Postcollisional tectonic movements in orogens and their adjacent foreland basins related to intraplate stresses and the presence of a remnant slab are likely to induce significant deformations overprinting the existing patterns of nappe emplacement. In the Carpathian Bend Zone, Romania, vertical motions associated with very limited postorogenic intraplate shortening are of similar magnitude as those generally caused by large orogenic deformations. In the Latest Miocene-Pliocene, up to 6 km of postcollisional sediments of remarkably parallel stratification were deposited in a basin extending over a large part of the present-day orogen. The Early Quaternary featured a dramatical change as the orogen was uplifted while subsidence continued in the basin, tilting the basin flank adjacent to the orogen to a vertical position. The remnant slab presently below the Bend zone in Vrancea is the prime mechanism to have driven the Pliocene subsidence. The Quaternary changes and the eastwards migration of the pattern of vertical motions can be explained by large-scale folding, in response to the overall compressive regime that is recorded in the whole Pannonian-Carpathian area. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.