The largest of the Balkan countries, Romanian terrain has dramatic mountains and a coastline on the Black Sea. After World War II the country fell under Communist rule, eventually leading to Communist leader and dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s iron fist reigning over the country until his downfall on Christmas Day 1989.
The River Danube, Europe’s second-longest river, empties into Romania’s Danube Delta. The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m (8,346 ft). Its climate is temperate and continental, with four distinct seasons.
With a population of over 20 million people, the largest ethnicity is Hungarians, followed by Hungarians at 6.1% and the Roma, at 3.0% of the population. Their official language is Romanian and although formally a secular state, the majority of the population consider themselves Christians. Among famous Romanians is Romanian-born Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.