Romania, an overview

Geography of Romania

Romania is located in the geographic centre of Europe. It neighbours to the North on Ukraine, to the East on the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and the Black Sea, to the South on Bulgaria, to the South-West on Serbia, and to the West on Hungary.

It stretches over 238,391 sq km, which ranks it 12th in Europe.

The administrative organization of Romania features 41 counties, and Bucharest, the capital city. In the counties, the basic administrative units are the towns and communes (made of several villages). There are 263 cities and towns, of which 80 municipalities, and 2 685 communes with over 13 285 villages.

Besides Bucharest, which has a population of nearly 2.1 million, there are 17 cities with over 100 000 inhabitants, 7 of which exceed 300 000.

The majority population – about 90% – is made of Romanians, and the rest of 10% includes Hungarians – 6.6%, Germans, Ukrainians, Roma, Turks, Tartars, Serbs, Slovakians, Bulgarians, etc.

Romania’s relief is very diverse and complex. 31% of the area is covered by mountains (with heights between 800 and 2543 m), 36% by hills and tablelands, and the rest of 33% by plains (under 200 m elevation).

The harmoniously set relief has the Carpathian Mountains as an axis. In the center lies the Palteau of Transylvania, surrounded by the chains of the Carpathians: the Eastern Carpathians, the Southern Carpathians with the highest elevation in Romania being the Moldoveanu Peak, 2543 m, and the Western Carpathians.

An intermediate relief form, the hills and the plateaus are situated inside and outside the Carpathian arch. The Sub-Carpathian hills (the Eastern and Southern Sub-Carpathians with heights of 800-900 m) slope down towards the plains. The largest plain (Baragan or the Romanian Plain), the country’s main agricultural zone, lies in the South, along the Danube.

The Danube Delta, located north of the Plateau of Dobrudja, is the youngest geographical feature in Romania. It encompasses the three main arms, Chilia, Sulina andSfantul Gheorghe, through which the Danube flows into the Black Sea. The Danube Delta stretches on the Romanian territory over an area of 4340 sq km, of which 78% is subject to flooding.

The network of rivers is shaped radially because of the relief configuration, most of them having their sources in the Carpathian Mountains. The main collector is the River Danube, which traces the largest part of Romania’s southern border (of its total length of 2850 km, 1075 km are on the border and in the territory of Romania). Other major rivers: Mures (768 km), Olt (736 km), Prut(716 km), Siret (598 km), Ialomita (410 km), Somes (388 km), Arges (344 km), Jiu(331 km).

Of the about 3500 lakes in Romania, 300 have a surface in excess of 1 sq. km., the largest being Razelm and Sinoe (415 and 171 sq. km.) on the Black Sea Coast.

The Black Sea forms the border of Romania in the south-east along 245 km.

The climate is temperate continental, with slight ocean influences in the West, Mediterranean in the South-West, and excessively-continental in the North-East.

The annual average temperature varies between 8°C in the North and 11°C in the South.

Romania’s flora and fauna are very rich and variegated, given the geographic position and the diversity of natural conditions.


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