Transfagarasan Highway named in ‘World’s Most Scenic Drives’

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Global travel site Big 7 Travel has released the official list of the ‘50 Most Scenic Drives in the World‘, with Transfagarasan alpine road in Romania ranking 36th.

The report covers which roads are the most beautiful in the world, inspiring readers to pack up the car and set off on an adventure.

“This asphalt ribbon is regularly topping lists as being one of the world’s most spectacular roads. 70 miles of mountain valley road will lead you through Romania’s most scenic areas in the Transylvanian Alps. Be sure to take your time and stop whenever you please, the lookouts and stunning views are endless”, reads the description about Transfagarasan.

Transfagarasan or DN7C is a mountain paved road crossing the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains. It has national-road ranking and it is the second-highest paved road in Romania after Transalpina. The road starts near the village of Bascov, located near the city of Pitesti, ending on the crossroad between DN1 and Sibiu.

Also known as Ceausescu’s Folly, it was built as a strategic military route that stretches 90 km with twists and turns that run north to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians, between the highest peaks in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia and the cities of Sibiu and Pitesti.

The Transfagarasan was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist rule as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.

Built mainly by military forces, the road had both a high financial and human cost. Work was carried out in an alpine climate, at an elevation of 2000 meters, using junior military personnel who were untrained in blasting techniques. Many non-commissioned officers (NCOs), foremen, and soldiers died due to hazardous working conditions. Roughly six million kilograms of dynamite were used on the northern face, and official records state that about 40 soldiers lost their lives in building accidents.

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