Seven Wonders of Covasna County

Seven Wonders of Covasna County

Imagine a lunch served on the grass, with a plate of traditional goulash cooked in a couldron and a perfect slice of potato bread. For dessert, enjoy “kürtőskalács” a caramelized chimney-liked Transylvanian cake and finally, the well-deserved “pálinka” (double-distilled plum brandy). After this extraordinary feast, you should relax in a pool, filled with mineral water. This is how it looks like a holiday in Covasna County: authentic, traditional, relaxing. For adventurers and those eager to discover the treasures of the area, we recommend the Seven Wonders of Covasna County.

Article published in 2020

1. The Puturosu (smelly) Mountain and post-volcanic phenomena of the area

The Puturosu or Puciosu Mountain (1143 m) is part of the Ciomad-Balvanyos Massif. It is the most southern area of the Eastern-Carpathians, where appears post-volcanic phenomena.

These cold post-volcanic manifestations (mofettas, solfataras and mineral waters) have a great geological, touristic and therapeutic value. Among the post-volcanic manifestations, the Smelly Cave or Grotto is known as the biggest natural mofetta in Europe, having a length of 14 m. This emanates approx. 2,000 m3 of carbon dioxide each day. Other sulfurous caves in the area are the Timsós Grotto, Murderous Grotto and the Birds’ Cemetery. The wide variety of mineral waters of the area are exploited also by the presence of numerous traditional baths, small pools with different healing properties, arranged within the forests.

The refreshing waters of Apor Baths, Mikes Baths, Csiszár Baths are the perfect opportunity to get away from a heatwave.

2. The nature reserve Vârghiș Gorges

Vârghiş Gorges is the ideal place for hiking and caving.
The nature reserve is in the northern part of Perșani Mountains and it is crossed by the River Vârghiş. It consists of numerous limestone cliffs and geomorphologic formations. The length of this wonder is about 4 km. On the road of exploration limestone cliffs, high-pitched mountain-sides, limestone towers (Pigeons Tower, Csala Tower), holes, creeks are making the journey more adventurous.
These formations have a scientific and potholing value. The caves are hiding precious archeological and paleontological treasures, a few of them are kept preserved and closed from the attention of the wide public. Moreover, this nature reserve serves as shelter for the largest bats population in the country (19 different species).
This beautiful area can be visited under the supervision of a local guide.

3. The Damokos Gyula Mansion and Haszmann Pál Museum of Cernat

The Damokos family’s mansion, built in neo-classicist style serves as home for the “Haszmann Pál” Museum. The two hectares of land surrounding the mansion contain exhibits of the Szekler folk archi- tectural heritage, - Szekler gates and houses, watermill, as well as Szekler tombstones, carved in wood and stone.

The outdoor exhibition of agricultural tools and farming machinery arouses the curiosity of visitors, being unique in Transylvania. The most valuable pieces among the various exhibitions are the collec- tion of cast iron and the collection of recording and transmission instruments, called The History of Radio in Covasna County.

Here you have the opportunity to listen to the radio, phonograph
or gramophone from the interwar period. The museum has a very important role in preserving and reviving traditional crafts by organizing workshops of furniture painting, wood carving and Easter egg painting.

4. The roman catholic church of Saint Emeric from Ghelința

One of the most valuable churches of Covasna County is the fortified Roman-Catholic Church in Ghelinţa, having Saint Emeric as its patron.

From the XIIIth century the building was influenced by various architectural styles, such as Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. The murals represent the legend of St. László’s (king in Hungary in the 11th century) fight against the Cumans. These murals from the XIV-XVth centuries are considered one of the best preserved frescos in Transylvania. Among the oldest elements of the Church are the century-old baptismal font and the wooden ceiling, made of 103 unique painted boxes (even from 1629). For those fascinated by history, art and antiques, we recommend visiting this church.

5. The birch nature reserve from Reci

The natural reserve, having about 2 km2 surface, situated in the bed of Black River, affluent of the Olt River, is a complex of eutrophic swamps that shelters a series of rare species, glacial relicts, such as: aldrovanda, pulsatilla, birch, wild angelica, fritillaria meleagris and white water-lily. From the point of biodiversity, it is not only the larg- est, but also the most complex reserve in the entire territory of Covasna County.

The swamp frog lives in this area, male frogs changing their skin color during mating. The reserve also includes a bancsian pine plantation,
a rare species that adapts to the vegetation on land with very harsh conditions. The inside of the birch forest is also worth visiting, for there are temporary lakes with rare floral species.

In 2003, the astonishing landscape drew the attention of the produc- ers of the american movie ”Cold Mountain”, but it is also admired by many professional photographers.

6. The narrow gauge forestry railway of Covasna - Comandău and the steam locomotive

This narrow gauge (760 mm) railway was built in 1882 and it represents a valuable industrial heritage, which today tempts visitors with “time travel”.

The forestry railway CFF Covasna-Comandău ensured the transport of timber from Comandău to the town Covasna. Due to the difference in level between the two parts of the forest railway, the Inclined Plane was built- a completely ecological, technically unique system, having an operating mechanism based on force of gravity. The plane was 1236 m long, having a level difference of 327 m. This line made the connection to the narrow railway line from Comandău to Fairy’sValley in Covasna and functioned for a century.

7. The fortified church of Aita Mare

The Unitarian Church-fortress of Aita Mare has fortified walls, surrounded by a 5m high thick wall, with two bastions in two opposite corners. The fortress is located at the highest point of the village, also called “Raven’s Nest”. According to the documents, the defence walls were built in the second half of the XVIth century or the early XVIIth century.

In the inner court is situated the church, which reveals gothic archi- tectural imprints. The most conspicuous elements of this religious edifice are the chalice-liked pulpit, consisting of four carved boxes in stone, and a stone-made balustrade, dating from 1710. Considering the antiqueness of the pulpit, it is the sixth oldest dais in Transylvania. Noteworthy are the inner boxes painted with colorful ornaments, specific to the local ethnographic area.

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