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TOP 10 natural attractions
NIRAJ VALLEY

Good to know

 

A bird’s eye view on the Niraj Valley, from the Gurghiu Mountains to the Mures River. In front of our eyes the panorama of higher hills, gentle slopes and finally meadows and plains. As far as the eye can see, human settlements, like a necklace,hiding at the edge offorests, at the feet of the hills or on the banks of creeks and the Niraj River. In fact, the Niraj is too small to be called a river; on the other hand it is too large for a creek. Here and there it disappears under the rich vegetation thriving on its banks, but there were times, when it flooded entire villages. Sometimes oak forests alternate with orchards, in some of the woodsvine branches climb on the old trees, wild nature and cultural landscape fade into one another, depending on the existence or absence of human will to act and create.

 

This how it happens in every corner of Transylvania: it is nothing but human knowledge, talent and genius that can dike the wilderness, which intrudes and conquers every available piece of land, cracks the stones andwalls, putrefies the wood and caves in the roads. People who have been living on these lands for centuries have always subsisted relying on the extant natural surroundings;these were the resources that nourisheda whole region: sometimes abundantly,at other timesscarcely, but continuously. There have always been those who survived and have been able to recreate all that was necessary for living, those who understood the landscape, the nature and transmitted this essential knowledge.

 

Even though tiny, this micro-universe is very complex and has always been rooted in a knowledge community: one single humanknows not enough and is not enough strong to ensure the survival of a community. All that science considersfolk culture is nothing else but the knowledge required for those who live on such lands in order to survive on long term, to have a vision of the future and to deem it worthy remaining on their homeland. One must be familiar with the soil, the woods, the creeks, the river and the climate of this land and one must also be aware that all these elements have one common sense, meaning, something that transcends human dimensions and the human perception of space and time. 

Alder lake

This natural wonder lays hidden in-between the valleys of the creeks NirajulMic andNirajul Mare, just behind the Stronghold Hill. Hikers can access it from both directions in one hour following the red dot sign. The lake is owes its fame to its flora and the alder trees growing in its still waters.

Vityál fortress

Mysterious ruins on the top of a 800 metres high hill, one of the ancient fortresses of the Szeklers in South-East Transylvania. Some historians consider it was a medieval fort (11-12th centuries), part of the defensive system of the Kingdom of Hungary. Other specialists think it was not at all erected in defence of the kingdom’s borders: it was rather a so called Szekler ”refuge fortress” or the stronghold of a seigniorial domain.

Hollow rock

A grotto beneath a massive rock which, according to the local lore, has manifold served as refuge and hiding place both for the inhabitants as well as to the outlaws. Distance from the village: five kilometres, hour and a half walk. Follow the blue cross.

A carpet of snake’s head

Near this village, very close to Vărgata, one can find the most extensive territory in Transylvania where the snake’s head (Fritillaria meleagris) grow in great number. On almost 40 acres of wet grassland these flowers bloom every spring due to the ancient and traditional agricultural activity: manual reaping.

The oldest tree in Transilvania

The Saint John the Baptist wooden chapel, situated in the cemetery above the village, is considered to be a masterpiece of the Transylvanian traditional architecture. Decaying gravestones from the 18th-19th century are exposed in the hall of the chapel. The linden tree rooting under the foundation of the chapel is reckoned to be the oldest living tree in Transylvania.  

Mount Bekecs

It has been for centuries the “holy mountain” of the area. Once arrived on top of the mountain (1080 m), not only the body but the soul too raises high. The treasures o

Pyramids?

In the south-western part of Livezeni one can see curious hills, where, in 1662, Ali pasha pitched camp. Legends give an explanation why nothing is to be built on these heights... Ask!

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TOP 10 natural attractions in Niraj Valley

A bird’s eye view on the Niraj Valley, from the Gurghiu Mountains to the Mures River. In front of our eyes the panorama of higher hills, gentle slopes and finally meadows and plains. As far as the eye can see, human settlements, like a necklace,hiding at the edge offorests, at the feet of the hills or on the banks of creeks and the Niraj River. In fact, the Niraj is too small to be called a river; on the other hand it is too large for a creek. Here and there it disappears under the rich vegetation thriving on its banks, but there were times, when it flooded entire villages. Sometimes oak forests alternate with orchards, in some of the woodsvine branches climb on the old trees, wild nature and cultural landscape fade into one another, depending on the existence or absence of human will to act and create.   This how it happens in every corner of Transylvania: it is nothing but human knowledge, talent and genius that can dike the wilderness, which intrudes and conquers every available piece of land, cracks the stones andwalls, putrefies the wood and caves in the roads. People who have been living on these lands for centuries have always subsisted relying on the extant natural surroundings;these were the resources that nourisheda whole region: sometimes abundantly,at other timesscarcely, but continuously. There have always been those who survived and have been able to recreate all that was necessary for living, those who understood the landscape, the nature and transmitted this essential knowledge.   Even though tiny, this micro-universe is very complex and has always been rooted in a knowledge community: one single humanknows not enough and is not enough strong to ensure the survival of a community. All that science considersfolk culture is nothing else but the knowledge required for those who live on such lands in order to survive on long term, to have a vision of the future and to deem it worthy remaining on their homeland. One must be familiar with the soil, the woods, the creeks, the river and the climate of this land and one must also be aware that all these elements have one common sense, meaning, something that transcends human dimensions and the human perception of space and time.