Once upon a time, in the far away mountains of Transylvania, there lived two brothers. Each of them ruled over his own citadel. They lived in a never ending competition, always trying to impress the other. One of them received a new, beautiful chariot. His brother promised to come up with something even better. He gathered eight of the most beautiful maidens in the land and forced them to pull his chariot all the way to the other castle. But it was to heavy for them and they couldn’t move. The lord got mad and began to whip them all. One of them, Ana, prayed to God to curse her master. Right away, a powerful storm broke lose and the citadel, along with its ruler caught fire and sank into a lake that was from then on called the St. Ana’s Lake.
Location. In the district of Harghita, near the river Olt and close to the Tusnad resort, there is an asphalt road that climbs the Ciomatu Mountain, all the way to 946 m. St. Ana’s Lake is the only volcanic lake in Romania and it lies on the bottom of the crater of an old volcano, that is most likely to have erupted some thousands of years ago. Close to it there is a big parking space where you leave the car and enter the reservation.
St. Ana’s Lake (“Lacul Sf. Ana”) is a complex natural reservation. Its maximum depth is abut 6 m and it has no springs. Gathering all of its water from rain, it has few minerals and it is very pure, close to distilled water. There are no animals living in the lake, because of the lack of oxygen and of the gases that are still being released through the cracks in the crater. Sand, pebbles and tree trunks lie on the bottom, forming a 4m thick layer of sediments. Forests surround it. A path goes around the lake, a better way to get acquainted with the protected flora and fauna.
Swimming is allowed in the lake. There is also a small hut with boats for rent. Surprisingly, the water is still crystal clear. During hot summer days, this is the place to be. The water is still cool, but pleasant enough to enjoy a good swim without any salt to lift you up.
Close to the lake we find St. Ana’s Chapel, a small and simple construction. Through its grates people throw coins and make wishes, hoping that Ana will some day make them all come true.