Comenius 2008-2010 Multilateral Project

This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".


"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The legend of Red Lake

The Red Lake is one of the most beautiful and the most monumental lake of the Romania. About its formation there are several legends sprung from the people.


This natural water reservoir was created in the year 1837, after an earthquake. The fall of the mountains stones stopped up the Verescheu River watercourse, and created a natural Lake, with a surface area of thirteen hectares. The Lake is only ten meters deep, but because of the numerous firs’ trunks, that were flooded at the time, the going with the boat on the water surfaces is difficult.


The Red Lake, Romania



The local tradition keeps two legends related to the lake origin:

According to the legend a robber, who stayed in the cave of Suhardul Mare, had stolen from a fair in Ditrău and dragged along the beautiful Ferenc Anikó. The girl cried and implored the help of  the cave ghost, when the walls of the cave opened and she escaped. When the robber came around, he banged the cliff with his bludgeon so strongly that the mountain collapsed and closed the valley burying under itself the robber. 
In the course of the years several  variants of the legend appeared.
In the Gyergyo market Eszter saw a handsome lad and she immediately fell in love with him. He was taken in the army as a soldier and the wedding never took place. Eszter waited her love in vain. Eszter was found by a dirty allan and he liked the girl very much.
A long time ago there lived a long haired and green-eyed girl. She was a rare beauty. She was called Eszter Fazekas.  One day she went to the fair in Gheorgheni. In the Gyergyo market Eszter saw a handsome lad and she immediately fell in love with him. He was taken in the army as a soldier and the wedding never took place. Eszter waited her love in vain. Eszter was found by a dirty allan and he liked the girl very much. They felt in love immediately. He was taken in the army as a soldier and the wedding never took place. Eszter waited her love in vain.

Eszter was found by a dirty allan and he liked the girl very much. Suddenly he put her on his horse and took her away. He took her in the caves of the Kis-Cohard mountain. He promised her all the treasure in the world but Eszter was still waiting for her love. The man couldn’t make Eszter to love him. In dispare she called the mountains for help. The nature answered with a huge storm, trees were crashing, mountains were moving and the clouds burst out. In that fiercy storm the mountains were covering everything that it came into their way. Eszter and the thief were killed too.  Under the rocks remaind the girl and the thief. After that the water from the mountaind were gathered here forming the lake (Red Lake or The Killer). And that is how the Red Lake was formed. Even now if you look carefully, you can see Eszter’s deep green eyes.

 

Anoter legend says:

On the meadow between the mountains was a sheepfold. The shepherds, seeing the coming of a storm, have tried to shelter, but the Killer Mountain crushed down and burried them together with the sheeps.

So, the popular belief connects the "killing" and the "red " adjectives with the legend, whereas the collapsing mountain buried under itself the grazing herd together with its shepherd, the blood oozed up and painted the lake water red for a long time.

Despite the fact that the Red Lake is a relatively young formation, the date and conditions of its formation are debated. At the time of its formation there weren't any commercial routes in the surroundings, it was an economically idle and difficult of access region. Herbich F., the famous geologist considers the year of 1838 as the formation date of the Red Lake. Argues in the favour of this year the earthquake from  January 1838, which repeated in February and could have set off the landslide. An other date would be 1837, when wild tempest and and heavy rain took place. About this period wrote Ditrói Puskás F. in his work entitled "History of Borsec" :

"...at this time collapsed the two Bicaz mountains soaked by a huge mass of water, owing to which the brook flowing there got blocked up, forming the Red Lake..."

The formation and the slip of the conglomerated mass of debris at the foot of the Ucigașul mountain can be divided into three phases. In the first phase the basic debris has been conglomerated, which happened in the last stage of the periglacial period. In the second phase the slow weathering of the lower debris took place, finally the soaking of the debris, which set up the slide of the clayish stratum and led to the closing of the valley. We can see even today that headland, which closed the valley in its full width and now leans against the southeastern side of the Suhardul Mare.

The lake is bordered in the north by the Suhardul Mare and Suhardul Mic, in the southwest by the Calului mountain, in the northwest by the Licoș and the Mic mountains, in the northeast by the Csiki-bükk, in the east by the Ucigașul mountain. The Red Lake is supplied by four constant and twelve periodical brooks, among which the most important are the Oii (Hăghimaș), Roșu, Licoș and Suhard.

The original name of the lake was the Red Lake aswell, and the writers in the region used this name until 1864. On his presentation upon the assembly of the Transylvanian Museum Society, Orbán Balázs mentions as Killer Lake and makes it public. It got its  present hungarian name probably from the Ucigasul mountain (means Killer's mountain), which is much more older naming than the formation of the lake, as the documents mentioned it even in 1773 as the Lazar Counts' property; it was called "the mountain named killer".

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