• Occupying an area of 237,000 square kilometres, and with a population of around twenty million, Romania is one of East-Central Europe’s largest nations. Its capital, Bucharest, lies in the far south of the country on the plains of Wallachia, located between the Danube and the mountainous region of Transylvania to the north. The highest peak is Moldoveanu (2544m), in the Carpathian mountains.

The constitution set in place a parliamentary system of government, elected every four years, with the prime minister at its head – the president is head of state.

Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Romanian economy, with mountain, coastal and health spa resorts absorbing the bulk of the country’s tourist traffic. Romania’s most important exports are textiles and footwear, metal products, and machinery and equipment, and its main trading partners are Italy and Germany.

Romania’s most famous historical figure is Vlad Ţepeş (c.1431–76), also known as Vlad the Impaler and, more familiarly, as Dracula.

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