The Kalonda Top



 

How to get here

The Kalonda Top is situated by the main road linking the town of Odorheiu Secuiesc to Sovata, in-between the villages of Lupeni and Corund.  

Map of the road from Odorheiu Secuiesc to the Kalonda Top.

 Description of the area

 

The Kalonda Top lays in-between the villages of Lupeni and Corund, 845 m high above sea level.

The Kalonda Top is part of the volcanic plateau of the Harghita mountain, the sediments of the tertiary age being covered by volcanic rocks here. Kalonda is watershed between the rivers of Târnava Mică and Târnava Mare.

Nowadays the plateau is a woody pasture, where one can sporadically find Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica), which never grow here as high as forest beeches, as they do not have to compete for light on the open plateau, and they can grow spreading, branchy, round-shaped crowns. Some of these trees have cylindrical crowns, proving that some time ago the plateau was covered by forests.

Some of the typical plants of the area: Narcissus angustifolius, Crocus heuffelianus, the Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica), and there is a recently discovered rare plant as well, the Gagea spathacea.

This place has been used for charcoal-burning for 150-200 years. Charcoal burning and wood felling have been the most important source of income for the village of Lupeni. Long time ago smaller ovens were used for burning charcoal, where 50-60 meter of wood was burnt at one time. Since the 1940s larger furnaces have been used, where 150-250 m of wood can be burnt. One can still see such furnaces on the plateau, some families have still been doing this job, but nowadays wood is purchased from outside the plateau.

 

Charcoal is traditionally produced here by piling pieces of wood so as to form a conical pile. Openings are left at the bottom to admit air, with a central shaft to serve as a flue. The whole pile is covered with hay, dried leaves, then coal-dust or sand. The firing is begun at the bottom of the flue, and gradually spreads outwards and upwards. The operation is so delicate that it is generally left to colliers (professional charcoal burners). 

At the beginning of each September people of the village celebrate the Charcoal Days, when there are various performances: archer shows, demonstrations of charcoal burning, cooking competitions.   

 

Szentes Lajos, Demeter László

 
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Útvonal térképe Székelyudvarhelyről a Kalonda-tetőhöz.
 

 





 
 
 
 
 


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