Make your own free website on

Balkan States


Romania, in the eastern half of the Balkans, is the largest country of the peninsula, having an area of 91,699 square miles (237,500 square kilometres). Its boundaries total 1,959 miles (3,153 kilometres), with Ukraine on the north, Moldova on the northeast, the Black Sea on the east, Bulgaria on the south, Serbia on the southwest, and Hungary on the west. The capital is Bucharest (Bucuresti).

There is a certain symmetry in the physical structure of Romania. The country forms a complex geographic unit centred on the Transylvanian Basin, around which the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains and their associated subranges and structural platforms form a series of crescents. Beyond this zone, the extensive plains of the south and east of the country, their potential increased by the Danube and its tributaries, form a fertile outer crescent extending to the frontiers. There is great diversity in the topography, geology, climate, hydrology, flora, and fauna, and for millennia this natural environment has borne the imprint of a human population. The Romanian people derive much of their ethnic and cultural character from Roman influence, but this ancient identity has been reshaped continuously by Romania's position astride major continental migration routes. Since the late 19th century, in particular, Romania has undergone an economic and social transformation from an agricultural society to an urbanized, industrial society.

Copyright © 1994-1999 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.