comes in at 16th in the world, as it is one of the biggest producers of wine.
4. Romania Is Also Home to the Heaviest Building in the World
In addition to being home to the most famous legend and the most beautiful highway, Romania is also home to the heaviest building in the world, called the Palace of the Parliament. The building is located in the country’s capital, Bucharest.
It was also built during the tenure of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s rule and was finished in 1997. It is 240 meters in length, 86 meters in height, and 270 meters in width. The construction cost of this building was a whopping €3 billion.
But that’s not it. The remaining statistics about this building are equally remarkable.
During its construction, over 100,000 people worked on its site. For its interior, it has 1,100 rooms, most of which stay empty. The heating cost of this building is about $6m annually, which is almost the same as that of a city. There are 8 underground floors in the building and a nuclear bunker which is connected to other major government buildings with tunnels that go 20km long.
The building takes up an area of 365,000 square meters, which is second only to The Pentagon in the U.S. With a volume of 2.55 million square meters, it makes a shade bigger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Inside, there are 1,409 ceiling lights, 480 chandeliers, and 3,500 tons of crystal. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the heaviest building in the world with 700,000 tons of bronze and steel.
5. It Is a Country of Inventions
From inventing long sausages to insulin, Romania is known as the country of inventions. Insulin was discovered by Nicolae Paulescu, however, the Nobel Prize for the study of this hormone was given to two Canadian scientists in 1923. The modern jet engine that is used till date was invented by Henri Coandă of Romania. The fountain pen was invented by Petrache Poenaru. Additionally, Romania is home to four Nobel Prize laureates, including Elie Weisel for peace, Stefan Hell for chemistry, George Emil Palade for medicine, and Herta Müller for literature.
6. Romania Has the Most Impressive 4G Network in the World
Romania is the best place to use 4G internet. It has an impressive 4G speed with the 4th place in the world. If you are in Romania, you can expect an average 4G internet speed of 35.61 Mbps, which is much lower than that of the UK, which is only 21.16 Mbps.
7. It Is Home to the Prettiest Bookshop in the World
Cărturești Carusel, meaning Carousel of Light, is a beautiful bookshop that was inaugurated in 2015 and was restored in a building from the 19th century. It is one of the prettiest bookshops with beautiful lights, white pillars, a top floor bistro, 10,000+ books, and 5,000 DVDs and albums.
8. You Can Find Europe’s Biggest Mammal in Romania
The European bison was once almost extinct due to mass hunting. However, it was reintroduced in Eastern European nations recently, including Romania. The European bison weighs 1,400 lbs. Romania also has the biggest number of brown bears in the world.
9. It Has the Best-Preserved Delta in All of Europe
Romania also has the best-preserved delta, formed by the Danube River which makes a beautiful delta that flows into the Black Sea. This delta has 23 natural ecosystems. During the period of April until September, you can also find more than 300 bird species that fly to survive on the lakes and channels of this delta.
10. Romania is Home to the Biggest Gothic Church in the World
Romania also has the biggest gothic church in the world, known as the Black Church of Brașov. This church was partly damaged by a fire in 1689, which made the church’s walls dark, hence the name. There is a remarkable Bucholz organ inside as well as the largest collection of oriental carpets in all of Europe.
11. It Is Also Home to the Tallest Wooden Church in All of Europe
Romania also has the tallest wooden church in Europe, located in a small village in the north. There are several churches that have been carved in wood in this region. In fact, an entire competition is held for these wooden churches that have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The tallest among all is a wooden church that goes as high as 78 meters and is considered to be the tallest wooden church in all of Europe.
12. There Lies a Unique Waterfall Hiding in the Carpathians of Romania
The Carpathian Mountains or Romania has a hidden waterfall known as the Bigăr Waterfall. It was listed in the World Geography’s top Unique Waterfalls Around the World as its water falls over the moss-covered rocks in tiny streams.
13. There Is a Hidden Underground Glacier in Romania
The Scărișoara Glacier can is a hidden glacier located in the Bihor Mountains and is the second biggest glacier in Europe. It has existed for a period of more than 3,500 years and has a volume of 75,000 cubic meters.
14. There Is a Unique Cemetery in Romania that Is Full of Colors
You can also find a unique cemetery in Romania known as the Merry Cemetery, which is located in the Săpânța village. This colorful cemetery was created by a local artist known as Stan Loan Pătraș and has beautifully painted crosses with satirical messages by the dead.
15. A Romanian Museum Has an Entire Village Displayed
There is a whole village that is displayed in the Astra Museum of Folk Civilization in Romania. This open-air museum is next to Sibiu and has 300+ watermills, stables, barns, traditional houses, windmills, and huge presses for oil, fruits, and wine. You will feel like you are walking in a traditional Romanian village in this museum.
Video: More Surprising Facts about Romania
Here are surprising facts about Romania! Romania is a southeastern European country known for the region of Transylvania, Carpathian Mountains, and the Dracula legend. Bucharest is Romania’s capital.
Romania is a land of wonders and world records. From the biggest gothic church and the tallest wooden church to the most beautiful bookshop and cemetery, there is a lot to explore in this Eastern European country. If you are planning on visiting Europe anytime soon, we hope these Romania facts encourage you to add it to your travel list.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.