Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Baia De Arama

Baia de Arama – once famous for its strong copper mines – is located in the Wallachian county of Mehedinti and is surrounded by three hills: Dochiciu, Dealul Mare, Cornet and crossed by the Brebina River.

The rocks are mostly crystalline schists and keep water to the surface. Beyond the Bulbii River – Cornetul Brebinii there is a hill made of limestone in which water is lost in depth and is poor in vegetation. In the distance, one can admire the limestone plateau and the natural bridge from Ponoare, where nature has made a great work art. The huge opening of the bridges legs, confirms the existence of the former cave which collapsed; and this way the bridge was formed.

Baia de Arama stands out by its caves (Bulbs, Gura Plaiului, Closani, Ponoarele, Izverna), whose deep charm offers priceless treasures to researchers and tourist. The cave of Closani is quite famous; there is a research station of the Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology. The famous streams called bolboroase are captured, increasing the power of water flow of the city.

The Bulba River has its streams in the Bulba Cave (4 km southwest from the city, which is in connection with the Ponoarele Cave, through which flows the water of the Zaton Lake) and crosses the whole city. One of the most famous springs is called Bolborosul (it appears from the bottom of a cliff on the Cornet Hill), where in summer days were organized picnics, late at night. The waters of this spring were captured to a trout and another spring was captured and brought to the Sf. Voievozi Church and it runs through a fountain with twelve holes. Vaile Seci (The Dry Valleys), called this way because, although it is a mountain area, several months a year these rivers have only stones (Motru, Sec, Sohodol etc).

Baia de Arama has a climate with mild winters, sometimes without snow, with positive temperatures and with long springs and autumns. In Baia de Arama, due to its climate, you can find wild grape-vines, walnuts or sweet chestnuts. These heat-loving plants grow spontaneously in the woods.

Baia de Arama (also called Calchis by Stefanus Bizantinus, located in the region of Scythia) was inhabited by Dacians (in ancient times), testimony being the large number of ruins found in the area (there were found coins and traces of Dacian huts on the Dochiciu hill). Mircea cel Batran was exploiting copper with the help of Ciop Hanas who was from Bratilov town, which still exists today. The name of the hills, rivers, villages, or mountains that were preserved over time, attests that they continually lived on these lands, the presence of the migratory people not being able to change the language and customs.

The famous nedas (pastoral midsummer, when shepherds separate the sheep and there is a pastoral party), older than 2,000 years, are a testament to the transmission of the folklore from generation to generation and attests the continuity of the population in this region. In earlier times, a part of the Baia de Arama population was occupying with copper processing. On the left bank of Brebina, the halls and ores for melting furnaces are a real open air museum.

Baia de Arama is attested since 1518, during the reign of Neagoe Basarab. The city witnessed a great development at the time of Prince Mircea cel batran, later because of Matei Basarab and then Constantin Brancoveanu. Only in the eighteenth century it became fair (until then being a village) and was situated on the great road that was crossing the Romanian Country (from Ramnic, Ocna Mare, towards Targul Jiu and Severin, going on to Polovragi, Targul Gilort and Baia de Arama). This road was used (in the eighteenth century) by Archdeacon Paul of Aleppo and Patriarch Macarius of Antioch, because they wanted to come to the Romanian monasteries.

In the city there is the Sf.Voievozi Church with murals, founded by Constantin Brancoveanu (in 1699). After a short time it became a monastery of nuns, known as the Baia de Arama Monastery (1699 – 1703), being dedicated to the Hilandar Monastery from Mount Athos.

Other historical monuments of the city are represented by: the bust of the revolutionary Tudor Vladimirescu (made in bronze by the sculptor Constantin Balacescu in 1894), the statue of Constantine Brancoveanu (from the court of the Constantin Brancoveanu Scholar Group) and a well-known artesian well called Parallel 45 built downtown.

In the distance you can see: the Closani Stone (1421 meters altitude), Brebina and Motru Rivers who send their waters in a depression not far from Pades (where the uprising started, being led by Tudor Vladimirescu). The fauna of the forests is diverse and you can see: fox, goat, deer, rabbit, squirrel, wild boar, wolf, bear and also a series of lizards, horned viper (Vipera ammodites), Scorpio (euscorpius carpathiann) and tortoise (Testudo Herman).

The neighboring towns (Brebina, Bratilovu, Titerlesti, Negroiesti, Pistrita, Marasesti Stanesti and Dealu Mare) belong also to the city of Baia de Arama, being administered by it.

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