Geographical presentation

An abstract of our county

What can abstract data tell us about any county?

As in the case of a person, an abstract can tell us everything and nothing. It flashes up the essence but only referrers shortly to what makes it unique.

We can write down that the county is situated in Romania, in the inner part of Eastern Transylvania, and it is no secret that its territory is of 6639 km2, with a population that in 2011 numbered 310,867 people.

It is usual in an abstract to write down, the number of towns (nine), of municipalities (four), communalities (fifty-eight), and villages (two hundred and thirty-six). Its name given in 1968, is not of ancient origin, but refers to the mountain range of Harghita, which hosts its second tallest peak (Harghita-Mădăraş); the highest peak of the county being Rățitiș ( Căliman mountains 2021 m).

Even if there still are some peaks, on the mountain ranges that cross the county’s center, and on the Eastern Carpathians that form the Eastern border, the Northern part of the region is made up of a hilly landscape. Running from North to South is a chain of valleys composed of the valleys of Bilbor  -Borsec - Gheorgheni - Ciuc.

The county can be gentle and harsh, depending on the region, or whether you are closer or farther from the sky, or one is close to an economical and social center or in a more secluded part closer to nature. The climate is moderate continental, with winds usually blowing form the west. Harghita is also the coldest point of Romania with temperatures reaching -40 C°, in Gheorgheni and Ciuc regions. The snow can persist sometimes up to 120-150 days, this being one of the main reasons for the denseness of the water system. The valleys formed by the rivers Olt and Mureş make the county very atractive.

The mountain ranges of the county being of volcanic origins, treasure wonders like the lake of Saint Ana, the pit bog of Mohoş the numerous mineral water springs all these fueling the well-known Szekler dignity. All these, together with the Red lake, with its peculiar landscape and legend, offer on silver platter the blessings of future tourism investments.

The county does not lack wildlife, but when it comes to agriculture, as the result of the counties harsh climate, it isn’t the best place for it; because of the lack of sunshine, the vegetables and fruits wander to the local markets from regions more bountiful and with a gentler climate, all but the potato which endures faithfully besides the local inhabitants helping them out more than once, being a good bargaining chip.

On the basis of giving and taking, the county of Harghita gladly awaits its visitors, sharing its natural and cultural values, with hundreds of monuments worth seeing, offering its thermal spas, and healing facilities, and its simple but full of flavor, cuisine.

The effort to create real values is gaining ground on both side of the Harghita, and in spite of the scientific and technological achievements and challenges of our age, still the ace in the sleeve for our county is represented by timber, construction material, clay, and salt.

The characteristic of the abstract is that the form is quickly filled, as one renounces any claim of completeness, but every written word bears the hope that behind every picture hides the promising face of the locals.

Nature and Man

In the eastern part of Transylvania, Harghita county lies in a depression surrounded by the Eastern Carpathians. 1/3 of its 6639 km2 is covered by forest - mostly pine - which gives an evergreen aspect to the place.

Harghita county has been an administrative unit since 1968. Previously, this territory was organized in smaller shires. According to statistical data from 200ht October 2011 Harghita county's population is 310,867 and the density is 46.8 persons/km2. The ethnic structure of the population is the following: 86.43% Hungarians, 13.15% Romanians, and 0.37% Roma. In terms of religion: 66.41% are Roman-Catholic, 12.47% Orthodox, 12.17% Calvinist, 6.96% Unitarian and 0.17% Greek-Catholic. 57.4% of the population lives in rural areas (data of 2011 census).

The county is split in the middle by the Gurghiu Mountains and Harghita, the sacred mountain of the Szeklers, which is also the youngest member of the volcanic mountain range of the Eastern Carpathians. Its highest peak is Harghita Mădăraş with a height of 1801 meters. West of it lies the region of Odorhei, and stretching eastwards there are a series of closed depressions (Gheorgheni, and Ciuc) cut through by the rivers Olt and Mureş, these being bounded eastward by the Gurghiu and Ciuc mountains. As the result of its geographical structure the county can be divided into three distinct regions, Odorhei, Ciuc and Gheorgheni, giving the county a colorful image.

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