When we think of Romania, a lot of things come to our mind straight away: enchanted castles, vampires, magical forests… But you have probably never heard of these amazing weird facts about Romania:
1. IT HAS THE TALLEST WOODEN CHURCH IN EUROPE
All churches in Romania are noteworthy. In a small town in the north of the country, next to Sapanta Village, you can find a particular wooden-style church – which also happens to be the tallest wooden church in Europe! It measures a total of 78 meters in height (255 feet).
2. IT’S HOME TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROAD IN THE WORLD
For those who enjoy a good road trip, you can not miss the Transfagarasan highway, listed by Jeremy Clarkson as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It consists of viaducts, bridges, and curves which work together as a truly magnificent example of engineering work. This road was originally designed by Nicolae Ceaușescu as an escape route in case of Soviet invasion.
3. IT HAS THE BEST-PRESERVED DELTA IN EUROPE
For nature lovers, Romania is full of beautiful landscapes. One of the ones worth mentioning is the mouth of the Danube River over the Black Sea, where a delta is formed. It has more than 20 natural ecosystems! It’s considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
4. IT HAS THE LARGEST, HEAVIEST, AND MOST EXPENSIVE ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING IN THE WORLD
We are talking about Bucharest’s impressive Palace of the Parliament. The construction of this building was completed in 1997, and its costs reached the sum of 3 billion euros. It has a nuclear bunker with 20 km of underground tunnels, an area of 2,55 million square meters (only surpassed by the Pentagon). The shadow cast by the building is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza!
5. IT’S HOME TO THE SECOND-LARGEST UNDERGROUND GLACIER IN EUROPE
Another natural jewel worth mentioning is the Scărișoara Glacier. It has been more than 3,000 years since this mass of ice descended through the Bihor Mountains.
6. IT HAS ONE OF THE FANCIEST BOOKSHOPS IN THE WORLD
In Bucharest, you can find one of the most beautiful bookstores – the Cărturești Carusel. It is located in a renovated 19th-century building that formerly belonged to a bank. It has 6 floors with more than 10,000 books, 5,000 DVDs, and a bistro bar at the top.
7. IT WAS THE FIRST COUNTRY THAT ENJOYS ELECTRIC LIGHT IN EUROPE
Lights, camera, action! Timișoara was the first city in Europe that enjoyed electric illumination in the streets. It happened on November 12, 1884, when 731 lamps were lit, beginning a new era in world’s history.
8. IT’S HOME TO THE HAPPIEST CEMETERY IN EUROPE
The Merry Cemetery in Săpânța is without a doubt the happiest cemetery in Europe. In this cemetery, there is no room for sadness, not only because of its colourful tombs, but also because of the epitaphs full of black humour that will make you smile.
9. IT HAS A MOUNTAIN FULL OF MYSTERIOUS ROCKS
Bucegi Mountains located in central Romania is one of the most magical places you can find. In these mountains, the rock formations are impressive with all kinds of strange natural forms from a sphinx to giant mushrooms. There are many conspiracy theories of the origin of these rocks in the Bucegi Mountains, formerly considered the refuge of mystics.
10. IT HAS HOLLYWOOD-STYLE SIGNS
In the Saxon old towns of Brașov and Râșnov, there is a Hollywoodian-style
sign decorating the top of the mountain proclaiming each town’s name. This small tribute is due to the number of American movies that were recorded in the Transylvania region. Among them are titles such as Cold Mountain, Young Frankenstein, and Nosferatu – and many more!
11. IT’S HOME TO ROCKS THAT GROW UP AND MOVE
The Trovan rocks – literally meaning “moving stones” in Romanian – definitely belong on the list of paranormal phenomenon. They can be found in the town of Costeti. Scientists discovered that they have a growth process similar to trees and that they move an average of 2.5mm every two weeks. There are many theories about the Trovan rocks and their origins. There are those who say they can breathe and reproduce, and others who claim they come from another planet.
12. IT HAS ONE OF THE FASTEST INTERNET CONNECTIONS IN EUROPE
Surprising as it may seem, Romania competes with the major Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong), entering the top 4 of the average download speed ranking (105.98 Mbps) in the world.
13. IT HAS ITS OWN MOUNT RUSHMORE
You won’t need to go all the way to South Dakota to see it. Near the iron gates of the Danube, where it forms a beautiful gorge, you can find the carved face of the famous Romanian hero Decébalo, who fought many battles with the Romans.
14. IT IS THE PLACE WHERE COFFEE ILLY WAS BORN
The famous coffee of the Italian company Illy was actually founded by the Romanian Francesco Illy. He was born in Timișoara, but later moved to the city of Trieste in Italy.
15. IT POSITIONS 5th ON THE LIST OF COUNTRIES CONSUMING THE MOST ALCOHOL IN THE WORLD
The average consumption in Romania is 14.4 litres of pure alcohol every year. It is also one of the countries with the highest wine production in the world, occupying the 16th place regarding wine consumption and 10th place in the case of beer consumption.
16. IT HOLDS THE GUINESS RECORD TO THE BIGGEST FLAG
In 2013, Romania broke the record for the biggest flag. It was deployed at the Clinceni airfield (Bucharest), had a total of 79,000 square meters (349 meters wide by 227 meters long), and the material weighed 5 tons. Its total area is bigger than 3 football fields!
17. IT IS THE COUNTRY WHERE WITCHCRAFT IS CONSIDERED A JOB
In 2015, the old popular tradition of witchcraft was declared a taxable and regularized profession in Romania. Fortune tellers, tarot readers, and witches were forced to pay taxes for performing their work and even need a work permit for it.
These are some of the most amazing weird facts about Romania but there are hundreds of them. The truth is that Romania is one of the most charming places in Europe – definitely worth discovering!