Râmnicu Vâlcea

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Râmnicu Vâlcea
County capital
Skyline of Râmnicu Vâlcea
Coat of arms of Râmnicu Vâlcea
Coat of arms
Location of Râmnicu Vâlcea
Location of Râmnicu Vâlcea
Coordinates: 45°6′17″N 24°22′32″E / 45.10472°N 24.37556°E / 45.10472; 24.37556Coordinates: 45°6′17″N 24°22′32″E / 45.10472°N 24.37556°E / 45.10472; 24.37556
Country  Romania
County Vâlcea
Status County capital
Government
 • Mayor Gigi Matei (interim) (Social Democratic Party)
Area
 • Total 89.5 km2 (34.6 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 92,573
 • Density 1,034/km2 (2,680/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.primariavl.ro/

Râmnicu Vâlcea (also spelled Rîmnicu Vîlcea, Romanian pronunciation: [ˈrɨmniku ˈvɨlt͡ʃe̯a]) (population: 92,573) is the capital city of Vâlcea County, Romania (in the historical province of Oltenia).

Geography and climate[edit]

Râmnicu Vâlcea is situated in the central-south area of Romania. Set at the foothills of the Southern Carpathians, the city is located at about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the Cozia Mountains and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Făgăraş and Lotrului Mountains. The southern limit of Râmnicu Vâlcea is formed by the Getic Plateau and the Oltului Valley.

The Olt River crosses the town of Râmnicu Vâlcea as well as the E81 road of European interest and one of the main national railway routes.

History[edit]

A market in Râmnicu Vâlcea, 1869 watercolor by Amedeo Preziosi
Romanian War of Independence monument (erected 1915)
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1912 9,628 —    
1930 15,648 +62.5%
1948 17,238 +10.2%
1956 18,984 +10.1%
1966 23,867 +25.7%
1977 66,321 +177.9%
1992 113,624 +71.3%
2002 107,656 −5.3%
2011 92,573 −14.0%
Source: Census data

The area has been inhabited since Dacian and Roman times, and was the site of a castrum. A new fortress was built on the location during the Middle Ages. Râmnicu Vâlcea was first attested during the rule of Prince Mircea cel Bătrân, as "the princely town of Râmnic" (4 September 1388), and confirmed as the seat of a Vâlcea County during the same period (8 January 1392).

The town seal dates to 1505. Cetăţuia, the actual fortress, served as the residence of Oltenian Bans and, from 1504, of the Orthodox bishops of the Râmnic Diocese; in 1543, Prince Radu de la Afumaţi was killed in Cetăţuia by a boyar conspiracy.

During the rules of Matei Basarab and Constantin Brâncoveanu, it became an important cultural center. It was here where the first paper mill and printing press in Romania were built (see Anthim the Iberian). The city was heavily damaged during the Habsburg takeover of Oltenia between 1718 and 1739, and its purpose was again reduced to that of a fortress.

During the Wallachian Revolution, on 29 July 1848, Deşteaptă-te, române! (the national anthem of Romania), with lyrics written by Andrei Mureşanu and music composed by Anton Pann (whose memorial house lies in the center of the town), was sung for the first time in Râmnicu Vâlcea. Gheorghe Magheru gathered his military force in Râureni, now part of the city, in an attempt to face the anti-revolutionary forces of Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

In the 1980s, the city was completely rebuilt in a style combining Socialist realism with local vernacular architecture.

The city was the center and peak point of the path of total darkness of the Solar eclipse of 11 August 1999.

Politics[edit]

The interim mayor of Râmnicu Vâlcea is Gigi Matei of the Social Democratic Party. The elected mayor, Emilian Frâncu, was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in March 2014 for corruption-related offenses.[2] The Râmnicu Vâlcea Municipal Council, elected at the June 2012 local government elections, is made up of 22 councillors, with the following party composition:

    Party Seats Current Council
  Social Democratic Party 6            
  National Liberal Party 5          
  Democratic Liberal Party 5          
  National Union for the Progress of Romania 4        
  People's Party – Dan Diaconescu 2    

Industry and commerce[edit]

Oltchim S.A.[edit]

Oltchim S.A. Ramnicu Valcea was one of the largest chemical companies in Romania.[3] It provided chemical products since 1966, it was an exporter on Chlorosodics, Polyether Polyols and Propylene Oxide markets in Eastern and Central Europe, and it was the second largest PVC producer in the area.[4]

In 2009 and 2010, the company lowered production and laid off employees because of the financial crisis and it became one of the first companies to receive aid from the government.[5]

In 2012, the company was declared bankrupt.[citation needed]

Cybercrime[edit]

Râmnicu Vâlcea has gained notoriety as a global centre of cybercrime,[6][7][8] including but not limited to EBay and Craigslist scammers who steal thousands of dollars per transaction from American buyers, generating millions of dollars in revenue. Wealthy profiteers provide revenue for a strong luxury car industry.

Sports[edit]

Râmnicu Vâlcea is home to CS Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea is a women handball club which competes in the Liga Naţională and the Women's Champions League.

Villages[edit]

The city administers thirteen villages: Aranghel, Căzăneşti, Copăcelu, Dealu Malului, Feţeni, Goranu, Lespezi, Poenari, Priba, Râureni, Săliştea, Stolniceni and Troian. Goranu, Feţeni, Lespezi and Săliştea were a separate commune, Goranu, until 1996, when they were merged into the city.

Natives[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2011 Census" (in Romanian). INSSE. February 2, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ (Romanian) "Primarul din Râmnicu Vâlcea, Emilian Frâncu, condamnat definitiv la 4 ani de închisoare cu executare", Jurnalul Național, March 26, 2014
  3. ^ "Oltchim S.A.". Oltchim S.A. Wikipedia page. 
  4. ^ "About us". Oltchim Website. 
  5. ^ "Boc promite ca va scoate Oltchim S.A. din criza". business24.ro. 
  6. ^ Bhattacharjee, Yudhijit (31 January 2011). "How a Remote Town in Romania Has Become Cybercrime Central". Wired magazine. 
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (7 February 2011). "Romanian Mountains: Seedy Epicenter of Global Cybercrime". Atlantic Wire. 
  8. ^ Wylie, Ian (26 December 2007). "Romania home base for EBay scammers". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]