Romania has many superb masterpieces of nature glacial rings and glaciers, the longest volcanic mountain range in Europe (the Oas-Harghita) and the youngest continental land (the Danube Delta). The Carpathians, extended in a spectacular bow, contain many marvels, including megaliths and glaciers, canyons, caves volcanic lakes, and two-thirds of Europe's mineral springs.
According to the latest statistics, Romania has 586 protected areas: 13 national parks, 371 geologic monuments, 46 scientific reserves, and 18 protected landscapes. Besides Retezat National Park there is another reservation of the biosphere in Romania over 56,700 hectares in the Rodnei Mountains.
Romania's wealth has been recognized since ancient times: the Greeks from Milletus laid foundation of colonies on the Pontus Euxinus shore (7th-6th century B.C.), the Roman Empire conquered Dacia and exploited its subalpine gold and silver in the first and third centuries A.D.
Protected for the centuries, Romania's natural areas captured scientific attention early in the 20th century. The first law on environment protection was passed in 1930; the first forest reservation was set up (Domogled-Baile Herculane) in 1932, the first National Park (Retezat) in 1935 and the first geological reservation (Detunata Goala-the Apuseni mountains) was recognized in 1938.
UNESCO has awarded diplomas of honor to the Retezat National Park, Pietrosul Mare and the Rosca-Letea Reservation (The Danube Delta). Special measures to protect the delta are included in the international Man and the Biosphere project.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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