Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Râpa Roșie, Romania

Romania’s interrupted by a jagged red anomaly is guarded by the steep walls of the Râpa Roșie (Red Ravine). This is a natural geological reserve on the southwesterly part of the Secaşelor Plateau. Râpa Roșie is a protected area, in Alba County, Romania. It is a geological and botanical reserve with a size of approximately 24 hectares; the reserve is classified as IUCN Category III. Erosion and runoff has given it a prominent appearance in the mountainside. The water has carved deep into the gravel, sandstone, and quartz of the plateau’s sublayer, creating unusual natural spiked towers and pyramid shapes in the red clay. When the water falls into the ravines it makes a roaring sound. 

The result is frequently matched to the Grand Canyon; however, it’s not quite as huge. Râpa Roșie measures stretch over a length of 800 meters. The Rapa Rosie tallest peaks are about 300 feet. Over the last 60 million years, it is also ever-evolving, torrential rains cause obvious changes to the folds in the exclusively steep slopes. Tiered columns and pyramids, separated by ravines, form a badlands microrelief. Specialized studies showed there are 145 plant species of 41 families and 8 endangered species are characteristic to this area.

In 1865, the first archaeological exploration made by Fr. W. Schuster, revealed remnants of large and small pottery that had ornamentation, which also attested to the Coţofeni culture. The Red Ravine remains relatively unidentified, even to those who have lived nearby for years. There are local tales of World War I soldiers passing through the red ravine in order to get to Alba Iulia. Where are at the end of the war, representatives declared the union of Transylvania and Romania. Many other natural attractions nearby, archaeological excavations were carried out here and the remains of Coţofeni culture were found, as well as dinosaur bones of the early Miocene period (~15-23 million years ago).

The geological monument is easily called a natural wonder due to gravel, quartz sands, and sandstones. The deposits are the distinct succession of red clays, grey and reddish soap-stones, and friable white soapstone.  The area is home to numerous rare and endemic plants. Also, many largest Caves in the world were declared a natural monument. Its obscurity, and consequential lack of visitors, the ravine remains in beautiful shape. Râpa Roșie is one of the major touristic attractions in Alba County, but one of the most notable natural monuments in Romania and a European rarity. This is really a cool place to explore in the afternoon. 

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