Vrancea County

Vrancea is attested in a Latin document, a letter dated July 2, 1431, where the name is spelled VARANCHA. Historians and researchers hold the word belonged in the Thraco-Dacian lexical stock, VRAN meaning forest/mountain. Maybe this explains why the time’s writings called Vrancea “The Forest-rich Land” or “The Black Land”. Vrancea is the original hearth of the poem of the Romanian’s ethnogenesis, the ballad “Miorita” – a folk poetry heard by writer Alecu Russo in the mountain village of Soveja in 1853, which he later included in a collection of folk literary writings. The “Miorita” originating in Vrancea is considered the archetype of the over 1,000 variants of the ballad created in the course of time. Vrancea is a history-rich land. In the modern age, it was the symbol of Moldovia’s and Wallachia’s Union on January 24, 1859 that laid the groundwork of the Romanian state. Focsani was the seat of the first institutions of the newborn unified Romanian state – the Central Commission and the Court of Appeal. That’s why the town is acknowledged as the first capital of the United Principalities. Another historic landmark is the memorial house Ion Roata, an old peasant and an elected member of the divan (a kind of parliament ) who was directly involved in the Union of the Principalities. During World War One, in July-August 1917, Europe got its first victories on Imperial Germany on the battlefields of Marasti and Marasesti, here in this county. Those victories broke up the ground to the achievement of the unitary nation-state on December 1, 1918. Vrancea is home to the most important memorials and mausoleums honouring the blood sacrifice of the World War One heroes – Marasti, Marasesti, Soveja and Focsani. In token of reward for the war damage borne by the town of Marasesti, the French government awarded it in 1919 the War Cross of France. After the Union, Vrancea was a hub of throbbing spiritual and social life. In the latter half of 20th century, progress in the economy, urbanisation and cultural life of county localities became an obvious reality.

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Geographical Outline

Vrancea county is located in the southeast zone of Romania; lying at the bend of the Eastern Carpathians, it represents a genuine connecting link between the three great historical provinces: Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania.  In point of area, it ranks the 30th among Romania’s counties with 4,863 sqkm, while its rural area places it on the seventh place. Its neighbours are Bacau county in the north, Vaslui and Galati counties in the east, Buzau county in the southeast and Covasna county in the west. Population density is 81 inhab/sqkm (27th in the country). There are five towns: Focsani (100,000 inhabitants), Adjud, Panciu, Marasesti and Odobesti. Vrancea county has 59 communes, of which two are suburban, and 331 villages. The relief resembles some huge steps that descend from west to east. The highest is the Vrancea Mountains, made up of massifs whose height ranges from 960 to 1,783 m; next come the hills which rise from 350 m to 1,001 m; the third is a flat plain that reaches the rivers Siret, Trotus and Ramnic. The climate is continental, influenced by North and South Europe air currents. Forests cover the mountains and hills, while in the plain the sylvo-steppe vegetation is predominant. The most active seismic region is located in Vrancea, the epicentre being in the village of Vrancioaia. Forests, which cover about 38 per cent of the area of Vrancea county, represent one of its main riches. Agriculture is well developed; the total agricultural area stretches over 255,284 ha, of which arable land occupies 146,792 ha, vineyards over 35,000 ha, orchards 4,654 ha and forests 191,792 ha. One can easily see that vineries not only hold the largest area of the county but also supply its major product. There are 678 educational establishments (32nd place), out of which 20 are high schools. There also exist 276 public libraries (27th place), nine museums (23rd place) and four cinema halls (23rd place).

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Touristic Information

Situated in the South-Eastern part of the Oriental Carpathians, the Vrancea county is the connection between the three Romanian Lands: Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania. Its first documentary mention is on July, 2-nd, 1431 when it is named VARANCHA which means "the forest land" or the black land. Its surface is of 4,863 The population is of 393,400 inhabitants. The capital city of this county is the municipality of Focsani with a population of 100,000 inhabitants. The relief is in flight of steps from West to East and consists in hills and mountain massives of 960 m to 1,783 m above sea level (the Goru Peak). This county is crossed by the Siret, Putna, Zabala, Milcov, Susita, and Rarunic Rivers. The climate is an Eastern-continental one and influenced from North and South. The Vrancea county is the actives seismic zone of Romania. The seismic epicenter is situated in the village of Vrancioaia where there is a modem station of seismology. A third part of the surface of this county is covered by forests. In this county there is the biggest vineyard of Romania which covers the hills and terraces with grape-vine. Under the trade mark of Odobesti, Cotesti, Panciu, different kinds of wine, cognac and champagne using French methods, brandy and vermouth are made.
The Romanian history, culture and civilization are represented by:

  • the Mera Monastery - a fortified building built in 1685; it is the only building built in Romania by the Cantemir family (patriots, rulers and scholars).
  • the Princely cellar from Odobe5ti, built in 1839 where now there is one of the richest collection of choise wine bottles in Romania. belonging to the "Vincon" unit from Focsani.
  • the wooden church (in oak beams) in the village of Prisaca-Valea Sarii, built in 1770 on the upper course of the Putna River.
  • the Village Museum is synthesis of the Vrancea's folk traditions, of agricol folk and handcraft technics, custom and inhabited conditions - is situated in the Crangul Petresti, 7 km far from Focsani.
  • the Romanian Heros Mausoleum dedicated to soldiers who died on the Marasesti-Marasti-Soveja-Focsani-Sud front line, in the first World War.

Soveja is one of the well-known rest and cure spas. It is known thanks to its folk traditions. Here the "Miorita" ballad, the poem of the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people, born.
The monuments of nature situated in this county are:

  • the fire from Andreiasu - emanations of gas with a permanent burning at the surface (Andriesu is a mountain locality which is documentary mentioned in August, 8th, 1445).
  • the Putna waterfall, 71 km far from Focsani, 76 m long, 14 m high, and a flow of 9 cubic meters/sec.
  • the Lepsa trout station situated in the mountain village of Tulnici.
  • the "Maior Gheorghe Pastia" Theatre, an impressive European building offered to Focsani's inhabitants by this officer in 1913.

The Union Square in Focsani - a pile of buildings of historic and civic evocation built in the '70. The Union Obelisk, a work of Romanian sculptor Ion Jalea is artistically the landmark of Focsani, a town considered as the first capital city of the United Principalities: Moldavia, and Wallachia, on January, 24th, 1859.

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Economy Profile

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