Romania Human Geography

By | October 22, 2021

To its geographical position, between Central Europe and the Black Sea, Romania owes the fact that it has hosted important communication routes since ancient times, oriented along lines aimed at the mouth of the Danube, which crossed the Romanian territory, connecting it to neighboring countries. Romania was inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic, and there are numerous testimonies of flourishing cultures of Neolithic derivation; the Dacians would have originated from the fusion of these indigenous peoples with Indo-European peoples from the vast steppes to the NE, ancestors of the current Romanians and builders of the first state structure in the region, comprising all three traditional regions (Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania). Submission to the Roman Empire led then, in the century. II-III, a work of colonization and population of the territory perhaps unprecedented in the history of the Roman Empire, of which Dacia became one of the most flourishing provinces inheriting a language, Latin, which would no longer be forgotten by the population. gradually transforming into modern Romanian and becoming an essential element in the genesis of the country’s national sentiment. Few linguistic and cultural influences left instead the invasions of Goths, Huns, Avars etc.; while the Slavic populations, who arrived later, would have contributed to consolidating the common religious heritage, Orthodox Christianity linked to the Church of Byzantium. The Romanian territory also saw the influx of Hungarian groups (still numerous in central Transylvania where they form the majority of the population in the autonomous Magyar Region, specifically established) and Germans, settled both in Banat, on the western borders, and also in Transylvania: especially the city of Sibiu it preserves extraordinary artistic testimonies left by Saxon people who settled there and today, after the war and post-war upheavals, only a few tens of thousands of people remain. Other minorities (Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, etc.) are also decreasing while the ethnic group made up of Gypsies remains very substantial (Rom). If we take into account the complex historical events suffered by the country, the current homogeneity in the ethnic structure is remarkable: the proportion of the population of Romanian nationality is close to 90%.

The many territorial variations suffered by the country make it almost impossible to estimate the size of the Romanian population in distant times. In 1914, before the acquisition of Transylvania, Bessarabia, Bucovina and part of Banat, Romania extended for just over 131,000 km² and, according to iamhigher, its population did not reach 8 million residents; in 1920 the România Mare (Greater Romania) had over 295,000 km² of surface and 17 million residents; the 1948 census, after the territorial losses following the Second World War, gave a total of 15,872,624 residents for a state reduced to its present surface. Subsequently, there was a significant increase in the number of residents, which at the 1956 census reached almost 17.5 million; today, after years of serious economic crisis and social regression, the annual growth coefficient is stably negative (-0.3% per year on average between 2002 and 2007), with the death rate higher than the birth rate and a low fertility index (1.3 in 2007); infant mortality is also quite high (12 per thousand in 2007). The average density is 90 residents / km², with a rather homogeneous distribution; Iasi, Ilfov or Prahova, with the important mining and industrial center of Ploiesti, and of course that of Bucharest. The urban population is rapidly increasing, more than half of the total (54% in 2008), however the typical aspect of the Romanian population is rural. The villages are mostly lined up along the roads; the houses often show elegant wooden decorations, perpetuating a craftsmanship of ancient traditions (the use of wood is especially widespread in the forest environment of the Carpathians). In the Transylvanian areas inhabited mainly by Magyars and Saxons, where the village is often concentrated around the fortified church, there is often a fidelity to the models of the countries of origin, while in certain more depressed, marginal areas of the Wallachian plain one can still find modest houses of earth and clay, next to the modern state farm buildings.

L ‘ urbanism is identified in practice Bucharest, the only metropolis over 300.000. there are only four cities (Cluj, Timisoara, Costanza and Craiova), while the other urban centers generally perform commercial functions, which were later superimposed on industrial or mining activities; the oldest cities are of Dacian, Roman or Greek origin (such as Constance and Alba Iulia), others date back to the Middle Ages and are of German foundation (Sibiu, Brasov), finally others are of recent date such as Onesti (formerly Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej), founded in 1953. Vast spaces left as a park, wide avenues, a wide-ranging structure even if characterized by a certain uniformity are the main characteristics of urban planning Romanian, which naturally has its most significant and grandiose model in the capital, a city with a modern appearance located in the heart of the Wallachian plain, about fifty km N of the Danube, the largest industrial and commercial center of the country, the main hub of communications and transport, fulcrum of the political and cultural life of Romania. The other main cities of Wallachia are Ploiesti, an ancient trading center at the outlet in the plain of the Prahova river valley, Brăila, overlooking the left bank of the Danube, has been an active river port for several centuries, especially for cereal products. The greatest center of Romanian Moldavia and its ancient capital is Iasi, located near the border with the Republic of Moldova on the banks of the Bahlui (Bahluiul), a tributary of the Prut, and known for its intense artistic and cultural life; it is one of the Romanian cities richest in outstanding historical monuments and is commonly considered the brightest artistic center in the country. At the confluence of the Siret into the Danube is located Galati, the second main Moldavian center; traditional outlet of a vast agricultural hinterland that went from Bessarabia in the Carpathians, it bases its fortunes on port activity (cereals and timber), to which a lively industry has been added, mainly linked to the steel and shipbuilding industry. The highest Romanian city after the capital is Cluj-Napoca, in the heart of Transylvania, a center of flourishing traffic since the Middle Ages thanks to its geographical position, the convergence of important communication routes with Wallachia to the S, Moldavia to the E, Hungary to W. Brasov, founded in the century, owes its development to trade. XIII by the Teutonic Knights and became one of the major Romanian industrial centers; another important city in Transylvania is Sibiu, to which a rich merchant bourgeoisie formed mainly by German immigrants gave prosperity and a typically Germanic architectural imprint. The other major cities are: on the Black Sea Constance, the capital of Dobruja, rich in outstanding Roman remains (it was the Greek, then Roman colony of Tomis known for the exile of the poet Ovid) and today the largest Romanian port, both oil and cereal; in the extreme W, in the Pannonian lowland on the border with Hungary and Serbia and Montenegro, the centers of Oradea, Arad and above all Timisoara, important communication and trade nodes.

Romania Country and People