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Location of Ploiești in Prahova County

Ploiești is located in Romania
Location of Ploiești in Romania
Coordinates: 44°56′24″N 26°1′48″E / 44.94, 26.03Coordinates: 44°56′24″N 26°1′48″E / 44.94, 26.03
Country  Romania
County Prahova County
Status County seat
First mentioned 1503
 • Mayor Andrei Volosevici (Democratic Liberal Party)
 • City 58.2 km2 (22.5 sq mi)
Elevation 160 m (520 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City 227,194
 • Density 3,924/km2 (10,160/sq mi)
 • Metro 300,358
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 100xxx
Dialing code 244 - 344
Vehicle registration PH
Website Ploieşti

Ploiești (Romanian pronunciation: [ploˈjeʃtʲ]; older spelling: Ploești) is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located 56 km (35 mi) north of Bucharest.

According to the 2002 Romanian census, there were 232,527 people living within the city of Ploiești, making it the 9th most populous city in Romania.


WWII refineries
(monthly metric tonnes)

  1. Astra Romania (146,000)
  2. Colombia Aquila (45,000)
  3. Concordia Vega (110,000)
  4. Creditul Minier (45,000)
  5. Dacia Romana (15,000)
  6. Phoenix (65,000)
  7. Romana Americana (92,000)
  8. Standard Petrol Block[1] (36,000)
  9. Unirea Sperantza (33,000)
  10. Xenia (22,000)

The town was established in 1596, during the reign of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave). It rapidly flourished as a center for trade and handicraft manufacturing in the 17th and 18th centuries. The road connecting Ploieşti to Braşov was opened in 1864, and the railway arrived in 1882. Many schools and hospitals were built around this time.

In the mid-19th century, the Ploiești region was one of the world's leading oil extraction and refinery sites. The city is also remembered as the site of the self-styled Republic of Ploieşti, a short-lived 1870 revolt against the Romanian monarchy.

World War II[]

Columbia Aquila refinery burning after the raid of B-24 Liberator bombers

Although badly damaged after the November 1940 earthquake, the city was a significant1 source of oil for Nazi Germany. A target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Ploieşti was attacked repeatedly, such as during the HALPRO raid, and Operation Tidal Wave. Ploieşti was captured by Soviet troops in August 1944.

Following the war, the new Communist regime nationalised the oil industry, which had largely been privately owned, and made massive investments in the oil and petroleum industry in a bid to modernise the country and repair the war damage.

The world's first oil refinery opens at Ploieşti, Romania[]

World's first large refinery[2] opened at Ploieşti, in 1856-1857, with US investment. After being taken over by Nazi Germany, the Ploieşti refineries were bombed in Operation Tidal Wave by the Allies during the Oil Campaign of World War II.


Historical population of Ploiești
Year Population
1810 2,024
1859 census 26,468 1200%
1899 census 45,107 70.4%
1912 census 56,460[3] 25.1%
1930 census 77,341 36.9%
1948 census 96,229 24.4%
1956 census 114,544 19%
1966 census 146,922 28.2%
1977 census 199,699 35.9%
1992 census 252,715 26.5%
2002 census 232,527 −7.9%
2009 estimate 228,378 −1.7%

The population of Ploieşti went from 56,460, as indicated by the December 1912 census returns, up to 252,715 in January 1992.

Since the fall of Communism, however, the city's population continues to gently fall due both to emigration and to a declining birth rate. At the 2002 census, the population reduced to 232,527.[4]

Ploieşti city 5,844 ha (14,400 acres) has become the nucleus of a metropolitan area which count 14 localities, adding around 100,000 new inhabitants to the administrative area.

For 2010, Ploiești has an estimated population of 227,194, the 9th most populous city in Romania.[5]

Census Ethnic composition
Year Population Romanians Hungarians Germans Serbs Jews Gypsies Russians Greeks Ukrainians
1930 79,149 69,139 1,591 1,307
2002 232,527 225,570 237 148 8 65 5,873 56 108 15

Map of the Ploieşti Metropolitan Area

The Ploieşti Metropolitan Area[]

The Ploieşti Metropolitan Area includes the city of Ploieşti and 13 neighboring localities with a population of 117.000.


Victory Square

Central Market Hall

St John the Baptist, Orthodox Cathedral

Engineering and Design Institute for Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Plants, 1950

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Ploieşti experienced rapid economic growth due to major investments from foreign companies. The city is situated at just 60 km north from Bucharest, with promising infrastructure projects currently underway. Ploieşti is a strong industrial center, focused especially on the oil production and refining industry. Although oil production in the region is declining steadily, there is still a thriving processing industry through four operating oil refineries, linked by pipelines to Bucharest, the Black Sea port of Constanţa and the Danube port of Giurgiu. Ploiești is also a textile manufacturing center. Ploiești concentrates many foreign investments: OMV-Petrom, Lukoil, Shell Gas, Timken, Yazaki, Coca Cola, Efes Pilsener, British American Tobacco, Interbrew. Many retailers like Carrefour, Metro, Selgros, Kaufland, Billa, Bricostore, Praktiker, Intermarche, Profi, Mega Image found in Ploieşti a continuously growing market. In Ploieşti can also be found two McDonald's restaurants, and only one KFC restaurant opened in 2006.

The German retailer Tengelmann expects to have some 30 stores this year and has set itself a target of 120 stores by 2010, investing €200 million. To facilitate its growth, Tengelmann built a depot in Ploiești. With its Interex operation, the French independent retailer Intermarché intends to become a distribution leader in the Balkans. In Romania the first Interex store was opened in June 2002 in the city of Ploieşti.

Unilever has a detergent plant in Ploiești. By transferring their food production to Ploieşti, the company will concentrate their full activity in Romania to the same location. At the beginning of March 2006, Unilever announced they would invest EUR 3 million to build one production center in Romania, and the construction of the new food plant is part of this plan.[6]

At Ploiești, as a milestone in the development of the petroleum, hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical industries as well as of their related fields, was established in 1950, the Engineering and Design Institute for Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Plants, SC IPIP SA, a Romanian company with a large range of capabilities and experience.

City center, photographed from the south
City center, photographed from the south


Yellow city bus in Ploieşti.

Ploiești is situated on the future highway BucharestBrașov, the main path towards the north and west provinces and the Western EU. The Henri Coandă International Airport is just at 45 km distance, and the ski resorts from Prahova Valley can be reached in one hour driving. The scarcity of modern motorways and well-built roads surrounding Ploiești, and Romania in general makes transport a challenge. Under the scrutiny of the EU, the motorway infrastructure will improve substantially over the next few years.

Ploiești is the second railway center in the country after Bucharest, linking Bucharest with Transylvania and Moldavia. The city's public transportation system is run by Regia Autonomă de Transport Public (RATP Ploieşti) and includes an extensive network of buses, trolleybuses and trams/streetcars. Ploiești's distinct yellow bus fleet is one of the most modern in Southeastern Europe, provides connections to all areas within the city, for a daily average of 150,000 passengers. The municipal roads comprise over 800 streets with a total length of 324 km. East and West ring belts cannot prevent around 5,300 vehicles transiting Ploieşti each day. The municipal vehicle park comprised 216 buses, 32 trams and 25 trolleybuses carrying about 70 millions passengers annually. There are 33 bus lines having a total length of 415,46 km; two trolley-bus lines having a total length of 19,9 km and two tram lines having a total length of 23,8 km.

Culture and education[]

Ploieşti Cultural Palace

Ploiești is home to the Oil & Gas University, Ploieşti Philharmonic Orchestra—one of the top-rated philharmonic orchestras in Romania and two prestigious football clubs in Liga 1, Astra and Petrolul.

There are many cultural and architectural monuments, including the Cultural Palace; the Clock Museum, featuring a collection of clocks and watches gathered by Nicolae Simache; the Oil Museum; the Art Museum of Ploieşti, donated by the Quintus family; and the Hagi Prodan Museum, dating to 1785: the property of a merchant named Ivan Hagi Prodan, it contains elements of old Romanian architecture and for a short time after World War I it hosted the first museum in Ploieşti, "Prahova's Museum". In August 2011,Ploiesti hosted the Golden Carpathian European Film & Fair and Goran Bregovic concert.

Teleajen River near Ploieşti


The Teleajen River and Dâmbu River run through the city.


The climate is similar to that of the nation's capital, Bucharest. According to the Köppen climate classification, the city falls within the temperate humid continental climate(Dfa) of the hot summer type.

Climate data for Ploieşti
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1
Average low °C (°F) −6
Precipitation mm (inches) 40.6
Source: Weather Channel


The Ploiești Municipal Council, elected in the 2008 local elections, is made up of 27 councillors, with the following party composition:

    Party Seats Current Council
  Democratic Liberal Party 10                    
  Social Democratic Party 8                    
  National Liberal Party 4                    
  New Generation Party 3                    
  National Democratic Christian Party 2                    

International relations[]

Twin towns - sister cities[]

Ploieşti is twinned with:

Notable people[]

  • Sports: Octavian Belu, Leonard Doroftei, Adrian Diaconu, Iulian Ilie
  • Architecture: Toma N. Socolescu (1848–1897), Ion N. Socolescu (1856–1924), Toma T. Socolescu (1883–1960).
  • Politics: Take Ionescu, Ştefan Gheorghiu (trade unionist), Corneliu Mănescu, Remus Opriş
  • Academia: Liviu Librescu, Nicolae Simache
  • Literature: Ion Luca Caragiale, Nichita Stănescu
  • Science: Carol Nicolae Debie
  • Musician: Leonida Constantin Brezeanu, Drei Ros

Image Gallery from Ploieşti[]

Notes and references[]

^1  Sources provide differing estimates regarding Romanian production:
  • 1942: The Axis Oil Position in Europe, November 1942 by the Hartley Committee estimated that "Romanian oil fields" contributed 33% of Axis supplies.[8]
  • 1944: "Ploesti, thirty-five miles from Bucharest, supplied one-third of all the oil fuel Germany required for war purposes."[9]
  • 1999: The fragile, concentrated Bucharest facilities provided "60% of Germany's crude oil supply"[10]
  1. ^ "U.S. Air Force photo" [sic] [diagram] in Gurney, Gene (Major, USAF) (1962). "The War in the Air: a pictorial history of World War II Air Forces in combat". 
  2. ^ "WORLD EVENTS: 1844-1856". Retrieved 2009-04-22. ""world's first oil refinery"" 
  3. ^ A Handbook of Roumania
  4. ^ 2002 Census
  5. ^ "Largest Romanian cities in 2010" (in Romanian). August 28, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Bucharest Business Week, Unilever builds factory in Ploieşti, March 10, 2006
  7. ^ "Radom Official Website - Partner Cities". Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Poland.svg (in English and Polish) © 2007 Urząd Miasta Radom. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  8. ^ US Secretary (January 1943). Casablanca Conference: Papers and Minutes of Meetings. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library; COMBINED CHIEFS OF STAFF: Conference proceedings, 1941–1945; Box 1: Office of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. pp. 40–43,88,256. "Brehon Somervell[inside front cover] … DECLASSIFIED … 10/29/73 … U.S. SECRET … BRITISH MOST SECRET … COPY NO. 32[inside back cover]" 
  9. ^ Turner, S.J., F. R. G. S -- maps (1944). Vol. 2 [September 3, 1941—August 15, 1943]. Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc.. p. 986. 
  10. ^ Modrovsky, Robert J. (April 1999) (pdf). 1 August 1943 -- Today's Target is Ploesti: A Departure from Doctrine. pp. 4. 

External links[]

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