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Romania: Land and resources, echonomy, dracula, nicolae ceausecu, photos of romania, history, orthodox church and religion, monarchy in romania all here...


Dracula or Vlad the Impaler was the son of Vlad Dracul (1436-1442; 1443-1447) and grandson of Mircea the Old (1386-1418). Vlad Dracul was dubbed a knight of the Dragon Order by the Hungarian king. All the members of the order had a dragon on their coat of arms, and that is what brought him the nickname of Dracul (the Devil). Vlad the Impaler used to sign himself Draculea or Draculya - the Devil's son -, a name which was distorted into Dracula.Dracula's renown reached the West through the Saxons from the Transylvanian towns of Brasov (Kronstadt) and Sibiu (Hermannstadt), who often gave shelter to those who claimed the Wallachian throne. In order to escape the peril of losing his throne, Vlad would punish the Saxons. Sibiu and the neighbouring area were pillaged and burnt down by Vlad, and many Saxons were impaled. The same happened to the Saxon merchants who came on business to Tirgoviste.

In fact, Vlad was called Tepes (the Impaler) only after his death (1476). He ruled in Wallachia between 1456-1462 and in 1476. In 1462, having been defeated by the Turks, Vlad took refuge in Hungary. In 1476, with the help of the Hungarian king Matia Corvin and the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great, Vlad took over the Wallachian throne again for a month. A battle followed, during which Vlad was killed. His body was buried in the church of the Snagov Monastery, on an island near Bucharest. His body lies in front of the altar. In 1935, a richly dressed but beheaded corpse was exhumed at Snagov, a fate known to have overtaken Dracula, whose head was supposedly wrapped, perfumed and dispatched as a gift to the Turkish sultan.
They say that impalling was one of Dracula's favourite punishments, but he was not the only one who made use of it at the time. Other German and Spanish princes would do the same. He used the method for boyars, thieves and criminals, Turks, Saxons and those who conspired against him; more than once it happened that a whole forest of sharp stakes with enemies' heads would rise around T?rgoviste, the capital of Wallachia at the time.
Horrified by these atrocities, the Saxons printed books and pamphlets in which they told about Vlad's cruelty. These booklets also reached Germany and Western Europe, where Dracula became known as a bloody tyrant.
In 1897, the Irish writer Bram Stoker published Dracula, which made Vlad the Impaler famous world-wide. Stoker read the stories about Dracula printed in the 15th and 16th centuries and was struck by his acts of cruelty. He decided to make him his character; he also read several books about Transylvania (a name of Latin origin, meaning "the country beyond the forests"), and thought that this "exotic" land would make a proper setting for Dracula's deeds.
In fact, Stoker used Vlad only as a source of inspiration, since in his novel, Dracula is not prince Vlad the Impaler, but a Transylvanian count living in a mysterious castle where he lured his victims. His story takes place in the Bistritza area, and the castle lies near the B?rgau Pass (in the Carpathian Mountains). As Stoker had never visited Transylvania, most places and happenings were pure fiction.
Legend and true history about Dracula intermingle and are being kept alive by tourist destinations like the Monastery of Snagov near Bucharest, or Bran Castle near Brasov.

Romania is situated in south-eastern Europe between latitudes 43 37' 07" north and longitudes 20 15' 44" east, extending approximately 480 km north to south and 640 km east to west. The country has an area of 237,750 sq. km and a population of over 23,000,000 of which 89% are Romanians, 7% Hungarians, 2% Gypsies, with small minorities of Germans, Slovaks, Turks, Russians, Bulgarians, Croats, Tartars, Czechs, Greeks, Jews, Americans, Polish, Albanians...

The Carpathians mountains are in the center of the country, bordered on both sides by hills and plateaus and finally the great plains of the outer rim. Forests cover over a quarter of the country and the fauna is one of the richest in Europe including wolves, bears, deer, lynx and chamois.

The mighty Danube forms the southern boundary of the country terminating in the Delta on the Black Sea, a heaven for countless native and migratory birds. Countries sharing borders with Romania are: Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Republic of Moldavia and Ukraine.

The climate is temperate-continental, characteristic of Central Europe (hot summer cold winters, very distinct seasons, abundant snowfalls especially in the mountains). Warmest areas are in the south.
Annual average rainfall is 677mm, more in the mountains (1,000 - 1,400) and less on the coast below 400m).

The area of Romania is 91,699 sq. miles (237,500 sq. km and its population, according to the 1992 census, is 22,788,993, mainly Romanian, alongside Hungarian, German and Gypsy minorities. About 55% of Romania's inhabitants live in urban areas, and the rest in rural areas.
Romanian is a Romance language with some archaic forms and with admixtures of Slavonic, Turkish, French and Magyar words. There is a wealth of folk tales, legends, poetry, music and dance passed on through the centuries. The main religion is the Romanian Greek Orthodoxism (86.9%). The other significant denominations in Romania are: Roman Catholicism (5%), Lutheranism, Calvinism (3.5%), Greek-Catholicism (1%), Pentecostalism (1%), Baptism (0.5%), Islamism (0.24%) and Judaism (0.04%).

Population in the main cities: Bucharest (1)(2,300,000); Brasov (3)(353,000); Iasi (330,000); Cluj-Napoca (318,000); Constanta (316,000); Sibiu (169,000); Tārgu Mures (165,000); Suceava (106,000)


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