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Thursday 23rd May
Romania Facts
Romania's Danube Delta, a World Heritage site, is the second largest delta in Europe.

The Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains date from the Late Iron Age.

German craftsmen and merchants, known as the Saxons of Transylvania, founded the medieval town of Sighisoara.

Churches in Transylvanian villages were fortified because of repeated attacks on the region.

Bram Stoker based his novel Dracula on Vlad Dracul, the fifteenth century Wallachian prince.

Victor Babes (1854-1926) founded the Institute of Pathology and Bacteriology in Bucharest.

Gheorghe Marinescu (1863-1938), the professor of Neurology at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest, was the first to see living nervous cells with a microscope.

George Emil Palade, a pioneer of modern cell biology, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1974.

Grigore Moisil (1906-1973), a professor of mathematical logic and computer science at the University of Bucharest, encouraged Romanian scientists to build a computer in 1957.

In 1866 Karl of Hohenzollern, a German prince, was chosen as the Romanian King (Carol I).

Ferdinand I became the King of Romania in 1914. Ferdinand's wife, Queen Marie, was a granddaughter of the United Kingdom's Queen Victoria.

During the Second Balkan War (1913) Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Romania and the Ottoman Empire fought against Bulgaria.

In 1939 Bernat Hecht, the father of the UK politician Michael Howard, moved to Wales to escape persecution of Jews in Romania.

Only half of Romania's Jewish population survived the Second World War.

The end of the Second World War saw the formation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, formerly part of Romania.

Romania was a member of COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (1949-91) and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation.

The Warsaw Pact (1955-1991) allowed Red Army bases in member states. (Warsaw Treaty Organisation member countries were Albania (until 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic), East Germany (DDR), Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union).

Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania intervened on behalf of Czechoslovakia during the Soviet invasion of that country in 1968. Josip Broz "Tito" of Yugoslavia (not a Warsaw Pact country) was also against the Soviet action. Following the invasion, Albania left the Warsaw Pact although it had not been an active member since the early 1960s.

Romania joined the European Union in 2007.

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