Bed & Breakfast Pensions in Apuseni:
Poiana Verde Pension
APUSENI - NATURAL ENVIRONMENT:
The Apuseni Country
Beyond the beautiful Mureş Valley, lies the Apuseni massif, shaped like a palm with spreaded
fingers. It is so vast, that, if lifted, it could cover the entire Transilvania. The highest altitude is
about 1850 metres and among the mountain ranges, there are densely populated depression areas.
A land of great variety, an ever changing appearance - the Apuseni Mountains. When contemplated
from the Mureş Valley, the slopes seem the giant tides of a stormy sea. The illusion is created by a
limestone ridge, which rises on this side and, from a distance, looks like a silvery and azure fender. In
the centre, the volcanic rocks stand out and the famous Detunata - with its bent basalt crags - is one of
the most attractive sights. Onto the west, there is a calciferous area with fantastic caves such as the ice
cave of Scărişoara.
Otherwise, the general curves of the Apuseni massif are smooth; on heights there are larger
fields than anywhere else in the Carpathian Mountains and the villages of the moti people can reach
altitudes of up to 1600m in altitude (Tomnatec). Some valleys are so narrow and steep, that nobody can cross
them. Still, once you've reached the top, you find yourself on a large meadow.
It is impossible to describe Ţara Moţilor in a few words and we shouldn't even try.
This land must be seen first hand, not imagined by offered stories.
APUSENI - BRIEF HISTORY<:
The oldest pieces of archeology uncovered on this territory date from the Paleolithic, but the
most abundant source of information dates from the Neolithic. The discoveries made prove the existence of
one of the most important Neolithic culture in Transylvania, entitled the Petresti Culture.
At the beginning of the IInd century, a part of Dacia goes under Roman rule by the Emperor Traian
and turns into a Roman province. The settlement of Apulum - nowadays Alba-Iulia - , was one of the most
important in the county of Alba.
On November 1st 1599, Alba-Iulia was the town that welcomed Ruler Mihai Viteazul, the first to
have ever unified the Romanian Principalities and the town turns into the the capital city. The most crucial
moments during the XVIIIth-XIXth centuries, concerning the social and national fight of the Romanian people
has always involved Alba-Iulia. The leaders of the popular uprising in 1784 - Horea, Closca and Crisan were
all incarcerated and later met their tragic end here in November 1785.
The people's determination to fight and defend their primordial right to freedom found its
essence expressed within the series of events developed during 1848-1849, under the leadership of the national
hero - Avram Iancu. The end of the First World War (1918) also meant the end of the last of the multinational
empires - the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Consequently, the peoples under its rule found their way to freedom
and turned Alba-Iulia into a space of complete freedom.
On December 1918, this was confirmed once again, when the Great National Gathering proclaimed the
absolute and final decision of unification of Romania to Transylvania.
APUSENI - FOLKLORE, CULTURE, ARCHITECTURE:
Brought up in these rough lands, the moti are strong, stoutly, courageous people, quiet and godly.
They have the tenacity of Horia or Avram Iancu, who started riots and reorganized the land in a matter of
days. The local people are well-known for their household appliances - ciubar, doniţe de lemn
(wooden pails). The workhouses of Patrahaiteşti are also famous for the handmade alpenhorns.
The Maiden Fair on Mount Găina
Within the different traditions across the world, there are special places where legends placed
the gods. Such a symbolic place is Mount Găina, situated at the heart of the Apuseni Mountains. The
Maiden Fair takes place annually, on the closest Sunday to 20th of July, at an altitude of 1467 meters,
on the flat top of the mountain.
Tourists can reach Mount Găina by car, on the main road or they can take the old foot
paths which start from the town Avram Iancu, cross the Dobrani Hill, the Stone Hill, over the
Pârâul Rece River and Muncelului Hill and reach the top in an hour and a half.
The people who lived on the valleys of Apuseni - Crişului or Arieşului Valley - and
in the Bihor region, came here to trade local products. Because of the long distances between villages and
the rough mountain roads, the fair had a social importance as well, allowing men to meet young women from
It is said that the girls brought their dower on the horses' back and the marriage ceremony was
performed on the spot by the priests who came here especially for this purpose. There was singing and
dancing, and the girls were asked, not bought.
Ion Rusu Ardeleanu has dedicated a passage to the Maiden Fair on Mount Găina, in his book
"Motii": "Two delegates from Vidra de Sus (moti people) and two from Bulzeşti (crişeni people),
meet, change a few words and draw a line between moti (who are on the west side) and criseni (on the
east side). Everybody is busy with the trade until 10 o'clock. At lunchtime they eat on the grass and
gather around the musicians who sing near a barrel of cherry brandy (locally-ţuica). Then suddenly,
the dancing starts and you see groups of moti and criseni singing and dancing together."
Nowadays, the Maiden Fair on Mount Găina has become a folkloric celebration, which gathers
people from the entire Apuseni region, from nearby counties and even from more distant places of the country.
The preparations for the fair are made several days in advance and people set off to Mount Găina at
4 a.m. The opening is made by the tulnic (alphorns) chorus from Avram Iancu, followed by the artistic
programs of the participants, which last until night fall.
For tourists, the fair offers handicrafts such as: tulnics, wooden pots engraved with fire,
Bihor and Zarand pottery, wooden tools, home weaved fabrics with traditional motifs. The girls are not sold
on Mount Găina and perhaps they never were. It is actually a celebration of all the moti highlanders,
where lots of boys and girls dance and sing, accompanied by the beauty of the landscapes, which capture and
melt even frozen hearts.
APUSENI - ENTERTAINMENT:
TOURIST SIGHTS IN THE REGION:
To those who dare explore Ţara Moţilor, we suggest starting from the
Arieş Valley, onto the Crişul Repede Valley and going through the Bihor and Pădurea
Craiului Mountains, from south to north, where the limestone relief offers wild and spectacular sceneries:
The variety of landscapes is surprising even to locals; not even they have been able to wander
through the entire region: valleys, surface and subterranean running waters, caves, forests and meadows.
The numerous geological formations, which have been declared reservations and monuments of nature, are
of great interest to the hiking lovers:
- the Arieş Valley - where gold has been exploited since Roman times;
- Bihor Peak;
- The Complex of "Scărişoara Ice Cave";
- Padiş karst Plateau;
- the Meziad Area;
- Crişul Repede Gorge
- Dealul cu melci(The Snail Hill) - a real archive bearing the fingerprints of long extinct fossils ;
- The massif column basalt "Detunatele";
- The limestone forms of relief along the Ampoiului Valley;
- Ursilor Cave (Bears' Cave);
- Gheţarul de la Focul Viu Cave;
- Scărişoara Cave - which hosts Europe's second greatest subterranean glacier;
- Măgura Cave in Sighiştel Gorges.
Those searching for remote, thrilling underground natural sites must visit the Padiş
Plateau and the huge cave systems that lie beneath the plateau:
- Cetăţile Ponorului (The Citadels of Ponor)
- Cetăţile Rădesii (Rădesii's Citadels)
- The Lost World
As reward - the fabulous scenery of rivers and waterfalls below ground level, stalactites
and stalagmites - a dramatical journey! And what would speleology be without the legends created around
If you go along the crests, you will see, on all the fields, summer shelters of villagers who
live here, shepherding the flocks, until autumn; they are called the "hodăi". Most of the times, it
is them who guide the tourists toward the hidden caves, or warn them not to enter the endless ones.
The villagers have created stories and myths about every one of the caves, involving the treasures of
Dacians, or the ones about outlaws.
In the evening, around the fire you will get the chance to listen to the legends of the region.
Perhaps the most popular is the legend of Mount Găina, about the hen that laid golden eggs or about
the maiden fair.