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Romania Geography


Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the 12th largest in Europe. A large part of Romania's border with Serbia and Bulgaria is formed by the Danube. Situated in eastern Europe, north of the Balkan Peninsula, Romania has a total area of 237,500 sq km (91,699 sq mi).

Comparatively, the area occupied by Romania is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. The dimensions of the country are 789 km (490 mi) east to west, and 475 km (295 mi) north to south. It is bounded on the north and northeast by Ukraine and Moldova, on the east by the Black Sea, on the south by Bulgaria, on the southwest by Serbia and Montenegro, and on the west by Hungary, with a total boundary length of 2,733 km (1,698 mi), of which 225 km (140 mi) is coastline. Romania's capital city, Bucharest, is located in the south central part of the country.

The backbone of Romania is formed by the Carpathian Mountains, which swing southeastward and then westward through the country. The southern limb of this arc-shaped system is known as the Transylvanian Alps, whose compact, rugged peaks rise to 2,543 m (8,343 ft) in Mt. Moldoveanu, Romania's highest. The eastern Carpathians have an average elevation of 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and exceed 1,900 m (6,200 ft) only in the highest ranges. On the eastern and southern fringes of the Carpathian arc are the low plateaus and plains of Walachia, extending to the Prut River (Moldovan border) in the east and to the Danube (Bulgarian border) in the south. On the inside of the Carpathian arc is the Transylvanian Basin, a hilly region dissected by the wide, deep valleys of the Mures and Somes rivers. The Dobruja, located between the lower Danube and the Black Sea, is an eroded plateau with average elevations of 400 to 600 m (1,310-1,970 ft). Except for the low-lying, swampy Danube Delta in the north, the Black Sea coast of the Dobruja is steep, facing the sea with almost vertical cliffs.

Romania is susceptible to severe earthquakes. An earthquake that struck Romania on 4 March 1977 destroyed or severely damaged some 33,000 buildings and left more than 34,000 families homeless. The shock, measuring 7.2 on the open-ended Richter scale, was the most severe in Europe since a series of shocks in October-November 1940, also in Romania.

Romania's climate is of the moderate humid continental type, exposed to predominant northerly cold winds in the winter and moderate westerly winds from the Atlantic in the summer. Average January temperatures range from -4°C to 0°C (25-32°F). During the summer, the highest temperatures are recorded in the Danube Valley (24°C/75°F). Temperatures decrease toward the high elevations in the northwest and toward the southeast, where the Black Sea exerts a moderating influence. Precipitation decreases from west to east and from the mountains to the plains, with an annual average of between 100 and 125 cm (about 40 and 50 in) in the mountains and about 38 cm (15 in) in the delta.


Location :
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine

Geographic coordinates :
46 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references :

Area :
total: 238,391 sq km
land: 229,891 sq km
water: 8,500 sq km

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