Piatra Craiului is the most beautifully prominent mountain ridge in the Carpathians.
My movie about the Piatra Craiului
A wonderful sequence of limestone arches above the spot called La Zaplaz together with huge limestone window La Cerdacul Stanciului rank among the most spectacular works of nature art in the Carpathians.
La Cerdacul Stanciului
26.8.1842 is the official date of the first climb to the Piscul Baciului Peak - the highest Piatra's point - also called La Om.
La Om aka Piscul Baciului (2239m)
The first research regarding the flora and vegetation of Piatra Craiului massif date back to the 18th century. This is the only place in the world, where the Piatra Craiului Carnation Dianthus Callizonus grows. This endemic plant is today an important element of the park’s logo. Species like Alpine aster Aster alpinus or Carpathian harebell Campanula carpatica enchant the eyes of nature lovers visiting Piatra Crailui during summer.
Garofiţa Pietrei Craiului
Generally speaking, the massif’s high mountain climate is not too different from the other neighbouring mountains‘ climate. However, the orientation, the altitude and the massif’s configuration have determined several particularities.
So far 111 bird species were identified on the territory of Piatra Craiului NP, rendering the area an ideal destination for bird watching. Three toed woodpecker is rare inhabitant of coniferous forests. Over 40% of the 100 mammal’s species found in Romania live here. The chamois is typical representative.
A total number of 1170 plant species, which is about 30% of the superior plants in Romania, have been identified in Piatra Craiului National park. 181 species have been included into the Red list of superior plants in Romania as endemic, rare or vulnerable species, proving the importance of Piatra Craiului from the Carpathian endemic species conservation point of view. The limestone bedrock as well as the altitude exceeding 2000m provide an appropriate development conditions for a wide range of mountain species of flora. Bare rocks, scree slopes and alpine meadows ensure rich botanical diversity. Due to the high declination of mountain slopes, the vegetation zones are the best noticeable. From the bottom towards the ridge, the massif is surrounded by hay fields, forests, dwarf pine, bare rocks and alpine meadows.
The mainly calcareous geology of Piatra Craiului massif is characterized by the impossibility to retain infiltration or running waters. That’s why the valleys crossing the massif’s body are dry. There is no water anywhere on or near the crest. Bârsa valley located in the northwestern part of the massif is the main collecting watercourse.
The whole region has been declared a natural reservation since 1938. In 1990 Piatra Craiului was declared a National Park. Nowadays the core zone covers nearly 5 000 ha, including the scientific reserve. The rest nearly 10 000 ha constitutes the buffer zone of the national park area. Because of its huge, tower-like lime cliffs the unique character of the massif and also because of landscape beauty Piatra Craiului rank among the most attractive mountain ridges in the Carpathians.
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