How to get here

 

Going from Miercurea Ciuc towards Sfântu Gheorghe, after 45,5 km you get to Micfalău. At the sign post marking the way to the Bodvaj hámor you turn right. Go ahead 18,2 km then you will get to the crossroads taking to Biborteni on the left and to Băţanii Mici on the right. We will go towards Băţanii Mici, pass the village and 4,6 km after the village, on the righthand side you will find a suprisingly good quality lane crossing the meadow. Follow this lane for 7,6 km then cross the bridge over the small stream (this time on foot only) and you will find a faded notice board telling that you got to the nature reserve of Bodvaj.

Map of the way from Sfântu Gheorghe to Bodvaj.

Description of the area

This protect area lays in the North-West part of Covasna county, close to the town of Magyarhermány, on the West side of the volcanic mountain chain of South Harghita, in the valley of the stream called Fenyős, where Bodvajárka and the Györgykovács stream in. The area of 216 ha was considered a nature reserve by the County Council Resolution no. 39/2001.

Typical of this area is the occurrence of the “limonit” or brown iron ore, which is the most important but least clear iron ore, which is formed by disintegration of the iron ore and iron minerals, its material in clear form is iron oxide and water but in the nature it is mixed with other materials. Since the eighteenth century people have been mining limonite here, which contains 40-45% iron.

Here they also built a furnace and iron was processed locally. This is where Gábor Áron die cast the first canons used in the independence war in 1948-49. By this time Bodvaj was a veritable industrial zone. In 1875 there were 21 homes in this area. Mining was stopped in 1897 but they continued processing the ore until the spring of 1905 when all activitied stopped here. In 1945 the mine and furnace was restarted. Between 1945–1950 it was managed by the industrial complex of Hunedoara, and between 1950–1952 it belonged to the iron factory of Vlahita.  They produced 3 tons of ore a day, the furnace was last used in 1954.

These iron ore can be found in a diatomite layer. Diatomite, better known as Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock, which was formed by the accumulation of ancient algae with siliceous skeleton. The diatomite layer runs along the South-West boarder of the South Harghita on an area of 2,5-3 km.

In the Bodvaj area so called Geyserites were formed by mineral water sediments. These minerals can be cut and polished and they are considered semi-precious stones

Due to their colour the white ones are called “milk opal”, the black ones are called “smoke opal” and the yellow ones are “wax opal”.

Specific of this area is the so called “Bodvaj Cake Opal” which is called like this due to the two layers in it: a white (opal) layer and a limonite (ochre) layer. This was identified and described by a geologist called dr. János Bányai. If you have a collection of minerals, you can visit this place and collect some stones.

Several post-volcanic activities are known in this area. For example: mineral water springs with low water supply and relatively low soluble content. Most of them are with carbonate, magnesium, calcium, iron. They all have high carbon dioxide content. Mineral waters filled up a former mine-shaft and formed a real mineral water cave. Its walls are covered with limonite dripstones and gypsum crystals made of decomposition of pyrites.

The area is part of the Herman Habitat Protection Natura 2000 area (ROSCI0091).

The Natura 2000 network is the complex of all protected areas in the European Union which is denominated according to two directives, the Birds Directive (79/409/EC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC). Accordingly there are two types of Nature 2000 areas: special protection areas for birds (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation to be designated for other species, and for habitats (SACs or SCIs). The aim of the network is to protect the biological diversity of Europe. The Natura 2000 areas are usually large territories that are not necessarily incompatible with human activities, but when there is a plan of infrastructural investment or a building plan, it has to be investigated whether the protected species and habitats are effected by the planned investments and destroying these areas should be avoided or the areas have to be replaced. Besides these restrictions, they support the protection and research of the Nature 2000 areas and ecological agriculture. Similar to these initiatives are the agro ecology funds that can be called not only for Nature 2000 areas but also for the so-called agricultural areas of high nature value. (The largest part of Szeklerland is considered such an area)

Szentes Lajos, Demeter László


Useful information

An article presenting Băţanii Mici and its surroundings (click)

Dénes István Erdővidék védett és védelemre érdemes földtani természeti értékei (click)

 
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Útvonal térképe Sepsiszentgyörgyről Bodvajhoz
 

 





 
 
 
 
 


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