The Kingdom of Romania emerged as a distinct nation in 1859 when Prince Alexander John Cuza united the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Located in Eastern Europe, Romania was once one of the Soviet Union's satellite nations. Now, Romania is the European Union's ninth largest country and welcomes visitors who come from all over the world to stay in holiday homes in Romania. The capital city is Bucharest, which is the sixth biggest city in the EU.
The most popular tourist destinations in Romania include Mangalia and Mamaia, which is sometimes referred to as the Romanian Riviera. Other popular destinations are named after the Roman gods, revealing Romania's history as part of the Roman Empire. These areas include Saturn, Venus, Neptun, and Olimp, named after Mt. Olympus, the home of the gods.
Tourists come to Romania for its beaches along the Black Sea, but also for winter skiing opportunities at resorts such as the Valea Prahovei and Poiana Brasov. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania include the nation's collection of medieval castles. Perhaps most significantly, it is only in Romania that visitors can tour the region of Transylvania, long since made famous by novels such as Bram Stoker's Dracula. Towns in Transylvania include Sibui and Cluj-Napoca, which provide rural tourism opportunities focused on folklore and country traditions. One of Transylvania's major attractions is the Hunyard Castle, located in Hunedoara. This castle is one of the most significant examples of Gothic architecture in all of Eastern Europe.