Romania is known for hosting a large amount of lakes. This week we want to present you one that strikes through its uniqueness- the only volcanic lake in Romania situated in the only intact volcanic crater in East-Central Europe. As the summer has indulged us in the past weeks with sunny days and pleasant breezy evenings, it’s time to gather all our camping gear and have a weekend getaway at Saint Ana Lake (Lacul Sfanta Ana).

Lake St. Ana lies in the cold crater of a dead volcano, at an altitude of 950 meters. In the prehistoric ages, there were other lakes in the crater, which, by now, got filled up with decaying remains of old trees, dry leaves, and the area turned into lightly forested, boggy land, called the Mohos-láp with an unique flora and fauna. The lake is supplied exclusively from precipitations, therefore the degree of mineralization of the water is very low. The water purity approaches of that of distilled water.

The area of the lake was not only believed to be a hiding place for pagan gods or genies, but also has been and still is one of the most adored and respected sacred place for the Christian Székelys, who always come here with a spirit filled with piety.

The St. Ana Lake is surrounded by legends, mysteries and miracles. Etymologically speaking, the name of the lake comes from the legend of a girl, Ana, who would become a wife. She did not want to marry because their parents forced to marry only to get the property of the young boy, who was quite unpolished in the marriage. In the evening of the wedding, the bride ran away and jumped in the lake, her lifeless body was not found not even today. Every year, on the day of St. Ana, the metropolitan consecrates the lake. Also, in her honor, there is a small chapel, set back from the water.

According to another legend, long ago, hereabouts lived two tyrants who were brothers. One mastered a fortress on the top Puciosul nearby, the other, a fortress located on the site of the current lake. Lord of the fortress of Puciosul had a beautiful carriage, won from the dice game, which has aroused the envy of his brother, who promised that the next day he would come and visit with a more impressive carriage. To gain the bet, the tyrant ordered the carriage to put a harness of eight of the most beautiful girls in the neighborhood.

The carriage was very heavy, they could not move it, which has aroused the master’s fury, who began to beat them. One of the girls, named Ana, cursed the hideous master. The curse materialized at once: an awful storm started, with lightning and thunders, earthquakes, and the fortress, together with its tyrant, immersed in flames. Here a blue and quiet lake was formed, called by the inhabitants of the area the “Lake of Saint Ana”. Also, the locals claim that the lake is bottomless.

In case you want to visit the lake and you want to take a refreshing bath, St. Ana Lake is 244 km away from Bucharest: take the DN1 to Brasov, then follow DN12 to Miercurea Ciuc. Then follow DJ113 for another 17 km.

Oana Pascu