Transfăgărăşan turns 42, remains one of the most spectacular roads in the world

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On Tuesday we mark 42 years since the inauguration of Transfăgărăşan road. It is the most famous road in Romania, also known as the road between clouds, connecting Curtea de Arges to Sibiu, through the mountains. This national road became famous worldwide after it was featured in the British show ‘Top Gear’ as crossing the highest areas of the Carpathians.

It has a length of 90 kilometres and is located at the highest altitude in the country after the Transalpina road.

Transfăgărăşan was built upon the initiative of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The aim was to provide a strategic road across the mountains, to be used mainly by the army. It was the context of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet troops in 1968, when Romania became a target for the Red Army. Until the construction of this highway, the Făgăras Mountains (southern Carpathians) could not be crossed even on horseback.

Fortunately, the USSR invasion did not take place. Instead, we have a spectacular road, but which required unimaginable human efforts.

Transfăgărăşan was build during 1970-1974 and connects the cities of Pitesti and Sibiu. During its construction were used mostly recruits.

According to the stories, the miners who dealt with the explosives were holding close to each other, building a human chain of around 30 people, in order not to be taken away by storm and thrown into the abyss.

Three million tons of rocks were dug with the help of six thousand tons of dynamite. Besides digging into the rock, most work has focused on the strengthening of the slopes. Officially, dozens were reported dead, unofficially there is rumour about hundreds.

Transfăgărăşan road was ranked, two years ago, on the first place among the most beautiful roads in the world. Jeremy Clarkson, one of the then producers of ‘Top Gear’ said, seven years ago, after driving on Transfăgărăşan road, that it is the “most spectacular road in the world.”

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