Basic facts

Map of Romania


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Total territory: 57 000 km²
The territory together with Partium and Banat: 103 093 km²

Population: 4 133 358
Population together with Partium and Banat: 7 723 313
Density: 72,5 pers/ km²
Density together with Partium and Banat: 74,9 pers/ km²

romanian leu/lei in plural (RON)

UTC +2/+3

Transylvania (Romanian: Ardeal or Transilvania; Hungarian: Erdély; German: Siebenbürgen, see also other denominations) is a Central European region located in the eastern half of the Carpathian Basin, in present-day central Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historic Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, since 1919, Transylvania also encompasses, in the north-west, parts of the historical regions of Crişana and Maramureş (see also Partium), and in the west, eastern-(Romanian) Banat.

Transylvania is an ancient land, once the nucleus of the powerful Kingdom of Dacia. After 106 AD the Roman Empire conquered the territory and its wealth (gold and salt) was systematically exploited. After the Romans' withdrawal in 271 AD, it was subject to various temporary influences and migration waves: Visigoths, Carpians, Huns, and Gepids Slavic peoples. Starting with the 10th century Magyar tribes slowly subdued Transylvania, which became part of the Kingdom of Hungary (11th–16th century). As a political entity, Transylvania is mentioned from the 11th century (after the Hungarian conquest) as a voivodeship, part of the Kingdom of Hungary. After the battle of Mohács it became an autonomous principality under the Ottoman Empire's suzerainty, then successively a part of Hungary ruled by the Habsburgs in 1711, again a part of the Kingdom of Hungary (within the newly established Austria-Hungary) in 1867, and a part of the Kingdom of Romania after World War I.

Outside Romania, it is strongly associated with the novel Dracula, while within Romania and Hungary the region is known for the scenic beauty of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history.

Geography and ethnography:
Romanian ethnographic regions (Transylvania; Maramureş; Sǎtmar; Crişana; Banat)
Hungarian ethnographic regions (King's Pass; Western Transylvania; Eastern Transylvania)

The Transylvanian plateau, 300 to 500 metres (1,000-1,600 feet) high, is drained by the Mureş, Someş, Criş, and Olt rivers, as well as other tributaries of the Danube. This core of historical Transylvania roughly corresponds with nine counties of modern Romania. Other areas to the west and north, which also united with Romania in 1918 (inside the border established by peace treaties in 1919-20), are since that time widely considered part of Transylvania.

Transylvania proper:

Ţara Bârsei
Mărginimea Sibiului
Câmpia Transilvaniei
Ţara Moţilor
Ţara Năsăudului
Ţinutul Pădurenilor
Ţara Zarandului
Ţara Lǎpuşului
Ţara Oaşului

Historic definitions of Transylvania vary geographically. The 2002 Romanian census classified Transylvania as the entire region of Romania west of the Carpathians. This region has a population of 7,221,733, with a large Romanian majority (75,9%). There are also sizeable Hungarian (20%), Roma (3.3%), German (0.7%) and Serb (0.1%) communities. The ethnic Hungarian population of Transylvania, largely composed of Székely, form a majority in the counties of Covasna and Harghita.

The percentage of Romanian majority has increased since the union of Transylvania with Romania after World War I in 1918 (the 1910 Census indicates a total population of 5,262,495, Romanians 53.8%; Hungarians 31.6%; Germans 10.7%), it should be noted however that the number of Hungarians grew at twice the rate of the overall population, mostly due to pre-WWI policies of Magyarization.

The expropriation of the estates of Magyar magnates, the distribution of the lands to the Romanian peasants, and the policy of cultural Romanianization that followed the Treaty of Trianon were major causes of friction between Hungary and Romania. Other factors include the emigration of non-Romanian peoples, assimilation and internal migration within Romania (estimates show that between 1945 and 1977, some 630,000 people moved from the Old Kingdom to Transylvania, and 280,000 from Transylvania to the Old Kingdom, most notably to Bucharest).

Administrativ division:
The historical region granted to Romania in 1920 covered 23 counties including nearly 102,200 km² (102,787 - 103,093 in Hungarian sources and 102,200 in contemporany Romanian documents) now due to the several administrative reorganisations Transylvania covers 16 present-day counties (Romanian: judeţ) which include nearly 99,837 km² of central and northwest Romania. The 16 counties are:

Satu Mare

The most populous cities are:
Cluj-Napoca (318,027)
Timişoara (317,651)
Braşov (283,901)
Oradea (206,527)
Arad (172,824)
Sibiu (155,045)
Târgu Mureş (149,577)
Baia Mare (137,976)
Satu Mare (115,630)