Iezer Lake – Cãlimani National Park (322 ha), Topliþa

The Cãlimani Mountains are the nethermost mountains of the central group of the Eastern Carpathians, being the largest volcanic mountain range in the country. The volcanic origin of the landscape is given by the neat plateaus and mountain peaks sticking out as towers. These mountains give home to the highest volcanic peaks of the country: Pietros peak (2103 m) and the Rãþitiº peak (2021 m).

In 1990 it was declared national park, and along the rare species of vegetation and wildlife, we can find spectacular geological formations in a remarkable landscape. One of the treasures of the N.P. is the Iezer glacial lake, which lies under the Rãþitiº peak. The former mining of cornish stone resulted in a throw creating the lake. It is of ice age origin, this place was a terminal moraine before, where the detritus formed an impenetrable wall, retaining the water.

The surface of the lake is not more than 0.13 ha, and has 3-5 meters in depth. It has a triangular shape, with its peak pointing towards the outflow. Two springs supply its water, and the water of lake flows into the Puturosul brook.

Among the rare and protected plants of the N.P. we need to mention the mountain pine (Pinus mugo), the Siberian juniper (Juniperus sibirica) and the rhododendron species (Rhododendron kotschyi). Other rare plants are the matgrass (Nardus stricta), Bupleurum longifolium, Cephalanthera longifolia, Epipactis atrorubens, Epipactis helleborine, Festuca porcii, Festuca carpatica, Gentiana punctata, Gymnadenia odoratissima, Listera cordata, Listera ovata, Luzula pallescens, Filipendula ulmaria, Geranium sylvaticum, Melampyrum saxuosum, Minuartia verna, Orchis ustulata, Pedicularis exaltata, Phyteuma tetramerum.

Other endangered species are the Angelica archangelica and the Viola dacica. Endemic plants are the Centaurea phrygia, Dyanthus tenuifolius and Hepatica transsilvanica. About the animals we can say that most of the above mentioned animal species can be found here.

Protecting the natural environment is our legal duty. A nature reserve is an area of a particular status, enforced by law, where not just a couple of rare species of plants, animals, geological formations or archeological-paleontological objects can be found and need to be protected. To ensure, that these protected elements will remain or survive, we need to protect their living habitat as well. The natural values and the biodiversity of a given area offer a spiritual experience, and an aesthetic enjoyment, thus contributes to a spiritual recreation of the explorer of nature. Harghita County is one of the few places, endowed with several authentic natural treasures. These gems of nature represent an economical asset, and by this, an improper visitor’s behavior can endanger its content and existence. Protecting our environmental treasures is a collective task and duty. The managing organizations which are responsible for these reserves have been already assigned, and they can enforce or apply special rules for visitors regarding protected area. Below you can find some recommendations concerning the avoidance of natural damages:
  • do not leave the marked trails
  • do not litter or leave garbage behind
  • keep the peace and quiet by avoiding to use strong sources of music
  • do not tear any plants down, including the protected species
  • camp only in specially designed and marked areas
  • make fire only in special designated areas, and make sure that you put you put it out before leaving
  • do not throw lit cigarette butts
  • avoid using motorized vehicles in the vicinity of the protected areas, and use only the marked accessibility routes
  • enjoy the sounds and sights of nature and do not disturb others in enjoying these as well
By this informative material, which presents the natural protected areas of Harghita County, we wish to contribute to the promotion of a responsible and eco-conscious form of tourism. To a better success we count on your open mindedness and interest.

Closer to nature: through visiting and preservation!


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