Hotel Astoria

» Red Lake

Red Lake

In the Nagyhagymás Mountain, 24 km from Gheorgheni, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating lakes in Transylvania, it is positioned 983 m above sea level and can be reached by national road 12-C.

The lake formed in the summer of 1837 when a large amount of red rock from a slope of the mountain crashed down after several days of heavy rain. The resulting rubble dammed up several streams in the valley forming the Red Lake.

The sediment of the Verse Stream is often rusty colored and gives the lake its distinctive red color, hence the name, “Red Lake”. Local folklore for the name of the lake establishes a link between the “red” and “killer” epithets by referencing a legend which speaks of the collapse of the mountain onto the valley beneath, completely burying grazing sheep and their shepherds under the rock face, their blood flowing into the waters of the lake turning it red.

A part of the charm of the lake is the remnants of the flooded pine forest. Stumps of the trees, which decayed through the years, are visible above the water. As the flooded forest rapidly died, the remaining stumps beneath the surface have been preserved by calcium oxide and iron oxide present in the water.

The trees that initially remained in the newly formed lake have been steadily decaying. Photographs from a century ago show the trees protruding 3-5 meters above the water, now, the preserved stumps barley reach 1-1.5 meters above the waters surface.

The lake is further enhanced by the beauty of the overhanging limestone rocks, which are as follows: Gyilkos-hegy (1.381 m), Kis-Cohárd (1.352 m), Nagy-Cohárd (1.507 m).

Annual measurements of lake sediment show a thickness of 4.88 cm. Without human intervention, it is predicted that by 2080, these sediment deposits could cause the lake to completely disappear being filled in by these deposits.