The micro regions

The beauties of the micro regions

In 1999 the county was divided for administrative purposes into 15 micro regions. The tourist attractions of these micro regions are, health resorts, varied landscapes, monuments of times long gone and local traditions and customs.

The region Odorhei region

The Ocnele microregion

The micro region of Ocnele is one of the county regions of which’s characteristic is the world of small farms. The settlements of the region are the town of Sovata and the afferent settlements of Sărăţeni, Căpeţi, Ilieş (from judeţul Mureş), communality of Praid (with the villages Ocna de Sus, Ocna de Jos, Becaş, Bucin), communality of Corund (with the villages Atia, Calonda, Fântâna Brazilor and Valea lui Pavel) The population of the micro region is of 27826 inhabitants.

On the plains of Ocnele the arching of the salt belt causes some of the geological formation of the region like the Bichis, Siklodu or Firtosu to reach heights of more than 1000 m. Their top layers are formed of the volcanic sediments of Harghita, and as a result of its clay content, cracks form quite frequently. The typical geological formations of the region are the salt karsts. The most representative ones are the Salt Carpathians and the Salt hills. Because of the large quantities of this mineral that can be found in this area it is only natural that it plays an important role in the local economy. Clay is another important resource upon which the regions pottery industry is founded. The skill of local artisans is well known in the world. Some of the local trades that still play an important part in the life of the locals are woodcarving, charcoal burning, carriage making, and falconry.

Praid (Parajd, Salzberg)

Sights of interest in this region are the Salt Mines, the salty hydrothermal baths and the Salt Hills natural reserve where one can see salt rifts, salt cliffs, and salty springs.

The Presbyterian Church built between the years 1790-96 is cataloged as a listed building. The Catholic Church was built in 1800 from treasury funds. The Orthodox Church was inaugurated in 1929.

The memorial house of the poet Áprily Lajos was inaugurated in 1991. In the Village museum one is also able to admire ethnographical expositions. Also on display is the historical narrative of the local salt mining.

On the border of the village is the Rapsóné citadel which is a shelter citadel built in the 11-12th centuries, was declared as an archeological park.

The micro region Regiovest

The communalities and villages belonging to it are: Mugeni commune, with the villages Aluniş, Dejuţiu. Lutiţa, Tăietura, Mătişeni; Porumbenii Mari commune with the villages Porumbenii Mici. Feliceni commune with the villages Alexandriţa, Teleac, Văleni, Arvăţeni, Oţeni, Tăureni, Hoghia, Forţeni, Cireşeni, Poloniţa. Ulieş commune: Daia, Iaşu, Ighiu, Nicoleşti, Obrăneşti, Vasileni, Petecu. Dârjiu commune with the village Mujna. The surface area of the micro regon is of 28368 hectare, with a population of 11347.

The settlements of this micro region are:

Feliceni (Felsőboldogfalva, Obermariendorf)

The tower of the Presbyterian Church was built in transitional style. With its 91 painted vaults in the nave and 63 in the apse, the church has the largest painted ceiling in Transylvania. In 1974 on the eastern pillar of the vaults, fresco fragments were found. The frescos representing “Veronica’s veil” and “The three wise man” were dated in the early 16th century.

Lutița (Agyagfalva)

The the Szekler national gathering of 1506 and the gathering of Lutița in 1848 are events closely tied to the name of this village, which were commemorated with a monument. The Presbyterian Church treasures architectural elements from the late gothic dated back to the middle of the 15th century. Its paneled ceiling was built between the years 1725 and 1739.

Mugeni (Bögöz)

The Presbyterian church of Mugeni is a peculiar architectural construction of the Odorhei region. It was built in the 14th century and went to a series of changes in the 15th century. It treasures pictures painted on wood from the 13th-14th centuries, paneled ceiling, and a memoir written with runes. Most of the mural paintings in the county bear the characteristic of late Romanesque. The whole length of the southern walls upper part is covered with pictures evoking the legend of Saint Laszlo and below it are a series of representations picturing the legend of Saint Mary of Antioch. On the lowest part of the wall one can see a fresco representing the Final Judgment.

Porumbeni Mari (Nagyglambfalva)

The Presbyterian church of Porumbeni Mari was built in transitional style during the 13th-14th centuries. Its recovered architectural assets are the frame of the vestry door, the frescos painted in the middle ages, the paneled ceiling (1789), and the wall paintings from the 14th century. The Greco-catholic church was built in 1737. The Rát-lake was declared a natural reserve.

Darju (Székelyderzs)

The Unitarian church fortress was declared part of the World Heritage. It is one of the oldest and most important protected churches of the Odorhei region. The frescos painted on its walls are one of the best preserved representations in five acts of the Saint Laszlo legend. The style of the church is a combination between gothic and late romanticism. Its present appearance was completed after the modification of its romanesque (13-14th centuries) chapel. This transformation into gothic took place in the second half of the 15th century. The church stands in a middle of a square shaped fortification containing five towers and a belfry. The deciphered text of its rune covered relics is “father Miklós cantor and priest”, and it is dated 1431. The Presbyterian church of the village was built in 1870 and its Baptist prayer house in 1929.

The microregion of Hegyalja

The settlements of the region are: Vârşag commune; Zetea commune with the villages Deşag, Izvoare, Poiana Târnavei, Şicasă, Sub Cetate, Dealu commune: Fâncel, Sâncraiu, Tămaşu, Tibod, Ulcani, Poiana Rotundă; Lupeni commune: Bisericani, Bulgăreni, Satu Mic, Păltiniş, Morăreni, Sâncel, Firtuşu, Păsuleni; Brădeşti commune with Târnoviţa; Satu Mare Commune; the villages Beclean and Cădişeni from Odorheiu Sceuiesc. The surface area of the micro region is of 56229 ha (14% farmland, 40% forrested), population od 19396

Sub Cetate (Zeteváralja)

The most renowned sight of the village is the dam that was built on the course of the Târnava Mare and Şikasău rivers. The dam was built for flow regulating, touristic and environmental purposes. On the 812 m. high hills of Deşag and Subcetate an archeological sanctuary was founded which contains relics from the late Iron Age.

Dealu (Oroszhegy)

The village is a typical foothill settlement, found on the southern side of Őrhegy peak. The Roman Catholic Church was built between the years 1764-70. The former main altarpiece of the church which represents the ascendance of Saint Mary is kept in the parish. The archeological sanctuary on the Mák citadel contains artifacts that belong to the Wittenberg culture.

Lupeni (Farkaslaka)

Tamási Áron is tightly interwoven with this settlement, where a monument, honouring his many achievements, was erected. The Roman-catholic church was built between the years 1842-1848.

Satu Mare (Máréfalva)

Satu Mare is the home of the great, carved, dove-coted gates, of which the most treasured are fourteen gates built before 1900. The Roman-catholic church was built between 1763-1772. The place called by the locals “stone-hole” contains a series of caves. The castle of Máré is an archeological site containing artifacts from the late Bronze Age.

The micro region of Cristur

Cristuru Secuiesc city with the villages Filiaş and Beteşti; Atid commune with the villages Crişeni, Şiclod, Cuşmed and Inlăceni; Şimoneşti commune with the villages Benţid, Cădaciu Mare, Cădaciu Mic, Chedia Mare, Chedia Mică, Ceheţel, Medişoru Mare, Mihăileni, Cobăteşti, Nicoleni, Rugăneşti, Tărceşti, Turdeni; Avrămeşti commune: Andreeni, Cecheşti, Goagiu, Medişoru Mic; Săcel commune: Şoimuşu Mare, Şoimuşu Mic, Uilac, Vidacut; Secuieni commune with the villages Bodogaia şi Eliseni. The main characteristics of the region are, the selective erosion, twisting watersheds and a multitude of land cracks. The mud volcanoes from Filiaşi were declared a natural reservation. The southern slopes of the region are more favorable for agriculture while the colder ones are used for silviculture. The micro region is rich in sunny days as a result cultivation of grain, fruits, vegetables, viticulture, cattle herding, play an important part in local economy.

Crişeni (Kőrispatak)

The Unitarian church was built in 1815, and the Presbyterian church which’s bell tower stood since 1773, in 1820. The hay cap museum is also a much frequented place.

Inlăceni (Énlaka)

The architectural style of the Unitarian church bears the marks of late gothic and was built in the second half of the 15th century. Its rune covered relic was made in 1668. At the entrance of the church a memorial commemorating those fallen in the First World War, was erected. The structure of the settlement with its medieval characteristics, the building up of certain parcels, the tight and small streets, combined with the valuable creations of folk architecture, all give this village a particular feeling. Castle courtyard and the Palace courtyard were declared historical monuments.

The micro region of Homorod

The micro region is situated on the course of the Homorodu Mic river at the foothills of Harghita Mountains. The river crosses Căpâlnaş commune, and the western part of Vlahița continuing its course towards Lutița. The region is rich in folk traditions, but in other aspects falls behind other micro regions, as it is mostly a rural zone with only one important commune and a few scattered settlements like Chirui Baths and the Homorod youth resort. Alpine herding, silviculture, and local pastry specialties (cserege), even today, are an important part in the life of the locals. The region lacks cities; however it does have large villages, dispersed settlements, and youth resorts. It is the land of religious tolerance, having a large number of Unitarians mixed with the rest of Christian denominations specific to Transylvania.

The Livada bog botanical reserve is situated near Chirui Baths. On the nitrogen deprived soil of the reserve lives the round-leafed sundew, a carnivorous plant from the Ice Age. These catch insects with their sticky tentacles; supplementing in this way the lack of nitrogen. The narcissus filed of Vlahița, which is the highest of its kind in Europe, blooms between May and June, the field being filled with the fragrance of the wild narcissus stelaris. In every may the inhabitants of the region organize the Narcissus Festival to celebrate this unique natural phenomenon. On the frontier of the region one can find 20-25 mineral-water springs. The okker fields and the thermal mineral waters form an important part of the mineral reserve of the region. The Perla thermal spa lies on the right side of the Vărghis. The indoor swimming pool of the resort has a constant water temperature of 26°C. The water of the Spa of Nadasszek is cold mineral water which is heated with the help of boilers. The water of the Chirui Spa is so cold that it is suitable for use only in the summer after long periods of sunshine.

The miciroregion of Homorodu Mare

The stettlements of the micro region are: Mărtiniş commune and the sorrounding villages (Aldea, Călugăreni, Chinuşu, Ghipeş, Bădeni, Locodeni, Orăşeni, Sânpaul, Rareş şi Petreni). The highest points of the regions are on the hills of Homoroad, the tallest ones being Bădeni Peak, 854 m Homat Peak 839 m. The linkage with the depression of Odorhei is made through Chinuşu (665 m.) pass.The region is rich in cultural and folk traditions. Alpine livestock farming, together with silviculture is a widespread occupation of the locals. This is the home of the cserege baking, which is a very delicious local pastry.

The Rika micro region

The settlements of the micro region are: Mereşt commune; Ocland commune with the villages Crăciunel, Satu Nou. Vârghiş commune ( Covasna county), Racoşu de Jos, Jimbor (Braşov county). The center of the region is Ocland. The surface area of the microregion (1995): 30906 ha (20% farmland, 32% forrested), with a population of 57600. It is situated on the border between Harghita and Covasna counties. The Mereşti cave network also called the Vargyas gorge, with the surrounding lime cliffs is one of the most picturesque regions of the county. The caves situated on four level on the walls of the gorge stand above the river of which’s upper part disappears in the vast cave-system. This latter part is also called the Westwater gully. On the lower part of the gorge the river resurfaces in the karts-rich Eastwater. The caves were inhabited by the Bronze and Iron Age man, but also used as shelter by the inhabitants of the surrounding villages in times of grave danger. The largest of the 7410 m long cave-system summing up a total of 125 caves, is the Orbán Balázs cavern, approachable on a rope ladder. Besides other wild and plant life the caves hosts 17 from the 30 endangered bat species of Romania.

The region of Gheorgheni

North Eastern Harghita Region

The communes of the region are Ditrău, Remetea, Lăzarea, Tulgheş, Subcetate and the town of Borsec. The territory of the region covers 54586 hectares and has, of which 14% farm land 41% is forested. The Bistrica Mountains of which only a small part is contained by the county of Harghita, are composed of crystalline schist, magma flows, mica schist and metamorphic rocks. The landscape is dotted here and there with lime cliffs which stand testimony to the forces of erosion.

The Pirişca peak is the only nepheline syenite formation in the region. These formation are so unique that their scientific name was given after the settlement of Ditrău , as they can only be found on the 133 km2 which belongs to the settlement.

The Voşlăbeni Mountains lay between the Belcina valley and Izvorul Mureşului, which also are the origin of the two Transylvanian rivers Olt and Mureş. The source of the Olt is on the southern marshy slope of the Magasbükk peak (1394 m), bordered by the Covaci Peter and “Sóvető” creeks. The source of the Mureş can be found a couple of kilometers further, and is known as the Meszes stream, found at an altitude of 1350.m on the slopes of the Aramă (coper) Mountain.

The region of Borsec and Tulgheş form the southernmost part of the county. It contains the valleys of Borsec and Tulghes. The region connects with Moldova through the Tulgheş valley. The Borsec valley is well known for its numerous mineral water springs.

Ditrău (Ditró, Dittersdorf)

Once a dispersed settlement, Ditrău today is a small compact town. The Roman-catholic church found here is a protected building, built between the years 1746-1757. Its interior is decorated in baroque style. The painting representing Saint Marry dated 1600, could have been the altar piece of the church. The new Roman-Catholic church built in neo gothic and eclectic style was erected it 1911, and is the largest two towered church in the Gheorgheni basin. The height of the bell towers are of 55m and their width is 23 m and has a seating room of 3000. The vaulted ceiling is held together by enormous pillars. The on the virtrallias of the church one can see the 12 apostles.

Remetea (Gyergyóremete)

The main income source of the locals used to be commercial rafting, transporting goods as timber and rafter towards Arad. In the 1950’s an important powder milk factory was built. Its Roman catholic church made in 1786 out of stone, was built in to replace the old chapel. The main altar was made in 1787 and the crucifix in 1567. The local medicinal spa is placed on the south side of the village. In the part of the settlement called “Şineu” one can see a water powered saw that was built in 1725.

Lazărea (Szárhegy)

Westward from the Castle of Lazărea archeologist found the remains of a settlement that was inhabited since the Bronze Age until the early Middle Ages, the site now being listed as an archeological park. Lazărea is home to numerous monuments that date back to different historical periods. The Roman-Catholic church and the fortification surrounding, built in late gothic style, was built in 1235. The church with the exception of the altar and the bell tower was demolished but rebuilt in 1930. Several members of the Lazar family are buried in the lower chapel. The Saint Ana chapel placed on the southern foothills of the Szármány Mountain was built in the 15th century bearing the marks of the late gothic. The Franciscan monastery was built between the years 1669 and 1752. The chapel is surrounded by a thick defensive wall. Lazar Stefan resettled the Franciscan order even against the express prohibition of prince Apafi. The monastery is square shaped, and attached to its southeastern corner one can see church in built baroque style. Its treasures are the main altar, side altars and baroque pulpit. The Franciscan monastery functioned as a convent until 1729. Between the years 1669-1674, the abbot of the monastery was the famous Transylvanian scholar Johannes Kajoni, who was also buried here in April 1687. A small statue representing him can be seen in the wall of the monastery. The monastery dedicated to the Holy Virgin is also a pilgrimage place. The olden castle of the Lazar family is one of the most attractive 17th century manors in Transylvania. On its arched anteroom there is an inscription written in gothic letters. Its earliest tower is dated in 1450. Three of its corner towers are rectangular and the one found on the northeastern side is heptagonal. This is the place where Prince Bethlen Gábor spent his childhood, between the years 1590-1594. The castle was also visited by the Romanian princes Petru Rareş and Mihnea Voda. The castle is under restoration since 1967. Today it also hosts the County Museums painting exposition. In the knights room 150 pictures are on display.

The Friendship artistic camp was founded in 1974, and serves as the meeting place for painters, graphic artists and sculptors. The ethnographic artistic ensemble was founded in 1978, its purpose, the maintaining of ethnographic traditions. Its members created the carved and painted furniture, woven fabrics, ceramic and wrought iron pieces. The renaissance furniture of the knights’ room was also created by them.

The micro region of Bucin

The communes of the microregion are: Joseni, Ciumani, Suseni. The surface area is of 54176 ha (13% farmland, 37% forrested).The region lays on the border of the Gheorgheni and Harghita mountains where the Mureş river brakes through mountains. Its forest covered foothills stretch deep into the Eastern part of Transylvania. The forests are very rich in game. The region starching from Bucin to Liban is known as the South-Ghiurhiu its highest point being Borzont (1496), Şumuleu Mare (1575) and Amza (1685 m.) . The road which links Prajd to Gheorgheni passes over the Bucin.

The Gheorgheni basin stretches between the Căliman-Hargitha and Gurghiu mountains. The basin which is actually the riverhead of the Mureş, still maintains at an altitude of 800 m the flat bottom of the former lake. The middle part of the basin was filled up by the sediments of the Békény creek. It is the basin with the roughest climate with temperatures reaching -35 C° . Fog and temperature inversions are quite frequent this also having an effect on the plant life of the region. The edges of the basin are covered by spur forests, and the mountain rims especially on the southern side are covered by oak.

Joseni (Gyergyóalfalu)

Joseni is one of the oldest and largest settlements of the region. The Roman-Catholic church, standing as a testament of religious architecture, is encircled by a stone wall. The bell tower, arches, and entrance all bear the marks of the romanesque style. The church was rebuilt in gothic in the 15th century, but it still kept the original romanesque gate. During 1766-1776 the church was again modified baroque elements being added. The prized possession of the church is the baroque main altar with its four ionic pillars and a statue representing the Holly Virgin with Child in the center. On one side of the main entrance one can see the commemorative plate of priest Stefan, who was one of the main architects in organizing the local resistance against János Zsigmond whose intention was to convert the inhabitants of Gheorgheni and Ciuc regions into Presbyterianism. After their victory a pilgrimage was organized from Joseni to Şumuleu Ciuc. For their role in the resistance the inhabitants of the village were given the honor to lead the procession to the holy site, and this has been respected for the last 430 years.

Căliman micro region

The settlements of the region are: the town of Topliţa, and Bilbor, Gălăuţaş,and Sărmaş communes. The population is of 25531. Only a small part of the Căliman Mountains can be found on the territory of the county, however this is where the highest peaks of the region, the Pietrosu, Izvorul Călimanului and Răchitiş, are situated. On the eastern part of the mountains one can find the Borsec and Bilbor basins. The region is packed in calcium, sulfur, arisen, rich mineral water springs. The Bilbor basin is Harghita’s highest situated basin.

Bilbor (Bélbor)

Bilbor is the southernmost settlement of the county, situated in the valley of Bistrița Mica and has a variety of sights in form of mineral water springs, and marshes. The region has over 700 mineral water springs.

The wooden church of Bilbor is considered a protected building, raised in 1795-97. Surrounding it one can see beautifully carved wooden headstones. Its relics are the ten painted icons. The Pârâul Dormeanu marsh, is one of the eight marshes of the region situated at higher altiudes, and was declared a natural park. The Great pit bogg of Bilbor, is poorer in wild and plant life.

The Ciuc Region

The micro region of Upper Ciuc

The settlements of the region are the communes of Dăneşti, Sândominic, Cârţa, Mădăraş, Racu, Siculeni, and Ciceu. The surface area of the county is of 58408 ha (13% farmland, 30% forrested), and has a poulation of 18790 inhabitants.

The Hăşmaşu Mare Mountains have one of the most diverse terrain in the Eastern Carpathians. They extend over a 10-15 km distance on the border between the counties of Harghita and Neamț and have a width of 40 km. The highest peaks are Hăşmaşu Mare (1793m), Hăşmaşu Negru (1793) Öcsém tető (1709), Likas (1676) and Piatra Singuratică (1609 m). The Hăşmaşu Mare Mountains are mostly barren only small parts being covered by pine forests, and also they are rich in mineral water.

The Naşcalat group belongs to the Ciuc Mountains. Its talles peaks are Naşcalat (1566m), Buciu (1374m) , Livezi (1290), and Pogani mountains (1352m)

The Ciuc basin is one of the longest intra-Carpathian basins. From the West it is bordered by the Harghita Mountains and from the east by the Ciuc Mountains. It has a north-south orientation and it is situated 650-800 m high on the course of the Olt River.

Siculeni (Madéfalva)

The name of Siculeni is strongly linked with the organized resistance against the forced recruitment of the Szekler border guard in 1764, which ended in a blood bath. The massacre of the 200 defenseless Szeklers by the Hapsburg Imperial Guard is commemorated by the monument erected in their memory. The Roman-Catholic church has one of the longest naves off all the churches in the county. The Heart of Jesus church was built between the years 1913 and 1914.

Racu (Csíkrákos)

Racu was settled near the river Olt, close to the straights of Bogata. The fortress church is one of the oldest protected buildings of the Ciuc region dating back to the early Middle Ages. The four sides closed in ten angles of the abscissa are guardians of the memories of the Middle Ages. The fortification of the church containing towers and embrasures, and was enlarged in 1574. Its present form dates back to 1758. Its transept was built between the years 1756-1758, in baroque style. The main attraction of the church is its 30 m. high tower decorated with zodiacal signs which resemble the motifs of pagan art and are unique in Romania. In the mortuary one can see the memorial of father Zöld Péter (1727-1795). The “Pogányvár” of Racu is a fortification built in the second part of the Iron Age, but was still in use in the I century A.D., and was inhabited until the Middle Ages. The Cserei manor contains a room that was furnished in the memory of the historian Csere Mihály.

Dăneşti (Csíkdánfalva)

This is the land of black pottery. The embodied homespun and painted woolen carpets all are local products on which the local renown is built. The settlement used to be famous for its forge, and mills.

Besides the previously mentioned trades the locals engage in wood working, husbandry and transportation of goods. Its neo gothic church was inaugurated on the 8th of December 1935. Not far from it there is a monument erected in the memory of Queen Elisabeth.

The black ceramic shop can be found in the centre of the village. Near the swimming pool there is also a tourist hostel.

Cârța (Csíkkarcfalva)

The catholic church of Cârța built in the 15th century in gothic style, is one of the most significant fortified churches in the upper Ciuc region and is dedicated to the Holly Virgin. Encircled by an 8 m. high wall it still has most of the typical defense structures characteristic of a fortification. The gates and walls were built sometime around the 15th-16th centuries. The nave was reconstructed in baroque style, but still keeping the gothic style of the altar. The baptistery in form of chalice has a regular octagonal shape. The gothic chancel was probably built in 1444 and it is the oldest part of the church. The treasures of the parish are two gold plated chalices, and a gothic sacrament shower. The Madica baths is a resort of local interest that can be found 4,5 km south of the settlement.

The Pogani micorergion

The communes of the micro-region are Frumoasa, Mihăileni, Lunca de Sus, Lunca de Mijloc, Ghimeş-Făget (Bacău county). The surface area of the county is of 34764 ha (9% farmland, 27% forrested), and has a popoulation of 21046. The micro region is located in the region connecting the Frumoasa Pass to the Nyerges plains. The more important peaks are “Szájhavas” (1555), “Szellő tető” (1496). The volcanic mountain range (Şumuleu Mare and Şumuleu Mic) formed in the Neocene also lies on the territory of the region. Its river system is mostly formed by the river Tatros and its affluents.

The depression of Ciuc is formed by a series of basins that start at the riverhead of the Mureş and Olt rivers. On its Northern end it connects with the Gheorgheni basin, and on the southern end it links up with the straights of Tuşnad.

Livezi (Lóvész)

Livezi is a dispersed settlement typical for the mountainous regions, and is the only Romanian village of the Ciuc Region. The viaduct and railroad tunnel built in 1897 are one of the longest of theirs kind in Romania, stretching over the Caracău valley. It has a height of 61 m and a length of 264 m.

Fumoasa (Szépvíz)

Thanks to the Armenians settled in the village, Fumoasa became the most important commercial centre of the region during the 17th century. The Roman Catholic Church was built in 1781, and is encircled by a fortified wall. In 1986 a dam was built, the lake of which became an important tourist attraction.

The region of Ghimeş

The region situated on the border of the former Csik shire on the upper course of the Tatros is also known as the Land of Creeks. The heart of the region is formed by communities of Frumoasa, Lunca de Mijloc, and Făget(today found in the county of Bacau). The locals are called csángos of Gimes, this differentiating them from the Moldavian csángós, and are considered one of the characteristic Szekler groups. As the arable land is quite scarce the typical occupation in this region bing the growing of animals, shepherding, and trades that are based on lumber. The pastures of the Tatros valley are primarily used for growing of cattle and sheep. Game and silviculture are also an important part of the everyday life of the locals. As industry never became an economical factor in the region, its place was taken by local crafts. Because of the geographical peculiarities of the region the inhabitants ordered their life in such a way that they reached a high level of self sustainability. The region has a number of peculiarities concerning, the form of the villages and folk traditions. One of the typical instruments of local musicians is the “garadon”, which is a percussion instrument in form of a trough made of softer wood. The csángos also have specific folk costumes. In the straights of Ghimes one can also find the remains of Rákoczi’s castle.

The region of Lower Ciuc

It is the land of potato cultures. The region is renowned by the woven and painted rugs that are made on Sâncrăieni.

Vrabia (Csíkverebes)

The Roman Catholic church of the region was built in the 15-16th centuries. The Chapel of Guardian Angels was built between the years 1770 and 1775. The Beneş bog is sustained by the mineral water springs.

Sântimbru (Csíkszentimre)

The roman-catholic church of the settlement, considered a protected building, was built in 1776. The chancel has winged altar that is a rarity among its kind. The Saint Margaret chapel built in the 15th century is also considered a protected building.

The main attraction of “Büdös” Baths is that it contains carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen-sulfite (H2S).

Ciucsângeorgiu (Csíkszentgyörgy)

Its Roman-Catholic church is one of the region most beautiful and altogether largest gothic churches, which probably was built in 1336. Its present form was given to it in 1673. Its chancel is gothic and the holy water basins are stone carved. The main altar, and its two beautiful wooden statues are dated 1796. Linked to the church is the Holy Rosary chapel. The orthodox chapel was built in the 18th century.

Armăşeni (Csíkménaság)

The settlement treasures the easternmost Church dated back to the period of the Árpád house kings. The church originally had romanesque style, however in the 15th century was rebuilt in gothic, but still keeping romanesque elements like the rosette. The wall paintings which decorate the vaults have an important artistic value. The nave was reconstructed in 1655 in baroque style. The statue of Saint Mary made in the 16th century by the school of Şumuleu Ciuc. The Adorján manor today is considered a protected building. The settlement also has a monument built in the memory of those who have fallen in the First World War.

The micro region of Ciomatu-Balvanioş

The sttlements of the micro region are: the town of Băile Tuşnad, the communes Tuşnad, Cozmeni, Turia and Bicsad (the last two are situated in Covasna county). The surface area of the region is 49320 ha, (13% farmland, 39% forested), the number of the population is of 9842 inhabitants.

The Olt river divides the Southern part of the Harghita Mountains from the Ciomatu Mountains, both being of volcanic origin. The highest peaks are Cucu peak (1558 m.) Pilişca Mare peak (1374 m.). The Lucs caldera today is a vast pit bog. The Ciomatu mountains dominated by the twin craters of the Saint Ana and Mohoş pitt bog, are almost entirely contained by the Ciomatu Mare Mountain Range. The Puturosu peak (1143 m.) made out of kaolinezided andesite, is famous for its hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide emanations. The peak of Bálványos (1040) situated not far from here is the last part of the volcanic mountain range

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