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A view as if detached from another planet reveals in front of the travellers near the Monor town, at 42 kilometres distance from the Bistrita city, to the south-east of the county: the muddy volcanoes.
The Natural Reserve has a surface of two hectares, the area being also known as “La gloduri” (lumps of earth). The volcanoes, the result of methane gas that comes out from the depths of the earth, bringing to the surface the liquid mud mixed with water, are only partially active, but spectacular.
If you want a little more scientific explanation, there are sediments from the Miocene period in the area (which began 20.3 million years ago and ended about 5 million years ago), namely clay, sand, marl and sandstone. Also, close to Monor, there are sarmatiene sediments at the surface, which are related, in general, to the most natural gas deposits.
Due to erosion, cracks were formed through which the gas comes out to the surface, while the cones – the reason why call them volcanoes – were formed by the mud which flows through these faults.
In order to see them in the action, you have to be there in the days with heavy rain or when there are intense gas releases.
On the other hand, some caution is needed in times of rain, the water and fluid mud floods resulting not only in the formation of these muddy volcanoes, but also of swampy areas.
In reservation, in addition to the show offered by volcanoes, you can also admire two very rare species in the fauna of Romania, namely henlea jutlandica and marionina argentea, as well as many other species, some plants showing salinity and humidity.
In order to get to the muddy volcanoes, you can go on the national road 17, with departure from Bistrita, about ten kilometres. When you reach the intersection with National Road 154, turn and then stay on this path until you encounter Monor town. Warning, the last stretch of road is very hard to bear by car.
You can find the volcanoes in the south-west region of Monor, at the exit towards Batos, being placed, as well as the muddy area, on the left bank of Lutului brook. In fact, the volcanoes are very close to Calimani Mountains as well.
Unfortunately, there is no access road and you must pass through people’s yards in order to get to them, there is no history of the site, this “gloduri” (lumps of earth), as the locals call them, serve as pasture for cows.
Images from The Muddy Volcanoes
- 1 “Mihai Viteazul” (Michael the Brave) – rural celebration
- 2 “La fântâna dorului” (At the Sorrow Fountain) – folk festival
- 3 The Onion Festival
- 4 Negreni Fair
- 5 The Grapes Ball
- 6 Folklore and folk art afferent to the tradition of Beius Fair
- 7 The Slovakian Potatoes Holiday
- 8 Aeternus Maramorosiensis – Medieval Festival of Sighetu Marmatiei
- 9 The “Salajean Village” Festival – Porolissum
- 10 Autumn on Ierului Valley