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An incredible Saint Ana Lake

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Saint Ana Lake is a natural, geological and floral reserve, and the only volcanic lake in Romania. Located in the Ciomatu Massif within the Harghita County, the lake is at the bottom of the crater of the extinct volcano. It is on the site of the most recent volcanic eruption in Eastern Europe, which took place several tens of thousands years ago. The lake is surrounded by the most incredible landscape.

The lake, placed at an altitude of 946 meters has almost a circular shape, 620 meters long and 460 meters wide. The maximum depth is seven meters. The only water sources are the rain and melted snow, and no springs. This is one of the reasons why this place is so astonishing.

One interesting fact is how the locals predict the weather. If the emanations near the lake are bothering your nose, then it will rain soon. There is even a scientific explanation for this weather prediction. The mountains here are still in a post-volcanic activity and sensitive to any change in the atmospheric pressure. When the pressure drops, the gases such as carbon dioxide and sulfur are sent to the surface.

The legends

There are also some legends about the Saint Ana Lake.

The first legend tells us the story of an arranged marriage. The girl, Ana, didn’t want to get married to the particular young man. The parents forced her into the union to take possession of the young man's wealth. In the evening of the wedding, Ana threw herself into this lake, but her body was never found. The locals were so impressed by the young woman's story and named the lake after her.

The second legend tells us the story of jealousy. There were once two brothers. One ruled over a fortress nearby the Pucios peak and the other a fort situated where now the lake stands. The first one bought a wonderful chariot. The second brother became angry and jealous, and he wanted to poses even a more beautiful one. So he called eight of the most beautiful girls from the area to gear the chariot. But the chariot was heavy and the girls were unable to gear it. The brother became even angrier and started to whip the girls. One of them, named Ana, cursed the angry man. A storm started with lightning and thunders followed by an earthquake. The fortress sank into flames and instead a blue and quiet lake was formed.

Sfanta Ana volcanic lake (Ciomatu Mare)
Sfanta Ana volcanic lake (Ciomatu Mare)
Lake St Ann, Roumanie

Bad news for swimmers

From the beginning of the year 2018, the swimming in the lake was prohibited due to the pollution it caused to the water. The water from the lake comes only from the rain and snow, and is almost distilled, one liter containing 0.029 milligrams of minerals. It is important to conserve the natural state of this area, and this is the reason why the municipality decided to prohibit swimming. Despite this, the Saint Ana Lake and its surroundings remain incredible and worth every visit.


The author

Eva Poteaca

Eva Poteaca

Hello, I am Eva from Bistrița, Romania. I studied art history and love to travel and discover hidden gems all over the world. Through my writing, I will share with you a different side of Romania.

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