Research history

Short history of the physical, geographical and geological research carried out in the Piatra Craiului National Park
First scientists showed interest for the Piatra Craiului massif started over 250 years ago. The first topographic measures, proven by documents, were conducted by Cartography Institute of Vienna and were included in the general maps of the Barsa Country. The cartographers team was accompanied by journalist Anton Kunz and, according to the archives, reached the Baciului Peak on the 26th of August 1842. This is the official date of the first climb to the Piscul Baciului Peak. The first scientific data regarding the massif’s geology belongs to B. Hauer in 1863.

Although it had been known for a long time, the shaft below the Coltii Grindului was first accessed in 1900 by Joseph Kolbe.

In 1908, together with the establishment of the Saxon Museum in Tara Barsei, an important research activity begins in the area. Within the research conducted by the museum’s personnel, Franz Podek discovered and described several caves in Piatra Craiului, between the years 1908 - 1918.

In 1907, the French geographer Emannuel de Marton carried out a thorough study of the Meridional Carpathians, naming the Piatra Craiului massif "a main morphological accident" in the formation of this mountain group.

In 1938 E. Jekelius drew the first modern map of Piatra Craiului. The first important study regarding the geology of the massif was written in 1943 by N. Oncescu, for a Ph. D. thesis named "La région de Piatra Craiului-Bucegi. Étude géologique" ("The Piatra Craiului - Bucegi area. Geology study").

There have been other important contributions to the knowledge regarding the massif, brought by authors such as: N. Orghidan (1931, 1936), V. Mihailescu (1946), V. Michalevich-Velcea (1961) si V. Popescu (1967).

The most recent important study is the Ph. D. thesis of T. Constantinescu: "The Piatra Craiului Massif. Geomorphology study" (1994), which provides valuable information regarding the present geomorphological processes.

Short history of the botanical research conducted in the Piatra Craiului National Park
The first research certified by the documents of the time, regarding the flora and vegetation of the massif, date back to the 18th century. Among the first botanists mentioned to be interested in the Piatra Craiului flora in particular, were J. Lechenfeld and the Sibiu pharmacist Peter Sigerus. Their herbarium slides are still displayed in the Bruckenthal Museum in Sibiu.

Furthermore, J.C. Baumgarten’s work "Enumeratio stirpium Magno transilvaniae Principatui" (1816) was one of the first important publications regarding the Piatra Craiului flora.

In 1851 the first descriptions and quotes of Piatra Craiului plants are published (H.W. SCHOTT, 1851). A particularly important fact worth mentioning here is the description of the species Dianthus callizonus - Schott & Kotschy, the endemic plant for the Piatra Craiului massif, which is today an important element of the park’s logo.

From this moment on, a large number of famous botanists will deal with the study of the massif’s flora: T. Kotschy (1853), F. Schur (1866), M. Fuss (1866), Simonkai (1886) with his work "Enumeratio Florae Transilvaniae vesculosae critica", J. Römer (1898, 1904), D. Brandza (1898), A. Beldie (1952) and many more.

More recently a large number of flower specialists and plant sociologists have turned their attention towards this territory: N. Boscaiu and F. Täuber (1977), I. Morariu (1978, 1980), I. Cristian-Comes and F. Täuber (1977), J. Halda (1976). V. Sanda and A. Popescu (1976, 1977, 1980), B. Draghici (1980), V. Alexiu (1986) and S. Mihailescu (1999) still bring important contributions to the knowledge regarding the massif’s flora and vegetation.

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