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5 Insane (But True) Things About Romania

5 Insane (But True) Things About Romania

Shrouded in mystery and fantasy, Romania is one of the most interesting countries today. Here, there are folk legends, political feats and a royal history. With Bucharest as its capital, this country embraces modernity while retaining a piece of its history as well. Both the modern and historical aspects of the nation are visible in its attractions, culture, flora and fauna. The urban centers proudly present the modern aspects. On the other hand, the rural areas present a charming picture of the traditional way of life. As a matter of fact, this country has some of the best preserved, untouched backcountry. Overall, it has a rich collection of fascinating tourist attractions. As a tourist, it is always best to know the most amazing things about the country that you are visiting.

Here are 5 insane but true things about Romania.

The heaviest building on the globe is located here


The Palace of the Parliament is a modern wonder. It is the heaviest building and also the second largest administrative structure across the world. This palace is located in Bucharest. It has a length of 240 meters, a width of 270 meters and 12 storeys. Commissioned by Nicolae Ceaușescu, it cost a total of 3 billion Euros to construct.

To make room for the huge building, the dictator moved 8 churches and destroyed 20 others. He also destroyed 10,000 homes resulting in the eviction of 57,000 families. A number of culturally important structures were also done away with, notably the Vcreşti Monastery. The first forensic medical center in the world was also eliminated. It was known as Spitalul Brâncovenesc. The National Military Museum was also demolished along with the Army Arsenal Building.

More than 100,000 technicians worked in the palace. They worked in 3 shifts every day. Its first phase of construction lasted from 1984 to 1989. The second one lasted from 1992 to 1996. Throughout this process, hundreds of people died. There are 1,100 rooms in the Palace of the Parliament. This results in a total of 365,000 square meters of interior space. In addition to that, this gigantic structure has a total capacity of 2.55 million square meters. Put quite simply, it is a cavernous building with endless halls and dramatic rooms. A walk through it would take you a number of hours to complete. Also, you will see many unique things throughout your stroll.

Within the Palace of the Parliament, 700,000 tonnes of bronze and steel were used to build its imposing doors and windows. 3, 500 tonnes of crystal were used to decorate the interior. Nicolae Ceaușescu spared not a cent to further adorn his palace. He installed 480 chandeliers and a total of 1,409 ceiling lights. These materials and their sheer amounts make this building the heaviest one on Earth.

The architecture of this palace was inspired by other royal buildings around Europe. One of these was Buckingham Palace, located in London. It was also inspired by the Versailles Palace, nestled in France. The structure is divided into 3 main sections. These are the main halls, offices and Belvedere. An eclectic mix of these inspirations characterizes this vast palace.

The motivation of Romania’s former dictator was focused on safety as he constructed this palace. He wanted to build a place where he could live in case of a nuclear attack. The magnanimous dimensions of the structure were drafted such that he could continue to live there even if the city suffered an earthquake. After completion, the Palace of the Parliament was a formidable fortress!

This country has the most haunted castles in the world


Castles are associated with wealth, beauty, power and prestige. They are also often associated with evil. The ones in Romania possess all these characteristics. Two out of the many castles in this country stand out. They are Bran and Corvin Castles.

Bran Castle is infamous for being home to one of the most evil fictional characters ever created, Count Dracula. Written by Bram Stoker, this character was a count from Transylvania, Romania. He enjoyed sucking the blood right out of his victims. As a matter of fact, this character was inspired by a real life bloodthirsty ruler known as Vlad the Impaler. Bran Castle is closely associated with this ruler. According to historians, the cruel ruler was imprisoned in this castle. According to legend, The Hungarians locked him in a dark room in 1462 and tortured him there. He left his evil blood there before he was moved to another castle’s dungeon. The evil now haunts the castle’s halls.

Today, Bran Castle serves a much friendlier purpose. It is a museum. Here, you can view furniture and beautiful works of art which were collected and put there by Queen Marie. As you travel Romania, it is possible to explore the castle through a guided tour or on your own. There is also an open air section which reveals the life of peasants from the Bran region.

Another structure shrouded in mysterious evil is Corvin Castle. It is a beautiful, magnificent structure. It has bastions, towers, colored roofs, a courtyard on the inner side, hundreds of windows and carved balconies. Made famous by being the set of horror flick, “The Nun”, this is another haunted castle in Romania. Interestingly, it also served as a prison for Vlad the Impaler. He was captured by John Hunyadi and kept under horrid conditions and the blood thirst seeped out of his body. His inner demons festered and eventually possessed the castle.

Vlad was not the only one kept here. Three men from Turkey were captured and forced to dig the castle’s well. The task took so long due to the thick bedrock under the structure. After 15 years of digging the 30 foot well, they finally struck water. However, their punishment also took their lives. Their lords refused to free the men. In vengeance before their death, they scrawled a message for their masters describing the lack of a heart. The three men’s souls now roam the castle weeping and screaming for vindication.

Some of the best beer today is Romanian


According to recent studies, Romania is the 5th most beer loving nation today. Astonishingly, the regular Romanian citizen imbibes 14.4 liters of beer every year. Seeing as the beer here is full of rich flavor and color, this statistic is totally understandable.

In this country, the locals regard their beer as a magical potion for happiness and prosperity. Therefore, they brew the drink in the best conditions imaginable. High levels of skill and craftsmanship are involved in creating Romanian beer. This has resulted in world-beating brands such as Ursus, Zaganu and Timisoreana.

In 1708, the brewery at Timisoreana was founded. It was the first brewery in the nation. For more than 300 years, it would churn out some of the best ale in Europe. The original recipes which were used to brew the drink in its formative years have been maintained. The brewers also go through many years of training before they can begin creating the final product. Interestingly, the brewery organized a national tour, which lasted for 7 years. Having begun in 2005 and concluded in 2012, it celebrated the establishment of this brewery and involved dramatic beer parties for locals and tourists alike.

In 1878, Cluj brewery was established. It was located in Manastur. Here, a brand of beer which is known as Ursus is created. The flavor and taste of this beer are brought to life by the still waters and unique bitters used to brew it. Over a period of more than a century, the same recipe and process has been used in this brewery. Ursus is especially famous among music enthusiasts. The Cluj brewery actually created a beer to complement the UNTOLD festival of music. This shows its dedication to providing high quality ale for all to enjoy.

Zaganu is probably the most flavorful beer that you can get in Romania. It is brewed in frigid conditions at the foot of Zaganu Mountain Peak. This high spot is located 1817 meters above sea level. This one of a kind beer is crafted in the Fabrica de Bere Buna brewery. A group of highly trained brewers use 3 types of distinct hops and an extract of black malt to create this amazing beer. It is also unpasteurized. Due to the brewing conditions and ingredients which are used, Zaganu has a very strong taste. It is an excellent option for the experienced drinker.

Beer in Romania is very affordable. You get to enjoy an unparalleled quality at a very pocket-friendly price. In most restaurants and bars in this country, a bottle costs an average of 1.15 Euros. It is full of flavor and quite strong as well. The Summers in this nation are markedly hot. Therefore, a cold beer is usually the best way to keep yourself cool!


The biggest animal in Europe lives in this country


If you take a trip to Romanian countryside, you’re bound to come across the biggest animal on the continent. He is known as the European Bison. With a total weight of 1,400 lb and a height of almost 6 feet from hoof to shoulder, this is an enormous and powerful animal. Today, you can spot herds of this bison traversing the plains.

The European Bison was almost driven extinct by aggressive hunting in the early part of the 20th century. It was hunted for its hide and also to make horns for drinking. In the First World War, German soldiers invading Romania killed 600 European Bison. They did so for sport, meat and the warm hides of the animals. Despite a warning from a German scientist that they were hunting the animals into extinction, the soldiers didn’t stop. As a matter of fact, at the end of the war, they shot all European Bison leaving only 9 animals alive. They were all held in captivity.

In 1996, this animal was marked as endangered. After careful protection and breeding, its numbers have increased dramatically. Today, it is regarded as being a vulnerable species. It has since been re-introduced into the plains and forests through protected breeding. When fully grown, the European Bison has huge, powerful shoulders, a heavy head with curled horns and shaggy fur. Humans no longer hunt this beautiful beast. Thus, his natural predators are just the bears and wolves.

The best road in the world is here


One of the most famous car show hosts today is Jeremy Clarkson. He once set out to find the best road in the world. He indicated that it should be equal parts beautiful and functional. After a global search, he found this road in Romania. It is the Transfaragasan Highway. It is a beautiful, smooth road that stretches for 150 kilometers. This highway is characterized by smooth tarmac, bridges, viaducts and tunnels. It swirls, twists and hairpins around the Faragan Mountains. They occupy the Southern Carpathians.

Not surprisingly, this epic road was constructed by none other than Nicolae Ceaușescu. The dictator constructed it to make sure that he would have a quick way to escape the country in case the Soviets invaded Romania. He also proposed that the road is an efficient way through which he could get troops to the North. While picking a route, he made sure that his getaway would be as beautiful as possible. Hence, he made sure that the Transfaragasan Highway was located in the mountains. Construction of the road began in 1970 and was concluded 4 years later.

The road is open for driving from June to October every year. Its highest section is 2042 meters above sea level. This picturesque highway is now a favorite tourist spot for drivers from all over the world. Having been christened the best road on the globe, everyone from regular drivers to race car stars want to roar their engine along this eclectic piece of Romanian infrastructure. According to professional opinion, the Transfaragasan Highway was a built in its current location so as to visualize the socialist power of the reigning regime.

Romania is definitely one of the most interesting and amazing countries in the world. It is a great place to visit that is characterized by rich culture, attractions, mystique and warm, welcoming people. Some of the most amazing facts about this country are indicated above. They sound insane, but each one is true. These amazing certitudes are supported by statistics and historical records. Together, they paint the picture of a country which has a rich history and is still very enthusiastic about modern times. You can arrange a trip to this amazing country to see these attractions first hand. Visit Romania and get an authentic experience of Europe!

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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