Visiting History

Memories of the first excursions in Piatra Craiului are faded by the passing of time. These are the trips made by the local shepherds and hunters. Then, in 1844, Anton Kurz wrote an article describing two trips made in the year 1842 on the following routes:

Prapastii - Vladusca - Grind - Piscul Baciului
Plaiul Foii - Spirlea - Marele Grohotis - Moara Dracului

Due to the spectacular beauty of the mountain, in the following years the visitors’ number increased, most of them being a part of the SKV (Siebenbürgischer Karpaten Vereins).

They were using as shelters, at the beginning, shepperds’ sheepfolds; later on, they built the first chalets and mountain shelters. In 1881 the Plaiul Foii and Vladusca chalets were built. The Vladusca chalet had a short but eventful existence. First, in the year 1896 it burned to the ground and had to be rebuilt in the same year. Then, twenty-five years later, in 1921, an avalanche claimed the chalet again. The Plaiul Foii Chalet was originally designed as a hunters’ refuge (a king of a shelter). Also, in the surrounding area, two customs offices were built. Then, in 1999, the old chalet was demolished and a new, modern building took its place.

In order to make the Piscul Baciului Peak more accessible to as many tourists as possible, at first, the Grind refuge was built (1908-1916). Then the ADMIR built the Negru Voda chalet, on the same site, in 1934. Unfortunately the completely exposed location sealed the fate of this chalet, which was destroyed by an avalanche in 1953. The refuge has since been rebuilt in 1983 and in 2003.

Another organisation which got involved in building mountain chalets was EKE, which, in 1897, raised the Curmatura Chalet, on the site of a former hunters’ refuge. In 1938 the chalet started to develop and it still stands today as one of the most important chalets in Piatra Craiului.

With the increasing number of new trails, leading to the ridge, came the necessity for new refuges located in the most important access points: Diana (1920-1930 bearing the name of The Consomol Refuge) and The Ascutit Peak (1945-1950).

The Diana Refuge (initially named the Consomol Refuge) was previously a hunter’s shelter. In 1975 a new chalet with an accommodation capacity of 20 places was built, by the Zarnesti Mountain Rescue Team with the help of pupils from the Theoretical High-school, and was used as a mountain rescue point. Then, in 1980, it burned. A new building took its place, under the shape of a storehouse by the army, then, in 2003, it was replaced with an igloo.

The Ascutit Peak shelter was buildt between 1945 and 1950 and was named the "7th November Shelter". This shelter burned in 1975 and was rebuildt in fiber glass shortly after. This was the first igloo shaped shelter in Piatra Craiului, which was replaced with an identical one in 2000.

The Spirlea shelter was buildt as a shelter for the cannon position between 1942 - 1945. Then, it was used as a house for the forestry laborers. Between the years 1970 - 1972 , the Mountain Rescue Team buildt a mountain rescue point which was suitable for tourist use as well. This shelter burned in 1980 and a new tourist wooden shelter was rebuildt. In 2002 it burns again after being reconditioned the year before. Finally, in 2003 an igloo shaped shelter was raised on the site.

The "La Om" Peak shelter was buildt in 2003.

The Grind vertical cave had been knowned for a long time before Joseph Kolbe first explored it in 1900. In 1908, when the Village Museum in Tara Barsei was established, the area witnessed a vast research activity. Within this museum Franz Podek discovered and described many caves in Piatra Craiului between the years of 1908 - 1918.

After 1950, the number of scientific mountain exepditions increased, shortly leading to the discovery and exploration of some of the most important vertical caves: Vladusca Aven in 1952.

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