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164 years have passed since the Union of the Romanian Principalities which was marked on Tuesday, January 24, throughout the country.
The official copy of the Paris Convention of 1858, granted to the Romanian Principalities by the Ottoman Empire, was publicly exhibited, on Tuesday, for the first time in Romania. The document represents one of the first Constitutions of Romanians that underlay the Union of the Principalities in the following year, 1859, on January 24. 164 years ago, Moldavia and Wallachia united under the leadership of one single ruler, Alexandru Ioan Cuza. From a historical point of view the exceptional political event was considered the first stage in the creation of the modern Romanian unitary state, later completed in 1918. In a message, the Royal Family of Romania completes the chronology, recalling that, 7 years later, in 1866, the first Constitution of the state called 'Romania' was proclaimed; 18 years after the Union of the Principalities, in 1877, Romania became an independent state, and 22 years later, in 1881 it became a kingdom. In 2023 as well January 24th was an occasion for celebration throughout Romania.
There were numerous military ceremonies in all the garrisons where monuments dedicated to the Union of the Romanian Principalities have been built. In the Orthodox churches, the 164th anniversary of the Union of the Principalities was marked by Te Deum services, at the end of which, for one minute, the bells rang. In Bucharest, flower wreaths were laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an event attended by President Klaus Iohannis who declared that the gains of 1859 are a lesson of responsibility for all those who continue to build a European, modern and democratic Romania. The epicenter of the manifestations occasioned by the Union Day was the city of Iasi, once the capital of Moldavia, then, for a short period, one of the two newly United capitals of the Principalities - Moldavia and Wallachia. The events that marked the day in Iasi on Tuesday included a traditional music concert, a military parade with over 300 soldiers, a memorial service at the tomb of the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza, at the Trei Ierarhi Monastery, aming others.
Among the thousands of people who chose to celebrate the Union Day in Iasi were the Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu. An opportunity for the PM to state that the roots of European Romania can be found in the Union that occurred 164 years ago, an authentic example of the unity of the will of Romanians, which opened the path for the emancipation and modernization of the state. Since 1859, until today, the unmistakable leitmotif of January 24th has remained, however, "Hora Unirii" – The Union Round Dance, a poem by Vasile Alecsandri on the musical setting of Alexandru Flechtenmacher, which is sung and danced on by everybody throughout Romania. (LS)
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