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‘Detunatele’ – a unique natural reservation of basalt columns

The Granite columns (‘Detunatele’), Transylvania are a natural reservation located in Bucium, Alba County. ‘Detunatele’ (means stroke by lightning) are two peaks that stand out thanks to the hexagonal prism shaped granite basalt columns, 1,258 meters tall. The two peaks are called Detunata Goala and Detunata Flocoasa, with an area of ??24 hectares, belonging to the Metaliferi Mountains.

Detunatele are one of the major tourist attractions in the region. The two rocks are located one kilometer and a half away from each other. Detunata Goala, scarcely covered in vegetation and Detunata Flocoasa, with lots of vegetation have the form of humps located near the village Bucium.

Detunatele are some columns of basalt, of a stunning regularity, resembling to some huge natural pipe organs, which we can admire in the Apuseni Mountains.

The term comes from the name of the group of rocks composed of basalt columns, uncoated with vegetation and mixed with scree, from the solid rock-fall, causing a noise similar to thunder.

Unique in Europe, they remember of giants and fairies stories. Locals tell that long time ago, between Detunata Goala (1,168meters) and Detunata Flocoasa (1,265meters) there was a fairy tale, a forbidden love, thus they were punished and transformed into stones forever. Another legend says that at the beginning there was only a giant stone. On a hot summer day, during a severe thunderstorm, a lightning split the massif in two different forms, culminating with the two detunate.

Another legend speaks of a greedy king with an incommensurable wealth hidden under the stone so the thieves won’t find it. After hundreds of years, the Devil has found about the hidden treasure under the stone and began digging, eager to get rich. Furious because he didn’t find anything, with a lightning, he suddenly split the stone in two formations, visible today.

Being stated for the first time in 1936, Detunata Goala it’s a natural geologic reservation and a tourist attraction of great interest due to these prismatic columns that are to be found in very few places around the world.

About Ramona Ciortescu