Pietrele Doamnei Reservation, Rarau Mountains – the legend of a great treasure

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Pietrele Doamnei (Lady’s Rocks), known under this name are some of the most interesting geological forms in Rarau Mountains in the Carpathians. Tourists can easily reach ‘Pietrele Doamnei’, namely from Câmpulung Moldovenesc to Cabana Rar?u, 1,538 meters altitude, on a spectacular 14 km long modernized road. From the cabin you can reach Lady’s Rocks on a one kilometer trail.

Lady’s Rocks, also called the Gothic towers, consisting of three towers, about 70 meters high, the highest being 1,634 meters altitude, are located within a small distance from Rarau Chalet.

The Natural Reserve Pietrele Doamnei was declared a protected area in 2000. Here you can also find plants like edelweiss or Venus’s slipper, plants protected by law.

Rocks are made of Mesozoic limestone and are surrounded by a carpeting of chaotic blocks.  Alpinists can easily climb one of the rocks without any professional equipment.

The name of these rocks is linked to a couple of legends.  The most famous legend says that the name of the stones is linked to the lady Helen, wife of Moldovan ruler Petru Rares, who gave the name ‘Rar?u’ to the mountains here. They say that in the stormy periods in history, in 1541, during the second reign of Petru Rares, he has found a spot in Rar?u Mountains to provide shelter for his family and fortune. Chased by the Tatars, Helen and her son Stefanita found shelter in a cave where they began to pray for their lives. Legend has it that pieces of rocks came off and fell over the treasure of Rares, burying both the attackers and the fortune. Locals say the treasure of Rares is still buried under the huge rocks.

Another legend says that the rock was split in two by a lightning sent by the devil that wanted to find the treasure hidden by a king, but it failed.

While in the area you can also visit the Wood Museum in Campulung Moldovenesc that hosts an exceptional ethnographic collection of wooden items found in Obcinile Bukovina, as they were designed, crafted and used by locals. Most of the parts exhibited in the museum are made of spruce, fir and broad-leaf forests, mostly dating from the 19th century and early 20th century.

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