Râmnicu Vâlcea is a city at the foot of the Southern Carpathians, which Romanians associate primarily with the composer of their national anthem, Anton Panne. In its old part there are many historic buildings and several interesting churches.
The city was founded in the 14th century and its development was related to the mining of salt. Today, its attractions include the historic Ocnele Mari Salt Mine. Over time, Râmnicu Vâlcea has become an important trade center here, located on the route leading through the Olt valley.
In the 19th century, Râmnicu Vâlcea was an important center of the Romanian national movement. During the Spring of Nations, the song Deșteaptă-te, române! Was written here, which is now the national anthem. The town is home to the Memorial House of Anton Virgo, the composer who composed the music for the anthem.
The city's monuments are concentrated mainly in its central part. Large industrial plants and workers' housing estates sprang up on the outskirts during the communist regime. The most interesting monuments include the cathedral in Râmnicu Vâlcea, the Church of St. John the Baptist, Orthodox Church of St. Paraskieva, as well as the Art Museum and the Museum of the Vâlcea Region.