Piatra Craiului Mountains – The Rock of the King

The Piatra Craiului Mountains are a mountain range in the Southern Carpathians. In Romanian “Piatra Craiului” means “The Rock of the King”.

piatra craiuluiThe Piatra Craiului mountains form a narrow and saw-like ridge, which is about 25 km (16 mi) long. The highest elevation in the massif is the “Vârful La Om” (or “Piscul Baciului”) at 2,238 metres (7,343 ft).

The ridge is regarded as one of the most beautiful sites in the Carpathians. The two-day north–south ridge trail is both challenging and rewarding. Starting at either Plaiul Foii in the north-west or Curmătura in the north-east, walkers climb up to the ridge before following a somewhat precarious path along the narrow spine. The descent at the southern end leads into a landscape of deep gorges and pitted slopes where water penetrating the rock has carved a series of caves.

piatra craiuluiThe whole range is included within the Piatra Craiului National Park (Parcul National Piatra Craiului).

The first protection of this area started in 1938 when 4.4 km2 (2 sq mi) were declared as a “Nature Reserve”. The Law 5/2000 enlarged this area to 148 km2 (57 sq mi). In 2003 the external limits and internal zoning were created. Since 1999 a park administration has existed and since 2005 a management plan has been in place.

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