Exploring Lake Sfanta Ana

Lake Sfanta Ana it’s situated in Harghita County – Transylvania. Since I posted a little DSLR Photo Gallery, I thought I should write a short article and tell a little more about this amazing place. Lake Sfanta Ana it’s the only volcanic lake from Romania, created on the crater of the volcano named Ciomatu Mare. The lake has some beautiful old legends about where it’s name comes from.

The first legend talks about two brothers fighting each other trying to prove who’s more famous. One of them decided to build a carriage and used young virgins from the village instead of horses. because they didn’t had the power to pull it he was beating them. One of the young virgin’s name was Ana. She cursed him so bad that his castle was destroyed by a very strong thunder storm. The lake appeared soon after that in the same place where the castle was, and that’s why is named Ana, because of the girl who cursed the man.

The second legend talks about a girl named Ana, that was forced by her parents to marry a very rich man that she didn’t loved. She was begging her parents not to marry her with that man, but none of them listened. The girl was so sad that she decided to jump in the waters of the lake and drown. The locals were so touched about the girls story, deciding to name the lake with her name.

The lake was created on the bottom of a volcanic crater that stopped erupting about 30000 – 40000 thousand years ago. It’s situated on an altitude of about 950 meters, and the depth it’s about 7 meters. Even though the lake has no springs at all, and it’s only created from rain water, the depth it’s nearly constant between 6.3 to 7 meters. The oxygen level in the water it’s so low, that normal vegetation or underwater life it’s almost nonexistent. The lake it’s known as the lake with no life at all, but of course if you have a very close look, you will discover little species of fish, and vegetation that adapted to those conditions.

I actually wanted to dive and do some underwater filming, but I had no equipment with me except the camera, plus that the water was a little cold that day as well. I really wanted to film a little the underwater life. Maybe with some other occasion I will get to study the underwater life as well, besides the beautiful views from around the lake.

The lake has a shape similar to a human footprint, about 400 meters wide and 600 meters long. If you visit the lake you better have some very wide angle lens if you try to capture the entire lake in one frame, or even better a drone for aerial images. I didn’t had any of those so I captured as much as I could with what I had available. Here you can see a little gallery from the GoPro camera. It takes you about an hour to surround the lake walking, but of course that depends on how many stops you make.

Right next to the lake there is a little church, built in 1564. Originally the church was entirely build from boulders. Since then the church was damaged many times, it had to be fixed many times along the years. But even though it was build in 1564, the church stands there even today. The locals are saying that it’s a place that must be visited by the single people that want to find their love soon after the visit. Also they are saying that if a woman is trying to have a baby and she can’t, usually after a visit to the Sfanta Ana church will also make he wish come true.

In the mountain close to the lake, it seems that are also a few cracks in the ground, and since underground there is still post volcanic activity, the locals can tell the weather by the smell coming out from the cracks. Of course this is normal on the scientific side as well. In the days with nice weather there is almost no smell coming out. When bad weather approaches, and the atmospheric pressure drops, and the sulfuric gases are coming out acting like a barometer, telling the locals there will be bad weather.

If you want you can also rent a little dinghy for a ride on the lake. It’s so relaxing to be honest, and if you are lucky to be nearly alone there with ought too many noisy tourists around, you will really enjoy the sound of the wind in the trees or the birds surrounding the lake. The views are also priceless and I think that was the best spot for photography. It’s nice if you can spend an entire day there so you can use the light from the sun as a big flash, lighting the scenery for your photography. It’s a really beautiful place that I will want to revisit for sure.

Ciprian Popica
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2 Responses

  1. Eli
    | Reply

    Wonderful places , fantastic stories …
    I have to visit Sfanta Anna’s church 🙂 .
    Just beautiful , greetings from Argentina 🙂

    • Ciprian Popica
      Ciprian Popica
      | Reply

      Thank you so much…. greetings from Transylvania 🙂

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