Romania (România) is situated in the north of the Balkan Peninsula on the western shores of the Black Sea. It enjoys great natural beauty and diversity and a rich cultural heritage. Romania enchants visitors with its scenic mountain landscapes and unspoiled countryside areas, and also with its historic cities and its busy capital. Over the last decade Romania had undergone a significant development and it is one of the recent members of the European Union. Tourists from western countries might still, even today, enjoy some surprising experiences in Romania. This is a large country which can sometimes be shocking with contrasts: some cities are truly Western Europe; some villages can seem to have been brought back from the past. While it has significant cultural similarities with other Balkan states, it is regarded as unique due to its strong Latin heritage. Things for which Romania is famous include: the Carpathian mountains, sculptor Constantin Brancusi, wine, salt mines, George Enescu, medieval fortresses, Eugene Ionesco, "Dacia" cars, Dracula, stuffed cabbage leaves, Nadia Comaneci, primeval dense forests, the Black Sea, Gheorghe Hagi, sunflower fields, wolves and bears, painted monasteries, the Danube Delta, etc. etc.