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Romania  is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south.
At 238,391 square kilometers (92,043 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 21.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest (Romanian: București , the sixth largest city in the EU with about two million people.
The Kingdom of Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until World War II. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania's territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began to transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, extensive reforms fostered economic recovery and the country joined the European Union on 1 January 2007. Romania is now an upper middle-income country with high human development and relatively high standards of living.
Romania joined NATO on 29 March 2004, and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE and of the United Nations, as well as an associate member of the CPLP. Today, Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President and the Government
The name of Romania, România, comes from român (previously rumân), meaning "Romanian (man, person)", which in turn is a derivative of the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome". The fact that Romanians call themselves a derivative of romanus is first mentioned in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia.
The first written record of a Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages in the Balkans was written by the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes Confessor in the 6th century about a military expedition against the Avars from 587, when a Vlach muleteer accompanying the Byzantine army noticed that the load was falling from one of the animals and shouted to a companion Torna, torna fratre (Return, return brother!).
The oldest surviving document written in Romanian is a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung". Among other firsts, this text is also notable for having the first documented occurrence of a Romanian word denoting the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned under the name of Ţeara Rumânească ("The Romanian Land", țeara from the Latin: Terra "land"; current spelling: Ţara Românească).
In the following centuries, Romanian documents use interchangeably two spelling forms: român and rumân. Socio-linguistic evolutions in the late 17th century led to a process of semantic differentiation: the form rumân, presumably usual among lower classes, received the meaning of "bondsman", while the form român kept an ethno-linguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the form rumân gradually disappears and the spelling definitively stabilises to the form român, românesc. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer exclusively to the principality of Wallachia, the southern part of modern Romania.
The name România as common homeland of all Romanians is documented in the early 19th century.This name has been officially in use since 11 December 1861. English-language sources still used the terms Rumania or Roumania, borrowed from the French spelling Roumanie, as recently as World War II, but since then those terms have largely been replaced with the official spelling Romania.

Present day democracy

The flag of Communist Romania with its coat of arms cut out became a symbol of the 1989 revolution and is still used occasionally in anti-government protests.
After the revolution, the National Salvation Front, led by Ion Iliescu, took partial multi-party democratic and free market measures. Several major political parties of the pre-war era were resurrected. After major political rallies, in April 1990, a sit-in protest contesting the results of the recently held parliamentary elections began in University Square, Bucharest, accusing the Front of being made up of former Communists and members of the Securitate. The protesters called the election undemocratic and asked for the exclusion from political life of former high-ranking Communist Party members, like Iliescu and the National Salvation Front. The protest rapidly grew to become what president Iliescu called the Golaniad. The peaceful demonstrations degenerated into violence, prompting the intervention of coal miners, summoned by Iliescu in June 1990, from the Jiu Valley. This episode has been documented widely by both local and foreign media, and is remembered as the June 1990 Mineriad.
The subsequent disintegration of the Front produced several political parties including the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Party and the Alliance for Romania. The former governed Romania from 1990 until 1996 through several coalitions and governments with Ion Iliescu as head of state. Since then there have been a few democratic changes of government: in 1996 the democratic-liberal opposition and its leader Emil Constantinescu acceded to power; in 2000 the Social Democrats returned to power, with Iliescu once again president; and in 2004 Traian Băsescu was elected president, with an electoral coalition called Justice and Truth Alliance. Băsescu was narrowly re-elected in 2009.

Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and signed the Lisbon Treaty.
Post–Cold War Romania developed closer ties with Western Europe, eventually joining NATO in 2004, and hosting the 2008 summit in Bucharest. The country applied in June 1993 for membership in the European Union and became an Associated State of the EU in 1995, an Acceding Country in 2004, and a member on 1 January 2007. Following the free travel agreement and politics of the post–Cold War period, as well as hardship of the life in the 1990s economic depression, Romania has an increasingly large diaspora, estimated at over 2 million people. The main emigration targets are Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
During the 2000s, Romania enjoyed one of the highest economic growth rates in Europe and has been referred to as "the Tiger of Eastern Europe." This has been accompanied by a significant improvement in human development. The country has been successful in reducing internal poverty and establishing a functional democracy. However, Romania's development suffered a major setback during the late-2000s recession as a large gross domestic product contraction and a large budget deficit in 2009 led to Romania borrowing heavily, eventually becoming the largest debtor to the International Monetary Fund in 2010.Romania still faces issues related to infrastructure, medical services, education, and corruption.
With a surface area of 238,391 square kilometres (92,043 sq mi), Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. It lies between latitudes 43° and 49° N, and longitudes 20° and 30° E.
Romania's terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories. The Carpathian Mountains dominate the centre of Romania, with 14 mountain ranges reaching above 2,000 m/6,600 ft, and the highest point at Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m/8,346 ft).These are surrounded by the Moldavian and Transylvanian plateaus and Pannonian and Wallachian plains. Romania's geographical diversity has led to an accompanying diversity of flora and fauna.
A large part of Romania's border with Serbia and Bulgaria is formed by the Danube. Prut River, one of its major tributaries, forms the border with the Moldova. The Danube flows into the Black Sea within Romania's territory forming the Danube Delta, the second largest and the best preserved delta in Europe, and a biosphere reserve and a biodiversity World Heritage Site. Other major rivers are Siret (596 km), Olt (614 km), Prut (742 km), Someş (388 km), and Mureş (761 km).
Lakes and lake complexes have a low share throughout Romania, occupying only 1.1% of total land area. The largest lake complex in size is Razelm-Sinoe (731 km²), located on the Black Sea seaside. Between the slopes of the Făgăraş Mountains were formed numerous glacial lakes that is testimony to quaternary glaciation, of which the largest are: Lake Avrig (14,700 m²), Bâlea Lake (46,500 m²), Capra Lake (18,000 m²), etc. In the crown of the Carpathians are two unique lakes in Romania, namely Lake Sfânta Ana, only volcanic lake in Romania and Red Lake, natural dam lake, both situated in Harghita County.
Owing to its distance from the open sea and position on the southeastern portion of the European continent, Romania has a climate that is transitional between temperate and continental, with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) in the south and 8 °C (46 °F) in the north.The extreme recorded temperatures were 44.5 °C (112.1 °F) at Ion Sion 1951 and −38.5 °C (−37.3 °F) at Bod 1942.
Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summers are generally very warm to hot, with summer (June to August) average maximum temperatures in Bucharest being around 28 °C (82 °F), with temperatures over 35 °C (95 °F) fairly common in the lower-lying areas of the country. Minima in Bucharest and other lower-lying areas are around 16 °C (61 °F). Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage. Winters can be cold, with average maxima even in lower-lying areas being no more than 2 °C (36 °F) and below −15 °C (5 °F) in the highest mountains.
Precipitation is average with over 750 mm (30 in) per year only on the highest western mountains—much of it falling as snow, which allows for an extensive skiing industry. In the south-central parts of the country (around Bucharest) the level of precipitation drops to around 600 mm (24 in),[115] while in the Danube Delta, rainfall levels are very low, and average only around 370 mm.
In Romania, because of the geographical location, respectively the regional orographic peculiarities, exists a very varied range of the local winds. Humid winds from the northwest are most common, but often the drier winds from the northeast are strongest. A hot southwesterly wind, the austru, blows over western Romania, particularly in summer. In winter, cold and dense air masses encircle the eastern portions of the country, with the cold northeasterly known as the crivăţ blowing in from the Russian Plain, and oceanic air masses from the Azores, in the west, bring rain and mitigate the severity of the cold. Other local winds are: nemirul, black wind, foehn, băltăreţul, zephyr, cosava etc. Romania enjoys four seasons, though there is a rapid transition from winter to summer. Autumn is frequently longer, with dry warm weather from September to late November.

Ruins of Greek colony Histria, the oldest urban settlement attested in the current territory of Romania, established by Milesian settlers around 657 BC.
Throughout Moldavia, Stephen III of Moldavia established and consolidated 44 monasteries, last traces of Byzantine culture in Europe.
The urban center with the largest number of inhabitants is Bucharest (2,192,372 people, 2008), while most sparsely populated town is Nucet (2,567 people, 2004). The deepest lake, of those formed in abandoned salt mines, is Avram Iancu Lake, in Ocna Sibiului: 132.5 m. The town placed at the highest altitude is Predeal (1,060 m), located in the Prahova Valley. The town placed at the lowest altitude above sea level is Sulina (4 m), in Danube Delta. The oldest railway is the Oraviţa - Baziaş line, built in 1856. The lake with the largest surface is Razelm: 394.3 km². Siret is the river with the largest basin: 44,835 km². The longest river is Mureş: 768 km. Olt River, with a length of 737 km, flows entirely within the country. Absolute minimum temperature record was -38.5°C, registered on January 24, 1942, in Bod, Braşov County. The value of absolute maximum temperature record was 44.5°C and it was registered on August 10, 1951, at Ion Sion farm, Râmnicelu, in Brăila Plain. The deepest glacial lake in the country is Zănoaga Mare Lake: 29 m. The deepest reservoir is Lake Vidraru: 156 m. Black Sea is the most isolated sea of World Ocean, unique sea that has two different layers of water: at surface (up to 180–200 m depth), a layer with a salinity of 16-17‰, relatively more accessible, with dissolved oxygen, in which life develops, and in depth (from 180–200 m), a very salty layer (with a salinity of 21-22‰), more inaccessible, with hydrogen sulfide, without oxygen and lifeless.[119] The longest cave is Wind Cave, located in Pădurea Craiului Mountains, a subdivision of the Apuseni Mountains: 52 km (total length of passages).[120] The cave with biggest oscillation of level is Izvorul Tăuşoarelor, located in Rodna Mountains: 415 m. Rain pole of Romania is in Stâna de Vale (Bihor County), on the western slopes of Apuseni Mountains, at about 1,100 m altitude, where are registered annually 1,604 mm. The lowest amount of rainfall in a year was of 132.7 mm and it was registered in Sulina, in 1920. Romanian Carpathians include the most extensive volcanic belt in Europe.[121] The Greek colony Histria is the oldest urban settlement attested in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic territory, being established by Milesian sailors around 657 BC, in the first half of the 7th century AD, it being devastated by Avar-Slav invasions.

Natural environment
A high percentage (47% of the land area) of the country is covered with natural and semi-natural ecosystems.Since almost half of all forests in Romania (13% of the country) have been managed for watershed conservation rather than production, Romania has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe. The integrity of Romanian forest ecosystems is indicated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna, including 60% and 40% of all European brown bears and wolves, respectively. There are also almost 400 unique species of mammals (of which Carpathian chamois are best known), birds, reptiles and amphibians in Romania. The fauna consists of 33,792 species of animals, 33,085 invertebrate and 707 vertebrate.
Some 3,700 plant species have been identified in the country, from which to date 23 have been declared natural monuments, 74 missing, 39 are endangered, 171 vulnerable and 1,253 are considered rare The three major vegetation areas in Romania are the alpine zone, the forest zone and the steppe zone. The vegetation is distributed in an storied manner in accordance with the characteristics of soil and climate and includes various species of oaks, sycamores, beechs, spruces, firs, willows, poplars, meadows, and pines.
There are almost 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) (almost 5% of the total area) of protected areas in Romania covering 13 national parks and three biosphere reserves: the Danube Delta, Retezat National Park, and Rodna National Park The Danube Delta Reserve Biosphere is the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe, covering a total area of 5,800 km2 (2,200 sq mi).The significance of the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has been internationally recognised. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in September 1990, a Ramsar site in May 1991, and over 50% of its area was placed on the World Heritage List in December 1991.Within its boundaries lies one of the most extensive reed bed systems in the world.
Protected areas of Romania

Chilia branch, Danube Delta

Stânişoara stream, Retezat National Park

Pietrosu Peak (2,303 m), Rodna Mountains

Iron Gates Natural Park

Piatra Craiului Mountains main ridge

Red Lake (Harghita County), a barrier lake

Bicaz, main river that drains the Bicaz Canyon

Chalets on Bâlea Lake

Brâna Aeriană, Bucegi Mountains

Hăşdate River, Turda Gorges

Mountain scenery in Mădăraş, Harghita Mountains

Negoiu Peak (2,535 m), Făgăraş Mountains
With a GDP of around $254 billion and a GDP per capita (PPP) of $11,860 for the year 2010, Romania is an upper-middle income country economy and has been part of the European Union since 1 January 2007.
After the Communist regime was overthrown in late 1989, the country experienced a decade of economic instability and decline, led in part by an obsolete industrial base and a lack of structural reform. From 2000 onwards, however, the Romanian economy was transformed into one of relative macroeconomic stability, characterised by high growth, low unemployment and declining inflation. In 2006, according to the Romanian Statistics Office, GDP growth in real terms was recorded at 7.7%, one of the highest rates in Europe.Growth dampened to 6.1% in 2007, but was expected to exceed 8% in 2008 because of a high production forecast in agriculture (30–50% higher than in 2007). The GDP grew by 8.9% in the first nine months of 2008, but growth fell to 2.9% in the fourth quarter and stood at 7.1% for the whole 2008 because of the financial crisis.Thereafter, the country fell into a recession in 2009 and 2010, where the GDP contracted −7.1% and −1.3% respectively. It is estimated by the IMF that the GDP will grow again by 1.5% in 2011 and 4.4% in 2012.
According to Eurostat data, the Romanian PPS GDP per capita stood at 45% of the EU average in 2010.Inflation in 2010 was 6.1%Unemployment in Romania was at 7.6% in 2010,which is very low compared to other middle-sized or large European countries such as Poland, France and Spain. General government gross debt is also comparatively low, at 34.8% of GDP Exports have increased substantially in the past few years, with a 13% annual rise in exports in 2010. Romania's main exports are cars, software, clothing and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, raw materials, military equipment, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly centred on the member states of the European Union, with Germany and Italy being the country's single largest trading partners. The current account balance in 2010 held a deficit of $6.842 billion.
After a series of privatisations and reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government intervention in the Romanian economy is somewhat lower than in other European economies. In 2005, the government replaced Romania's progressive tax system with a flat tax of 16% for both personal income and corporate profit, resulting in the country having the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, a factor which has contributed to the growth of the private sector. The economy is predominantly based on services, which account for 51.2% of GDP, even though industry and agriculture also have significant contributions, making up 36% and 12.8% of GDP, respectively. Additionally, 29.6% of the Romanian population was employed in 2006 in agriculture and primary production, one of the highest rates in Europe.
Since 2000, Romania has attracted increasing amounts of foreign investment, becoming the single largest investment destination in Southeastern and Central Europe. Foreign direct investment was valued at €8.3 billion in 2006.According to a 2006 World Bank report, Romania currently ranks 55th out of 175 economies in the ease of doing business, scoring higher than other countries in the region such as the Czech Republic. Additionally, the same study judged it to be the world's second-fastest economic reformer (after Georgia) in 2006.
The average gross wage per month in Romania was 1855 lei in May 2009, equating to €442.48 (US$627.70) based on international exchange rates, and $1110.31 based on purchasing power parity. In 2009 the Romanian economy contracted as a result of the global economic downturn. Gross domestic product contracted 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2009 from the same period a year earlier, and the budget deficit for 2009 reached 7.2% of GDP. Industrial output growth however reached 6.9% year-on-year in December 2009, the highest in the EU-27.
All transportation infrastructure in Romania is the property of the state, and is administered by the Ministry of Transports, Constructions and Tourism, except when operated as a concession, in which case the concessions are made by the Ministry of Administration and Interior
According to CIA Factbook, Romania total road network is estimated to be 198,817 km long, out of which 60,043 km are paved and 138,774 km (2004) are unpaved. The World Bank estimates that the road network that is outside of cities and communes (i.e. excluding streets and village roads) is about 78,000 km long. A motorway system, consisting of six main motorways and six bypass motorways, whose length is about 2,262.7 km (planned); as of 2011, 371.5 km are built and 845 km have construction contracts under way.
Due to its location, Romania is a major crossroad for International economic exchange in Europe. However, because of insufficient investment, maintenance and repair, the transport infrastructure does not meet the current needs of a market economy and lags behind Western Europe.Nevertheless, these conditions are rapidly improving and catching up with the standards of Trans-European transport networks. Several projects have been started with funding from grants from ISPA and several loans from International Financial Institutions (World Bank, IMF, etc.) guaranteed by the state, to upgrade the main road corridors. Also, the Government is actively pursuing new external financing or public-private partnerships to further upgrade the main roads, and especially the country's motorway network.
Romania has a relatively well-developed airport infrastructure compared to other countries in Eastern Europe, but still underdeveloped compared to Western European standards. There are 17 commercial airports in service today, most of them opened for international traffic. Five of the airports (OTP, BBU, TSR, CND, SBZ) have runways of over 3,000 m in length and are capable of handling wide-body aircraft. Three of the airports (BCM, CRA, SUJ) have runways of 2,500 m in length, while the rest of them have runways of 1,800 to 2,000 m. As of December 2006, TCE and CSB are the only airports with no regular flights. Almost all the airports have experienced traffic growth in the last 4 years.
The World Bank estimates that the railway network in Romania comprised 22,298 kilometres (13,855 mi) of track in 2004, which would make it the fourth largest railroad network in Europe. The railway transport experienced a dramatic fall in freight and passenger volumes from the peak volumes recorded in 1989 mainly due to the decline in GDP and competition from road transport. In 2004, the railways carried 8.64 billion passenger-km in 99 million passenger journeys, and 73 million metric tonnes, or 17 billion ton-km of freight. The combined total transportation by rail constituted around 45% of all passenger and freight movement in the country.
Bucharest is the only city in Romania which has an underground railway system. The Bucharest Metro was opened in 1979 and is now one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with an average ridership of 600,000 passengers during the workweek.
Romania has 16 international airports, of which the busiest are Henri Coandă International Airport (5,064,230 passengers, 2008) and Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (2,118,150 passengers, 2010). Also, Romania disposes of an unworkable international airport (Caransebeş Airport) and 16 under construction or planned airports, whose construction will be completed until 2020. Romania has about 200 flight corridors, as much as any other European country. The air traffic has doubled in the last 20 years, in summer of 2010, Romania was crossed by 150 aircrafts simultaneously, bringing considerable incomes to TAROM airline.

The Sphinx in the Bucegi Mountains
Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its rich history and is a significant contributor to the Romanian economy. In 2006, the domestic and international tourism generated about 4.8% of gross domestic product and 5.8% of the total jobs (about half a million jobs).Following commerce, tourism is the second largest component of the services sector. Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing sectors of the economy of Romania and characterized by a huge potential for development.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Romania is the fourth fastest growing country in the world in terms of travel and tourism total demand with a yearly potential growth of 8% from 2007 to 2016. The number of tourists grew from 4.8 million in 2002 to 6.6 million in 2004. Similarly, the revenues grew from 400 million in 2002 to 607 in 2004. In 2006, Romania registered 20 million overnight stays by international tourists, an all-time record, but the number for 2007 is expected to increase even more. Tourism in Romania attracted €400 million in investments in 2005.
Over the last years, Romania has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of the foreign visitors were from EU countries), thus attempting to compete with Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain. Romania destinations such as Mangalia, Saturn, Venus, Neptun, Olimp, Constanţa and Mamaia (sometimes called the Romanian Riviera) are among the most popular attraction during summer. During winter, the skiing resorts along the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Braşov are popular with foreign visitors.
For their medieval atmosphere and castles, Transylvanian cities such as Sibiu, Braşov, Sighişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Târgu Mureş or Miercurea Ciuc have become major touristic attractions for foreigners. Rural tourism, focusing on folklore and traditions, has become an important alternative recently, and is targeted to promote such sites as Bran and its Dracula's Castle, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, the Wooden churches of Maramureş and Sălaj, or the Merry Cemetery in Maramureş County (Săpânţa). Other major natural attractions in Romania such as Danube Delta, Iron Gates (Danube Gorge), Scărişoara Cave and several other caves in the Apuseni Mountains have yet to receive great attention.
In terms of tourism potential, Romania benefits from splendid cities, scattered on the smooth plains or high peaks. These include Sibiu, city built by Saxons, with cobblestone streets and colorful houses. In the picturesque town of Hunedoara can be visited the Hunyad Castle, one of the most important monuments of Gothic architecture in Transylvania. Also, the resorts (Băile Felix, Băile Herculane, Băile Tuşnad etc.) are points of interest for local and foreign tourists. The Romanian seaside is the most exploited tourist area of Romania. In 2009, Romania's Black Sea seaside was visited by 1.3 million tourists, of which 40,000 were foreign. The shore is very varied, formed by slightly wavy shapes, with emphasized capes and extended deep bays into the Dobrogea valleys, with cliffs, beaches and sand cords. In Târgu Jiu can be seen the sculptures of Constantin Brâncuşi (1876–1957), Romanian sculptor with overwhelming contributions to the renewal of plastic language and vision in the contemporary sculpture. These include The Endless Column, The Gate of the Kiss, The Table of Silence, which together represent the three parts of monumental sculpture of Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuşi at Târgu Jiu. Also, in the Bihor Mountains is a complex system of caves (Bear Cave, Scărişoara Cave etc.), that continues throughout the Piatra Craiului Mountains, Rodna Mountains, respectively Anina Mountains (Comarnic Cave).
Science and technology
During the 1990s and early 2000s, the development of Romanian science was hampered by several factors, including corruption, low funding and a considerable brain drain. However, since the country's accession to the European Union, this has begun to change. After being slashed by 50% in 2009 due to the global recession, R&D spending was increased by 44% in 2010 and now stands at $0.5 billion (1.5 billion lei). In January 2011, the Parliament also passed a law that enforces "strict quality control on universities and introduces tough rules for funding evaluation and peer review".The country has joined or is about to join several major international organizations such as CERN and the European Space Agency Overall, the situation has been characterized as "rapidly improving", albeit from a low base.
In the 19th century, Romania experienced a gradual breakthrough, based on the results of the exact sciences. The role of mathematics is becoming increasingly important. Mathematicians Spiru Haret and Gheorghe Ţiţeica sustain PhD thesis at Paris, appreciated for their scientific value. Also, the physics made progress, by the contribution of professors Emanoil Bacaloglu and Nicolae Teclu, inventor of the gas bulb with automatic adjustment, that bears his name. Achievements in chemistry, domain in which can be noted the work of Petru Poni, have been applied in industry: the manufacture of paints, perfumes, fertilizers and explosives. In 1920 was founded the Institute of Industrial Chemistry. Romanians make original contributions in aeronautics. Traian Vuia built an aircraft which achieved a short hop of about 25 feet in 1906. It was presented on March 18, 1906 at Montesson, France. Henri Marie Coandă is the creator of the first ducted fan in the world, presented at Aeronautics salon, Paris (December 14, 1910), and Aurel Vlaicu built two aircrafts that did demonstrations in Bucharest and Vienna. Victor Babeş is the author of the first treaty of bacteriology in the world (1885), Gheorghe Marinescu is the founder of the Romanian school of neurology, and Ioan Cantacuzino founded the modern Romanian school of microbiology and experimental medicine. In the domain of natural sciences, Grigore Antipa, member of several foreign academies, founded the Museum of Natural History..
Historically, Romanian researches and inventors have made notable contributions to several fields, such as: aeronautics, medicine, mathematics, computer science/engineering, physics, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology. In the history of flight, Traian Vuia and Aurel Vlaicu built and flew some of the earliest successful aircraft, while Henri Coandă discovered the Coandă effect of fluidics. Preceding him, Elie Carafoli was a pioneering contributor to the field of aerodynamics in the world.
Victor Babeş discovered more than 50 germs and a cure for a disease named after him, babesiosis; biologist Nicolae Paulescu discovered insulin. Another biologist, Emil Palade, received the Nobel Prize for his contributions to cell biology. George Constantinescu created the theory of sonics, while Lazăr Edeleanu was the first chemist to synthesize amphetamine and also invented the modern method of refining crude oil. Costin Neniţescu found new methods for the synthesis of pirilium salts, of carbenes, tryptamine, serotonin, two new syntheses for the indole nucleus, and a new method of polymerisation of ethylene.
Several mathematicians distinguished themselves as well, among them: Gheorghe Ţiţeica, Spiru Haret, Grigore Moisil, Miron Nicolescu, Nicolae Popescu and Ştefan Odobleja; the latter is also regarded as the ideological father behind cybernetics.
Notable physicists and inventors also include: Horia Hulubei in atomic physics, Șerban Țițeica in theoretical physics, Mihai Gavrilă specialized in quantum theory and discoverer of the atomic dichotomy phenomenon, Alexandru Proca known for the first meson theory of nuclear forces and Proca's equations of the vectorial mesonic field, Ştefan Procopiu known for the first theory of the magnetic moment of the electron in 1911 (now known as the Bohr-Procopiu magneton), Theodor V. Ionescu- the inventor of a multiple-cavity magnetron in 1935, a hydrogen maser in 1947, 3D imaging for cinema/television in 1924 and hot deuterium plasma studies for controlled nuclear fusion, Ionel Solomon known for the nuclear magnetic resonance theory in solids, Solomon equations and photovoltaic devices, Petrache Poenaru, Nicolae Teclu and Victor Toma, with the latter known for the invention and construction of the first Romanian computer, the CIFA-1 in 1955.
Also, Romania has two space agencies: ROSA (Romanian Space Agency), the national coordinator for space-related technology, activities and programs since 1991 (member of European Space Agency since 2011and ARCA (Romanian Cosmonautics and Aeronautics Association), a non-governmental organization that promotes aerospace projects as well as other space-related activities.
The nuclear physics facility of the European Union's proposed Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) laser will be built in Romania. Romania currently has 1,400 MW of nuclear power capacity by means of one active nuclear power plant (Cernavodă) with 2 reactors, which constitutes around 18% of the national power generation capacity of the country. This makes Romania the 23rd largest user of nuclear power in the world.

The Palace of Culture in Iaşi, built on the ruins of the Royal Court of Moldavia, hosts the largest art collection in Romania.
Romania has a unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Romanians themselves, it is fundamentally defined as the meeting point of three regions: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, but cannot be truly included in any of them.
Arts, literature and philosophy
Main articles: Literature of Romania, Arts in Romania, Cinema of Romania, and Romanian philosophy
A unified Romanian literature began to develop with the revolutions of 1848 and the union of the two Danubian Principalities in 1859. The origin of the Romanians began to be discussed and by the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, Romanian Transylvanian scholars along with Romanian scholars from Moldavia and Wallachia began studying in France, Italy and Germany.German philosophy and French culture were integrated into modern Romanian literature, and a new elite of artists led to the appearance of some of the classics of Romanian literature such as Mihai Eminescu, George Coşbuc, Ioan Slavici. Although not particularly renowned outside the country, these writers are widely appreciated within Romania for giving birth to modern Romanian literature. Eminescu is considered the greatest and most influential Romanian poet, particularly for the poem Luceafărul. Among other writers that rose to prominence in the second half of 19th century are Mihail Kogălniceanu (also the first prime minister of Romania), Vasile Alecsandri, Nicolae Bălcescu, Ion Luca Caragiale, and Ion Creangă.

Constantin Brâncuşi, prominent sculptor
The first half of the 20th century is regarded by many scholars as the Golden Age of Romanian culture, as it is the period when it reached its greatest level of international affirmation and enjoyed a strong connection to Western European cultural trends. The most prominent Romanian artist of this time was sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, a central figure of the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction, the innovator of world sculpture by immersion in the primordial sources of folk creation. His works present of blend simplicity and sophistication that led the way for modernist sculptors. As a testimony to his skill, one of his pieces, Bird in Space, was sold in an auction for $27.5 million in 2005, a record for any sculpture.
In the period between the two world wars, authors like Tudor Arghezi, Lucian Blaga, Eugen Lovinescu, Ion Barbu, Liviu Rebreanu made efforts to synchronize Romanian literature with the European literature of the time.

Mihai Eminescu (1850–1889), Romania's national poet
After the World Wars, Communism brought 'absolute' censorship and used the cultural world as well as a means to tightly control the population in addition to the much feared "Securitate" paramilitary organization, numerous formers and their informers. Freedom of expression was constantly restricted in various ways, but the likes of Gellu Naum, Nichita Stănescu, Marin Sorescu or Marin Preda managed to escape censorship, broke with "socialist realism" and were the leaders of a small "Renaissance" in Romanian literature. While not many of them managed to obtain international acclaim due to censorship, some, like Constantin Noica, Paul Goma and Mircea Cărtărescu, had their works published abroad even though they were jailed for various political reasons.
Some artists chose to leave the country for good and continued to make contributions in exile. Among them Eugen Ionescu, Mircea Eliade and Emil Cioran became renowned internationally for their works. Other literary figures who enjoy acclaim outside of the country include the poet Paul Celan and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, both survivors of the Holocaust. The novelist, poet and essayist Herta Müller also received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.
Romanian contemporary cinema has achieved worldwide acclaim with the appearance of such films as The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu, directed by Cristi Puiu, (Cannes 2005 Prix un certain regard winner) and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, directed by Cristian Mungiu (Cannes 2007 Palme d'Or winner). The latter, according to Variety, is "further proof of Romania's new prominence in the film world." Also, the cinematographic drama If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle directed by Florin Şerban was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival and won the Jury Grand Prix (the Silver Bear).

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