Retezat National Park
It is also called the "blue-eyed land", is the most important natural reserve in our country, a natural monument, with an area of 38,138 hectares, located in the Southwest part of Hunedoara County. In Retezat one can found the trails of the yesteryear glaciations, with dozens of glaciers, some of whom had over 10 km, countless detritus and moraines often clad in forests of dwarf mountain pine. The Park was established in 1935, on the original area of 100 square kilometers of the former hunting field owned by the Royal House. Black goats were protected since then, to be then hunted, for which reason from the beginning of the past century the areas where grazing was banned were set out. The Park has the status of a protected natural area of national and international interest and since 1979 it is known as a biosphere reserve. With the establishment of Retezat National Park the aim was the protection and conservation of natural elements with a particular value under aspect the aspect of physic-geography, flora, fauna, geology, paleontology, hydrology, caving, pedology and landscaping. Since 1999, the Park has its own administration, in 2004 it became a member of the "Pan Parks Foundation", and since 2007 it is protected as a sit proposal for the EU eco-network "Natura 2000", with a view to the conservation of natural habitats and species of wild plants and animals of community interest. In 1974 began the construction of the dam of Gura Apei (located on the western edge of the Park).
The flow of Raul Mare, however, was not large enough to fill the buildup that was intended to be done by raising a concrete dam the construction of which a volume of stone three times greater than in the case of the pyramid of Keops was used. So it was decided to dig an adduction tunnel from Rausor, long tunnel of 23 kilometers. To both ends of the tunnel there are asphalt roads, which have also encouraged the emergence of huts since the 1980s.
The administration of Retezat National Park wishes to preserve the natural environment and to combat any attempt of mechanization of tourism in Retezat. Therefore, there is no lift and no chairlift, the park remaining a place for trips at a foot's pace.
The Park is divided into two areas – the first with a scientific character any operation such as grazing, hunting, fishing, fruit collection, touring/camping is prohibited. The access is allowed only with authorization from the Commission of Monuments of Nature. The second area is less rigorous because grazing is allowed 2 months per year.
Flora and fauna are diversified. One-third of the total plant species existing on the territory of Romania can be found in the Retezat Mountains. The almost 1,200 plant species make the area to be famous among botanists. Their interest has been manifested since the second half of the XVlllth century. From then until now, in Retezat were found 90 types of plants specific only to the Carpathians and most of them can be found only here. Also in the Retezat Mountains lies the largest concentration of pinus cembra, popularly called the Swiss pine, a conifer of the pine tree species. Retezat National Park accommodates 55 species of mammals (of which 22 are protected by law) and offers good conditions for the survival of most of the large carnivores (wolves and lynxes). Black goats, deer and bucks are well protected by the mountain.
The calcareous portion of the massif is now used as shelter for bears in winter. Wildcats are also part of the faunistic richness of the area to which marmots were recently added (20 specimens of the Alpine Marmot from the Austrian Alps were included in the Park as a result of an action of the Romanian Academy, in the area of Gemenele Lake. Now, marmots can be seen in all the valleys and glacial mountains of the massif. The total number of animal species living in Retezat National Park is thousands. With about 80 lakes, of which 58 are permanent in Retezat Massif owns almost 40 percent of glacial lakes on the territory of Romania. The lakes supplied by the snow melted from crests, offer dream-like views. One of the most spectacular is that of the path between Bucura and Zanoaga. Taul Portii, Taul Agatat, Florica, Viorica, Ana and Lia range on the Southern slope of Judele, and the "falling" formed between the Jude and Peleaga is dominated by Bucura, the largest glacial lake in Romania. The deepest glacial lake is, however, Zanoaga, with 29 meters; here the largest volume of water is also recorded, almost 700,000 cubic meters. The arrangement of the 58 glacial lakes in depressions, on slope steps, in complex or isolated and their concentration in a single mountain massif attracts year after year not only tourists, but also the admiration and attention of scientists. The lakes and the rivers are populated by trout and in limestone areas the adder makes its presence known. 30% of the tourists who come annually to Retezat are foreigners. They say they come to Retezat for two important things: the beauty of landscapes and the "wilderness" of the area. Retezat attracts like a magnet because it is imposing, spectacular and inviting. The access to Retezat National Park can be done from two directions: Hateg Depression and Jiu Valley. The access to Hateg can be made from Deva on DN66, or from Caransebes on DN68. One can reach Jiu Valley from Deva on DN66, or from Tg. Jiu, on DN66. From Hateg and Petrosani there are several access routes to the massive. Public transportation is provided by local private firms in the area of Petrosani – Lupeni – Uricani – Campu lui Neag.
The most imposing glacial lake in the Carpathian Mountains, is located at an altitude of 2040m. The access to this lake is easy even for tourists who have little physical condition and have minimum equipment. In principle, any ordinary person with takes long walks can reach this lake. Even if it is practicable all year round, it is preferable that hiking to be done during the summer, due to the weather. The most accessible route is Poiana Pelegii – Lake Bucura, and Poina Pelegii can be reached by car, by entering in the reservation bypassing Lake Gura Apelor. The route being not a difficult one, it can be done (round trip) within 4 hours. In Bucura one can find a shelter, which is intended exclusively for the Mountain Rescue Service. With its permission, and if the weather is bad, people can sleep here up to 10 beads. Under normal circumstances, who reaches Bucura can stay overnight in a tent. From Lake Bucura climbing can be made to Peleaga Peak (2509 m) - the highest peak in Retezat, Bucura Peak 1 & 2, Judele Peak, as well as to the chain of Lakes Ana, Viorica and Lia.
Info on Lake Bucura:
- Surface: 8.90 ha;
- Length: 550 m;
- Average width: 160 m, maximum 225 m;
- Perimeter: approx. 1390 m;
- Volume (estimated): 625,000 m3;
- It is supplied by five main sources;
- the lake water flows through a single emissary that sends it to Lake Lia, with a flow rate of approximately 250 litres per second;
- the fish population is native (there are no artificial populations created here).
CHEILE BUŢII - RETEZAT Mountains
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The area of Cheile Butii, located in the Southern part of Retezat Mountains, just outside the village of Campu lui Neag in Hunedoara on Jiu Valley – is a place little known to local tourists, but greatly appreciated by those in the Western countries, precisely for the still virgin appearance of the terrain. Carved into limestone formations (since the Jurassic period), the channels represent a succession of tethered meanders, with steep walls, with heights have sometimes 100 m – perfect for climbing enthusiasts. Another attraction is the vast network of dry and active caves, natural dams and impressive waterfalls flowing through the gutters modeled by BUTA (water that springs from Retezat Mountains) that, along the years, has dug thoroughly into stone forming spectacular channels. There are also tourist trails that have as starting point Cheile Butii.
Most of them are recommended for practice only in summer season:
- Cheile Butii – Lake Bucura (walking time 8 –10 ore);
- Cheile Butii – Piatra Iorgivanului Peak (walking time 7 – 9 ore);
- Cheile Butii – La Stanca (Belvedere point) - La Fanete (walking time 30 – 45 minute);
The ski slope is situated at an altitude of 1000 m, where there is an equipment rental center, and the white season lasts from December to March. For visitors coming from the South of the country, after crossing Jiu Valley, turn left at the first intersection. One has to pass, in a round, the cities of Aninoasa, Vulcan, Lupeni and Uricani and then the villages of Valea de Brazi and Campu lui Neag – you will meet an indicator to the right with Cheile Butii. This road goes to the inside of Cheile Butii, practicable all year round. Visitors coming from Deva must go through the city of Petrosani from North to South and then enter the intersection that leads to Lupeni to the right.Then follows the route described above
Dalma cu Brazi Cave
Dalma de Brazi Cave is situated on the left bank of Scocul Mare in the upper basin of the Western Jiu, at an altitude of approx. 150 m towards DN66A and 1200 m absolute altitude, in the confluence with Scocul Mare with Jidanului Creek.
The entrance to the cave, triangular though relatively large (3 x 2 m), is well masked, it is a relatively hard to find and is guarded by a grove of firs, hence the name of the cave.
The main difficulty in visiting such caves is finding the entry, otherwise, except for the narrow portion "La Stramtoare" it can be travelled easily. The normal duration of the visit is 2 hours. As equipment (in wet periods-for crossing the Great Basin) long rubber boots and double light sources are needed.
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It is a cave formed by a main gallery and a branch, totaling 226 m. The main gallery is of 3-5 m width and 3 to over 10 m high. The area stretches northward to the Great Basin Room, thus called because of the temporary quartered lake in a depression of the floor, lake formed during wet periods and which can reach up to 1 m deep. The lake together with groups of speleothemes from the stalagmite group and the calcium leakages on its edge - including a nice tall 2 m stalagmite - gives the place a special charm, photographers being able to capture here unusual images. The section of the Great Basin Room continues for another 20 m northward and closes in an impermeable crack, in the Clay alley. At the Southwest starts a branch – a rising concretion gallery which in the section "La Stramtoare" implies true speleological "gymnastics" for the transition toward the final section. Stalactites and stalagmites, as well as rich calcium crusts offer, here too, attractive photographic subjects. The presence in this place of Ursus Spelaeus relics proves that the morphology has changed much in the last thousand years, when the big carnivore stepped one last time here. The laying disposal of galleries justifies supposing that the Great Basin Room has been the point of confluence of two rivers: the first, coming through "La Stramtoare", through the side gallery, from the slope, the other representing a strain from the depth of the massif. The two rivers would then go south, exiting through the current portal.
Among the over 300 mapped caves in the area, Dalma cu Brazi was among the few known and referred to in older works. In 1929, P.A. Chappuis and A. Winkler had collected underground fauna and have made a first draft of the cave. Biospeology researches were continued by cavers in Bucharest in 1957. In 1971 C. Goran achieves the full plan of the cavity.
VALLEY OF FISH – an ideal place for those who want to move away a few days from the urban congestion .
Immediately after passing Uricani, on the left, at a distance of only two kilometers away, lies Valea de Pesti (the Valley of Fish), from where you can admire magnificent views. Up front, seemingly only at a stretch, Retezat Mountains lie, where it is said that there would be one of the poles of the earth's energy.
Tourists stopping in the area say they are leaving here upload with energy and feel this sitting facing Retezat. The beauty of the place consists also in the preservation of the natural, people approaching much too little and with much care in carrying out the constructions.
Besides excursions, tourists reaching Valea de Pesti (the Valley of Fish) may also relax doing ski, mountaineering, speleotourism, mountain-bike, horse or ATV rides.
AT THE QUARTZ CAREER
the Valley of Fish is also the starting point for those who want to make mountain tours, a first route being the quartz career.
The road begins just behind the plateau, being lined on one side and the other by nut trees and firs. After nearly four hours of walking by foot on the forest road, the tourist reaches the quartz career, where those more fortunate can get chunks of pure quartz. Now, the career has been closed, but still, there are quartz gems even on the road. Quartz (flint or rock crystal) is one of the most frequent minerals in the world, also known as the mine flower.
Another highly sought tourist route is the one that leads to the Ice Cave, seven to eight kilometers away from the Valley of Fish
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Having a big enough portal, it was known in ancient times by both the locals and the tourists who come to this cave often venturing deep enough in its main gallery (slightly descending) because they were interested in the ice forming here, which continues throughout the year. The lower area of the cave keeps in the inside low temperatures all year round, even snow.
In reality, the cave is much higher in terms of development and that development has a number of entries and winding cavities, some filled with ice, others with traces of nivation (action of field modeling caused by successive frost and thaw that show up in high areas in the mountains). Remarkable are the flowing forms, the trickles formed of ice, which have a specific dynamic throughout the year: stalactites, stalagmites and columns of ice high enough that can be found here, especially from December to June.
The cave is slightly fritting, with beautiful formations and relatively easy to go through, but it is recommended to avoid the areas where ice covers the floor of the gallery, because there is a risk of slipping. Because some parts of the cave are however less accessible without the proper equipment, in this cave a small colony of bats has found shelter, which chose as habitat a hornbell in the vestibular area of the cave.
VALLEY OF FISH LAKE
At Valea de Pesti, one can see the septic lake which, although it is closed to visitors, it can be admired from different corners of the foothills of Valcan Mountains. The reservoir Valea de Pesti was built between the years of 1967-1973 and has a height of 56 m, which ranks it 35th among the 246 dam lakes in Romania. It has a volume of 4.5 million cubic meters of water, an area of 31 hectares, the maximum depthof 53 m, a length of 2.5 km and lies at an altitude of 830 m. Arranged in the vicinity of the locality of Campu lui Neag – Hunedoara, it has as primary purpose the water supply in Jiu Valley, and during the periods of high water it is also intended for energy production and mitigation of flood waves. To supplement water supply to the municipality of Lupeni, the 800 mm line pipe is used, by adduction from the dam Valea de Pesti, supplying two tanks of 1,500 cubic meters and two tanks of 500 cubic meters, then from the tanks, through distribution networks, water is distributed to consumers. If, as a result of natural disasters, the dam Valea de Pesti would break, the lake waters would sweep the localities of Uricani, Lupeni, Vulcani, Iscroni and the mining exploitations in the respective localities. In the water of this lake one can fish species of fish such as pike, catfish, carp, barbell, chub.
Toplita Cave is located 2.5 km northeast of the village of Campu lui Neag – in a place called Toplita Spring.
One can get to the cave on the footpath that goes from the locality to the water capture from piatra Toplitei, a path that meets the creek Paroasa and then reaches Toplita Valley.
Because Toplita creek is captured for the water supply of the locality of Campu lui Neag, the cavity is closed by a metal grate and visiting can be done by obtaining official approval. Visit lasts about 3 hours, and the necessary equipment is formed of: rubber boots, overalls, protective helmet, double light sources. The varied subjects such as speleotems and gallery sections may lead to beautiful photos.
Toplita cave is presented a sinuous gallery, with a general East-West orientation. The small entrance (1 x 0.6 m), is oriented towards the East. It leads in a pronounced downward sloping gallery (45-50°), which after about 12 m introduces us into a 7 x 6 m room, then to a nice beautiful formation, with stalactites, stalagmites, parietal rivulets. Still, the main gallery intercepts in several main points the underground creek flowing 4 m below and that is penetrable in several brief portions. Clay accumulations are found here and there, in the depths thereof sinter pools have formed. Rich concretion portions, apart from that in the beginning, are found after 250-300 m and then about 400 m from the entrance. The Gallery has an ogival section on almost the entire length and sometimes shows signs of pressure leak. Most of the sinter formations are classic, usual conical stalagmites, stalactites, sinter pools, and many parietal creeks. The cave is located in an upper gallery, one of the greatest sinter pools in the country, with more than 5 m in diameter. Many speleothemes are blood red in color. At the end of the cave the floor is sandy, with large vegetal scraps. A block collapse prevents the continuation of the gallery, while the underground insurgency of the creek is a few hundred meters further.
Toplita Cave was discovered in 1966 by the forester Pantelimon Todea from Campu lui Neag and L. Golotiu, a journalist from Bucharest. In the same year the cave was researched by a team of scientists, led by T. Orghidan, who made the first description of the cave and biospeology research. Afterwards, the cave was declared a natural reserve, but despite this, it was visited by unaccompanied tourists, who brought damage. In 1976 the "Active Fire" Caving Circle carried out the full plan of the cave, discovering new galleries. The current length of the cavity is 2,150 m.
THE CORAL CAVE
The Coral Cave is situated in the Western Jiu Valley, in the right hand versant of Scocul Mare, right in the face of it with Scorota Valley, at a relative altitude of 100 m and an absolute altitude of 1080 m.
The entrance to the cave is obscured by bushes covering the slope of Cioaca crest. The motorized access is provided by the forest road that climbs up from the village of Campu lui Neag, until beyond Campusel chalet, with a length of 17 km (up to the Coral cave about 12 km). You can camp at the Campusel, Poiana Mielului and the glades on the bank of Scocul Mare.
The visit normally lasts 1 hour. The necessary equipment is made of: overall, helmet, double light sources. It is not recommended to visit in groups larger than 4 persons.
After the 3 m high entrance, follows a slightly bumpy passage, with large boulders. In the ceiling we can admire the massive formations of mondmilch, white as milk, in ovoid form ("the egg of Columbus"). These formations, only partially solidified, are related to the negative temperatures in the cold periods of the year and occur frequently in the area of the caves in the mountains. After 50 m, going further is halted by a 4 m passing, which we can descend either directly using slippery jacks (! Attention !), or creeping on the right, through two large boulders. Once at the base of the passing, we find that the landscape radically changes: the floor, walls and ceiling are coated with lots of stone buds, of brown, red and rarely white color. These are corallites, less than ordinary calcium carbonate deposit forms in caves and in the genesis thereof microclimatic factors play a decisive role, in this case, the presence of the 4 m passing was the one that prompted the establishment of air currents in this "bottom of a bag". The portion rich in corallites is not more than 30 m long, but the numerous pearly stalactites and stalagmites, crusts and draperies with corallites justify the effort of coming up here. Photography lovers must be armed with the necessary accessories for close photography, to be able to capture on film the capricious, unusual shapes of this mineral micro universe. The cave is formed by an ancient drainage slope, which has widened by dissolution a local lithoclast. It is a unique gallery 83 m long, without ramifications.
The Coral Cave was discovered by the "Active Fire" Caving Circle in 1969. In 1971 it was closed with a metal gate and with the same opportunity the plan of the cave was also achieved by the C. Goran. With all the protective measures taken, the cave has been the victim of acts of vandalism, losing some of its prized ornaments. In the cave two documentary films (1971 and 1980), and biospeology research were also made.
ZEICU CAVE- Natural Reserve
The cave is located at the confluence of Scocul Mare with Scorota Valley, where one can encounter a stop point at which one can camp. Here is the last place where you can make drinking water supplies and reserves for carbide lamps.
From the confluence we go on a wide path, on Scorota Valley, lurching through the steeping and woody slopes. After an approx. 15 minute walk (500 m), we pass through a short passage of canyons. You can then see a stretch in the left slope, more precisely a detour to the left (on the right as we ascend) in which a path barelyvisible in the first meters starts attacking pretty sloping, but after 20 – 30 m it becomes very clear. We climb in serpentines, about 80 m, and then the path starts on the level curve, to the North, crossing over porches of limestone. From this place only the cave entrance becomes visible. The normal duration of the journey from Scorota thread to the cave is 40 min.
To visit the entire cave, one needs:
- a 60 m rope
- a 20 m rope
- chokes for interference suppression and descending gear
- 2-3 hooks, possibly 50 m of speologic ladder
- front lamps
- carbide reserve
The visit for a group of 4 trained people can take between 4 and 8 hours.
Zeicub Cave is a joint cavity, for its horizontal development is closely linked to the vertical one. This raises interesting issues regarding its genesis. At the same time, it sorts from the usual tourists, those equipped with the necessary equipment and technique necessary for descending and climbing vertical walls. From the portal with the size of 6 x 8 meters, one has to climb down a spree slope in a spacious room, with the floor covered with clay and boulders and the ceiling drilled of short chimneys and corrosion bells. You can see in the room the thick trunk, once carved as a canal for gathering water, now completely rotten. At the end of this room, 50 m long, daylight stops entering. Lighting our lamps, we can see in the ceiling the promising opening of a horn, whose escalating, although only 10 m, requires a lot of skill, but because of the mondmilch, the movements are very slippery (!! Attention - Dangerous place !!). The escalation can be made easier on the left side. Once you exit the horn, you arrive into a high room (15 m) with the floor covered with boulders and stalagmite flowing and walls adorned with huge waterfalls turned into stone by the cream colored mondmilch. In the northern end of the room, an alcove in the left side houses some beautiful formations. On the calcium floor of the room, there are cemented remnants of the cavern bears (hence was collected the giant skull specimen of Ursus Spelaeus) whose presence in this room leads us to think about the rapidity of speogenetic processes which have changed so radically the cavity from the extinction of bears 10 millennia ago, until today's times.
At the end of the room the 2 x 3 m opening of a 40 m deep well can be found (!! Attention - Dangerous place !!). For a descent, we can anchor the rope descent from a thick pillar that is 3 m away. To conduct it through the well, we will take care not to trigger calcium crust breakaways from the hopper. After a 12 m descent, we will meet a small protrusion of the load bearing wall that pays people to stop and look around – we are in the vault of a wide room of 20 × 15 m. Beneath us there is an abyss of almost 40 m. On the right, we see the platforms encased in limestone formations; on the left side, a group of elegant stalactites hang from the ceiling, of a perfect conical shape, trimmed with corallites and crystallictites. The longest has probably over 5 m and is among the largest stalactites in Romania. From this point, with a grand angular object, it can be photographed. We continue our descent, leaving the contact with the wall. After another 25 m, we land atop a giant 8 m high stalagmite dome horn, which we descend gently, without using the rope. The floor of the room is horizontal and covered with clay. Some beautiful formations – stalactites, crystallides and sinter pools – capture our attention. However, what deserves to be mostly admired and – if the flash power allows it - is the vertical wall of descent and the ceiling of the room on which we can see the huge stalactites and disk-like formations. Zeicu Cave was formed through the connection of a vertical void, such as the sinkholes, which are common in this area, with a crest cave, resembling to the Coral Cave or Dalma cu Brazi Cave, in an initial stage, a gallery under the corresponding horizontal entrance hall and two cavities with vertical development, a horn and a well – existed independently to its end. By collapse the superior room was then born and the access to the lower room was opened.
Zeicu Cave was known in its first part by the locals, as a place of shelter for flocks. It is said that it had served as a hideout for the outlaws of Zeicu (hence the name of the cave), a fact reinforced by the discovery in the cave by the forest brigade of Campu lui Neag of rusted antique flintlock rifles. A special team of the "Active Fire" Caving Circle, escalading a horn, discovers an upper room continued with a deep well. Around this time the cavity plan is carried out by I. Povara, subsequently modified in 1980. In the first part of the cave a brief documentary was made.
ALUNII NEGRI CAVE
Location and access ways.
The cave is situated at two kilometers upstream of Campu lui Neag in the right part of the Western Jiu Valley at a relative altitude of 15 m. The cave is labyrinthine, the galleries being arranged on three floors, but in some areas such as the Great Maze 6 floors coexist, of which one is active. The total length of the galleries is 3,280 m and the misalignment 53,5 m, some of these galleries being active, the flowing being made in a drowned manned, because they are 5 m below the level of Jiu. Numerous fossil and sub fossil galleries exhibit traces of groundwater flowing. The cave has fewer formations.
CAVE NO. 4 FROM SCOCUL SCOROTEI
The opening of the cave is situated in the left bank of Scorota, at 100 m upstream of its confluence with the Western Jiul. Dimensions: L = 377.2 m, D = 26 m, E = 48 m, Cr = 7.8 m, Aa = 1150 m, Ar = 50 m.
THE SCHOOL MUSEUM THE MESSAGE OF THE ANCESTORS
"There's nothing higher for a locality than the recognition and preservation of the roots that gave it identity" – this is the message that greets the visitor who passes through the doors of the Museum of Ethnography and Local History in Uricani, museum created by the endeavor of the people of the place.
Beyond their academic activity in the classroom, a group of teachers undertook a number of educational and extracurricular activities designed to support the training of generations of children and young people, in terms of local history, traditions, and precisely because of these concerns, have managed to constitute a cultural institution, a school museum to provide to those interested the traditions and customs of the area. Concerns for the collection of museum objects began in 1978, in the School Children's Home in Uricani, when the group got the task to carry out a project on the history and traditional customs of the Jiu Valley area. Because at that time there was no database about the population, customs and local history, they began to collect different objects, documents, photography, clothing, paintings and icons. Due to the lack of space, they stored all these at a theacher's house, until the completion of the project. The first exhibition took place in 1980, the success and the appreciations received for the initiative urging them to persevere in the implementation of a museum about the inhabitants and customs in the Jiu Valley (project that resulted in the subsequent years). From February 2002, the Museum was transferred to the General School No. 2 Uricani, under the name of the School Museum of Ethnography and Local History Mesajul Strabunilor (The Message of the Ancestors), operating in the new headquarters for over 11 years.
Throughout this period, the Museum was visited by people of all ages, individuals or organized groups in the country or through associations – and even from other countries in Europe, such as Italy, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Turkey, etc. The great desire of the family is now to find a larger space for the Museum (considering that the exhibits are still crammed into the classroom wherethe museum works) but also under the aegis of the general school. We can only congratulate them for more than 30 years of effort in gathering, keeping these relics and exposing them to a mini school museum, pictures of which we invite you to see and to find out more information.
The popular clothing of the villatic people, a population with predominantly pastoral occupation in the past, shows similarities with the clothing of the people from Marginea, but also to those from Hateg.
Women's costume consists of:
- head wear (piece of flax or cotton cloth that was adorned with flowers and lace),
- shirt (made of home-woven cloth, richly adorned with floral motifs),
- opreg and surt (rectangular pieces of felt – the opreg or the "homespun skirt" was worn at the back, patterned horizontally, on a dark background; the surtul (apron) was worn at the front, made up of two or three sheets of fabric with three rows of floral motifs and fringes/tassels),
- bracire (wool waist belt, patterned with polychrome zig-zag parrels),
- laibar (short waistcoat, with sleeves),
- opinci (peasant's sandals) (home made, originally from cattle or pig skin worn with "caltuni" (wool socks) in white baize).
Men's costume consists of:
- fur hat (originally "caita", wider at the bottom, followed by the "edged hat"),
- shirt (made of flax, hemp or cotton cloth, white or striped with red and black cotton yarn),
- white trousers or "cioareci" (made from white baize at first, tight on the leg, replaced later with white trousers ironed at stripe),
- waist belt (of double leather, patterned with metallic staples and tacks),
- waistcoat (of baize),
- opinci (peasant's sandals) (of cattle or pig skin, white or striped wool foot wrap followed then by leather boots, boots and ankle boots - worn with woolen stockings).
Along with the costumes, other elements too are on display in the museum completing the clothing: pouches for men (there are also pouches for horse or donkey) and bags, made from black and white wool, adorned with specific motifs, true pieces of adornment.
Shepherding –traditional occupation
Livestock keeping, particularly sheep and cattle, was the main reason that the first inhabitants coming from Hateg agreed to remain in the geographic area bathed by the waters of the Western Jiu, guarded to the North by Tulisa Peak, and to the South by the peaks of Siglaul Mare and Coarnele. The objects in the museum tell us about life in the sheep cots, human relations, herding specific activities. We list a few of them: wood knife for cutting polenta, the polenta stirrer, the green cheese stirrer (stirca), sheep clipper scissors, bells and white boards, tallies, shepherd's bat and whistle.
Household textile industry
The household textile industry meant processing some of the products obtained from animals (wool) or cultivated plants (cotton, hemp, flax), using the gear and equipment specific to the peasant household. In Uricani, the textile industry was stressed by the processing of hemp and wool. For the processing of hemp a series of tools were used such as: wooden "mielita", wooden combs with iron teeth (teasel), hair brush ("chefea") for the flax bundles, the trough for seed selection, mandrels, distaffs, the reel, the reeler, the tub (tillow scooped hub) for the whitening of "jirebii" (groups of thirty strand threads, forming a measuring unit for the warper, for the reeling) (hanks of thread for cloth warping). Wool processing required using clipper scissors, the trough and the wicker basket, the distaff, the mandrel, the reel, the winder, the instrument with pipes, the reeler and the sewing machine.
Weaving itself was preceded by spinning, warping and looming. People were weaving approximately around the entire cold season, but especially during the Lent, preparing the new clothes, as well as carpets, "pricoite", togs, clothes, poaches, etc.
Tools used for transport
The tog was used to transport hay from the stack to the barn or to the yard where sheep were fed. The tog was made from hemp cloth with threads to the four corners, to assemble hay and the bundle thus created to be carried in the back. "Naglabul" (a type of carrier) was composed of two hemp ropes that were placed on the ground in a cross, the hay being put over them - the four corners were then tied two by two, a hayfork was then tricked in it and it was lifted. The hay piles had a length of 3-4 m, 6-8 cm thick, made of pine wood, used for the transportation of the piles of hay to haystack or, in winter, from the haystack to the shed. The wheelbarrow was used to transport manure or other things in the household. "Mate" or the iron claws were tied in the winter to the footwear, not to slip when the road was icy. Hand sleigh was used especially for the transport of wood and hay in hard to reach areas, where typically there were no roads, using it especially when the action is carried out as statute labor. The horse-drawn sleigh was used in areas where there were no roads. Its use was required when man was in need of a large quantity of fodder, firewood or other things more difficult to transport. The carriage was the primary means of transport from spring to late fall, until snowfall. Today there is a tendency to give up animal traction on steep mountain roads and to use small tractors and ATVs.
Pots used in the sheep cot
In general, the vessels used in sheep cots served for the preparation of cheese and other milk derivatives (green cheese, cream, butter, etc.). These vessels were mostly made of wood (bota bags and small bota bags, pails, kettles, tubs, trugs and guts) or cast iron (coops, pans, buckets). Bota bag is a round vessel, flattened on the sides, built from staves, hoops and caps made of wood or metal, used to carry water or milk. Small bota bags are smaller, of round shape with hole and plug in the top cover, being used to transport curd or other liquids.
The pail is a large vessel, of taper shape, without lid on the top end, with different uses. In it, the curd was souses, kept or carried to the market. The kettle, with taper shape, was made of wood staves, in it obtaining butter from cow's milk by hammering. The trug has the shape of a bucket, made of staves, with a handle built into the side, serving to milk cows. The gut, similar to the trug, but of smaller size, was used to milk sheep. The habits from the cattle or sheep cots in the area of Uricani have remained from ancient times, being passed down from generation to generation, as a form of coexistence of the community, recognizing the fact that the process has brought and will bring improvements to the quality of work, and fellowship between people and nature will always remain the same.
In Jiu Valley pottery has not been practiced due to the geological structure of the subsoil that lacks clay. That is why the inhabitants of the Joi area were forced, by the end of the 19th century, to use wood pots. In Uricani we point the use at the time of dishes or bowls, with a capacity of 0.5 to 2 l, made of birch wood. The first clay pots were brought from Hateg, from Baru Mare, from Livadia de Coastra and Livadia de Camp. Pottery in Livadia is represented by several types of dishes, characterized by thin walls, so some of them were protected with wire twists, made by those who used them.
Large pots with the waist, with a capacity up to 20 l, had an ovoid shape and were used in cooking. Their decoration was made using one or several belts of clay dimpled with two handles diametrically opposed, placed at the top. This type of vessel was used especially on the occasion of feasts (weddings, christening) or religious ceremonies (alms, commemorative days). Water pot had an ovoid shape, with an arched handle, worked as a pipe "with tit". From Gorj, for example – pot-bellied clay vessels for cooking, with a handle and low, squat pots, with two handles, all used for cooking, were brought. They were glazed dark brown inside, and on the outside they were not spangled, keeping the reddish color. The jugs of Gorj were spherical, with tight throat, followed by mouth, round or profiled, or beak-like shaped, provided with a sieve. Even if pottery was not practiced in the Jiu Valley, through the 50s of the 20th century, in Uricani attempts of burnt brick (so called Gypsy brick) were reported from yellow earth, similar to clay. The resulting bricks are of inferior quality (mostly due to the raw material used), so after a short period production was abandoned. Such bricks are also part of the Museum's exhibits.
Numismatics is a science that deals with the study of money since they appeared in the world and to those which we are accustomed with. The name of this science comes from a Greek word "nomisma" or "numisma" adopted by the Romans afterwards, which means money. Our ancestors used more often for money the word "moneta" from the name of the goddess Juno Moneta. From Latin, the word "moneta" passed in other languages with the meaning of money, today the term meaning coin. The numismatic collection is a statement of historical time passing on a certain territory, the degree of civilization and culture of the people concerned. The School Museum "Mesajul Strabunilor" (Message of the Ancestors) has in the numismatic collection coins and banknotes from the royal period (Charles I and Charles II), the Socialist period (1947-1989) and the post communist period (from Romania and Europe).
Church of "Adormirea Maicii Domnului" (Dormition of the Mother of God)
Între anii 2006 şi 2010, a fost construită biserica "Adormirea Maicii Domnului", un edificiu de plan triconic, cu absidele pentagonale, supraînalţat printr-o turlă octogonală centrală zveltă, pe bază patrulateră. În dreptul unicei intrări apusene s-a adosat (alipit) un pridvor deschis de zid, susţinut de opt coloane.
Ridicată după planurile unor cunoscuţi arhitecţi biserica face trimitere la străvechile ctitorii moldoveneşti din timpul voievodului Ştefan cel Mare şi Sfânt.
Church with the dedication day "Inaltarea Domnului" (Ascension of Christ)
This Holy Church dedicated to the "Ascension of Christ" in Uricani, the third in this place, was built in 1870, at the expense of the parishioners. It was painted in 1874,when the believers decided to renovate the holy sanctuary.In 1970, the church was restored from scratch. In 1979,the church was painted by graduates of the School of Religious Painting of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. The iconostasis crafted, carved and donated was painted in 1982 at the expense of the parish council and the Orthodox Christian believers of Uricani. It was consecrated on 27 May 1982 – the Ascension of Christ .
Church with the dedication day "Sfintii Arhangheli Mihail si Gavriil" (St. Archangels Mihail and Gavril)
In the Western extremity of the basin of Petrosani, during the upper reaches of Jiu, is Campu lui Neag, locality belonging from the administrative point of view to the city of Uricani. The church of the locality, bearing the patron „St. Archangels Mihail and Gavril" depicts the tri-cone plan, with the polygonal apses with three sides; the pentagonal altar, presents a form easy backing. The church was built between 1988 and 1992, when the painting in the technique of "Fresco" began. The current abode succeeded a wood and brick church, dedicated to "Saint Nicholas", raised by the faithful united in the years 1890-1891.
The Church of "Sf. Gheorghe" (Saint George)
The church dedicated to St. Great martyr George in Valea de Brazi, Uricani, was built in 1937 being sanctified on 29 May 1941 by the PS Ioan Balan Bishop of Lugoj. Between the years 1972-1973, by the contribution of the believers led by Father Vicar Bociat Lucian, the paining of the church was made in the technique "traditional Romanian Byzantine style fresco".