What's the capital of Romania?
And the answer: Bucharest.
Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862, and is currently the country's largest city. Located in Bucharest, the Palace of the Parliament houses Romania's legislative body, and has the unique distinction of being the heaviest building in the world, weighing over 4 billion kilograms.
Romania is a historic site of transient cultural exchange. Before Roman armies crossed the Danube, a fully-developed society of Dacian tribes called the region home. Though Roman influence was profound and created a civilization that managed to maintain its identity during the great folk migrations that followed the collapse of the empire, some Romanians are quick to identify their country’s origins in the intermixing of the indigenous Dacian people and the Roman settlers.
Each geographic region in Romania has its own distinct culture – a product of centuries of conquest and shifting borders. Transylvania and the Banat were ruled for many centuries by Austria and Hungary, and their architecture reflects Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. Moldavia, in eastern Romania, has a culture that reflects its proximity to Ukraine and Russia, though traces of other Central Asian influences have been identified. In the end, Romania's culture represents a decadent mosaic of history and migration.
Here are some facts about Romania you may not already know:
- The Romanian language is 1,700 years old. Romanian began to form at the beginning of the second century when the Romans conquered the territory of Dacia. Roman culture and language influenced the Dacian community, which eventually started using Vulgar Latin (common Roman) as their language.
- According to legend, Bucharest was named after a shepherd called Bucur. Legend holds that this young shepherd was in love with a young lady named Dâmboviţa, the namesake for the river that flows through the city.
- Peles Castle in Sinaia was the first European castle entirely lit by electricity. The electricity was produced by the castle’s own plant and its central heating system. Though it was built in 1888, it is still functional and in use today.
Want to learn more? Check out the video below.