Location: Valcea County is located in the South-West zone - Oltenia, Romania, residing in Ramnicu Valcea on the Olt River, passing to Transylvania. It borders the counties of Alba, Sibiu, Arges, Olt,Dolj, Gorj and Hunedoara.
Thanks to its geographical location, Valcea has almost all the major forms of relief: mountains, Carpathian hills, plateau and plain-looking meadows, arranged in steps from north to south, complemented by the Olt and Lotrul canyons, protected by Cozia, Capatinii, Fagaras, Lotru and Parang mountains. Here between the massive mountains you can encounter one of the largest depressions in the county, known as “Tara Lovistei”. Two thirds of the county, are occupied by the Getic Plateu and Getic Subcarpathians, with altitudes that range between 400-800 m. The Olt River crosses the county on a distance of 135 km, receiving waters of many tributaries, and the most important tributary is Lotrul. This hydrographic basin which is on the right side of the Olt river includes almost the whole area of Valcea County.
The climate of Valcea County is temperate continental, with slight Mediterranean influences. The variety of landforms of Valcea County also influences its climate. The annual average temperature fluctuations range from -2 °C in the mountains, at heights above 2000 m and 11 °C in the county´s southern regions.
The oldest evidence of hominids in Europe, estimated to be about 2,000,000 years BC were found in the south of the county, at Bugiulesti. Known as "Australanthropus olteniens”, it is the first connection with the European anthropogenesis. The Dacian Fortresses of Ocnita, Tetoiu and Grădiştea formed an ingenious defensive system in the south-eastern zone of the residence belonging to Dacian kings, the Sarmizegetusa, Regia from Orastiei Mountains. Archaeological excavations, at Ocnele Mari revealed pieces of pottery with inscriptions REB and BUR and a vase that says "Basileo Thiamarcos Epoiei". The latter is the name of a local king contemporary with the Roman emperor Octavian Augustus. These excavations were conducted inside the city where once existed the Dacian fortress Buridava, a fortress mentioned in its writings by the greek historian Ptolemeu,
The Romans raised immortal foundations (camps) on the Valcea territory. Many of them have defied centuries, their ruins resisting up to the present day: Rusidava (Drăgăşani), Pons Aluti (Ionesti) Buridava (Stolniceni), Castra Traiana (Sambotin - Dăeşti) Arutela (Bivolari), Praetorium (Copăceni - Racovita), Pons Vetus (Caineni) Rădăcineşti, Pripoare- Perişani, Titeşti. After the Roman withdrawal in 271, with all the bad consequences of migratory people’s invasions, the territory of the county has known some strong Daco-Roman communities.
Valcea was attested as a County at January 8, 1392 by an act issued by Mircea cel Batran (Mircea the Elder), being the first legally attested county in Romania.
A number of monasteries and monastic settlements remember of Constantin Brancoveanu, who together with Antim Ivireanul established in 1705 the first Romanian language typography (Hurezu Monastery). All the cultural activity of Râmnic, from the eighteenth century, has floated around the printing press and the book publishing work. The naming of Antim Ivrireanul as the bishop of the diocese of Oltenia and the fact that he brought his printing press from Snagov gave a new course for the spiritual development of the city.
Between 1717 and 1722 and under the command of Austrian engineer, Franz Schwantz, was built the portion of the road on Valea Oltului, between Cozia and Caineni, known as “Via Carolina”. After the Peace of Passarowitz in 1718, Oltenia passes under the occupation of the Austrian Empire till 1739.
At March 2, 1821, Tudor Vladimirescu and his pandour army passed by Valcea and stopped to rest on the threshold of Benesti on Oltet village school.
The scholar Petrache Poenaru, native of Benesti on Oltet, gained, in 1827, in Paris, the patent for what is called "condei portaret fara sfarsit" (nowadays pen). He was also distinguished as the creator of the Romanian national flag, used for the first time by his pandours. He was the one who edited the first Romanian newspaper "Propaganda Sheet", Tudor Vladimirescu pandours´ army newspaper. Tudor Vladimirescu was the Romanian national education organizer and founder of national colleges of Bucharest and Craiov.
Valcea, participated actively in the events of 1848. Ocnele Mari and Ramnicu Valcea were centers of the revolutionary movement. Researchers have determined that the Anthem "on a national tone" intoned at the Ramnic Park, by Anton Pann, music professor "together with a few singers of the same profession" was none other than "Desteapta-te, Romane!”.
When the new administrative division occurred in September 1950, Valcea County became Valcea region. On the same occasion ”Sfaturile Populare” were established as the local organs. Two years later, Valcea was embedded in the Arges region. Valcea territory is divided into several districts: Ramnicu Valcea, Lovistea, Băbeni, Lădeşti, Dragasani and Olteţ (Region Oltenia). In 1968 a new administrative division of the whole country was carried out and it was divided into four administrative districts. Valcea County consisted of the following localities: a municipality, 7 towns and 78 communes. All this administrative reorganization contributed to the economic, social, cultural and touristic development of the Valcea´s ancient lands.