The Bride's Cave

Original version
Near Slănic Prahova, Prahova County, there is a small salt mountain beside a salt-lake, called Baia Baiului. It has the appearance of a cup on its side, with the salt-lake in the cup, overshadowed by the mountain. The lake was always cold, and over thirty meters deep. Experts who examined this lake many years ago found in it fresh water springs. They predicted correctly that the fresh water would dissolve the salt and destroy the walls of the cave. Legend: The most interesting story of the local area is that of ‘The Bride’s Cave’, inspired from the real and unfortunate story of a young bride who committed suicide. The story knows many versions, but the most widely circulated is that six years after the cave was formed, in 1920, four days after her wedding, a young girl threw herself into the lake as she was unhappy with the man chosen by her family for her husband. She died, drowned in the salty lake created as the fresh rainwater and springs dissolved the salt in the mountain. Those who visited this lake are forever struck by the surreal green of the lake’s waters and the very low temperatures inside the mountain.
Alternative versions
There are, however, other versions of this story. It is said that the girl of a local shepherd fell in love with a young, poor boy who worked for her father. The shepherd would never approve of their love and he married her with another, rich young lad. Four days after the wedding, dressed in her wedding gown, the girl committed suicide throwing herself into the salty lake.
Main characters
Bride, shepherd
Connected artistic / architectonic / historical heritage
Location: Slănic Coordinates: 45.231775, 25.933119 Architectonic heritage: Not to be missed in the resort, the Slanic Salt Mountain, located in the Baia Baciului complex, was declared a geological and geomorphological nature reserve in 1954, with a protected area of over 2 hectares. All the destinations in the Baia Baciu Complex have, in fact, both a tourist and a health component - the Salt Mountain, which incorporates the The Bride’s Cave, Baia Miresei, Lake Baia Baciului (7 meters deep, hypersalinic, with a concentration of 300 %) and the Pig Bath, containing the therapeutic sludge. The abundant rainfall and floods caused a part of the mountain to collapse in 2006 in the Bride’s Cave, which in recent years has become inaccessible to tourists. The lake is still there, so is the Salt Mountain, even if it melts under the erosion of time. The cave, although only one corner of it, remained a tourist destination during a visit to Slanic Prahova. The perfect setting for movies: As a novelty, the reservation area and the Cave were a decoration for the "Haiducii" series (Haiducii is a 1966 Romanian film). Florin Piersic, in the role of the outlaw Anghel Sectecai, poured several sequences into the area.
Local traditions or historical connections
Historical connection: With a tradition of more than three centuries in salt mining, the resort has "created" its legends and monuments on its own. The whole Salt Mountain and the Grotto of the Bride are the result of the joint action of man and nature. Formulated for thousands of years by the effect of rain, the Salt Mountain was exploited by the locals until 1852, when it was considered to be no longer safe for the workers. 150,000 tons of salt were extracted from it, through a vertical exploitation, which caused one of the former mines to collapse in 1914, giving rise to a 425-square-foot cave and a depth of 20 meters, the Grotto of the Bride. The collapses have intensified since the earthquake of 1977 when a part of the salt mountain has been severely cracked, and the access routes have fallen, efforts to consolidate the area are futile. The rains led to further massive crashes in 1993 and 1999. Due to the floods in 2006, part of the mountain collapsed in the Grotto of the Bride. Even if it crumbled, the grotto remained a goal to be missed in a visit to Slanic. Local traditions: The Cave, telling the story of the Bride who suicided, has been studied and interpreted through its desire extremely strong because, under ordinary conditions, drowning was impossible due to the high salinity of water in the cave, formed by rains and underground springs. For those who visited it, when access was possible, the unreal green of the water and its very low temperature are remarkable memories.
Didactical Relevance
Salt Mountain from Slanic Prahova is a natural geological reservation well known for the benefits of the salt lake from that zone. The legend itself is an attraction for the tourists. Didactical disciplines which can be reached: Geography – Geology: about the Salt Mountain; about the lake; about the natural geological reservation; the cave formation Biology – study of the fauna and vegetation Study of the natural and human impact on the transformation/ mountain collapse in the Grotto/Cave of the Bride Literature – study of the epic gender and analysis of the legends meanings. Activities you can enjoy -“tasting” the natural salt - studying the flora and the fauna on a zone with salt - prevention of natural Is there any flora and fauna in a salt zone? How do the plants grow there? Why ? Why not?
Didactical Activity
Brainstorming: What do you think at when you say “salt”. The benefits and loss of the salt consumption: is the salt good for our own health? But for nature? What is the importance of these Salt zones for nature? But for humanity and animals? Personal development: Starting from the legend of the bride, we will discuss about the importance of love, and most of all, the importance of freedom, of having the rights choosing for yourself. Crafts: create a salt lake than observe what’s happening with your skin when is out from that salt water. How your skin tastes? Reading: The students will read “Sarea in bucate “, a fairy tale written by a Romanian writer- Petre Ispirescu. The story is about a girl who told his father that she loves him as the salt in food. Father got mad and told her to leave the house. She left and moved to another castle as a servant, but the queen felt that the girl is special and permitted her to merry the prince. At their wedding, the father of the girl was invited and all the food that he ate had no salt. He felt mad about this insult. At the end, the girl stand up and told everybody the entire story. Her father was so sorry for this, and everybody understood the importance of salt in the great taste of good food. Science- Romanian is a country with many salt mines- Discussion about these tourists attractions: Praid, Cacica, Turda, Ocnele Mari, Tagu Ocna. The teacher will show students a movie where they can see Salt Mies from Romania. Also, they’ll plan a trip to nearest Salt Mine, Targu Ocna. Geography – Prevention of cave collapse Near Slanic Prahova, Prahova County, there is a small salt mountain beside a salt lake, called Baia Baiului. The effect was like a cup on its side, with the salt lake in the cup, overshadowed by the mountain. The lake was always cold, and over thirty meters deep. Experts who examined this lake many years ago found in it springs of sweet, unsalted water. They predicted correctly that the fresh water would dissolve the salt and destroy the walls of the cave. Now the salt mountain has fallen into the lake. It may have been preventable, with enough research and effort. The fresh water springs may well re-create the cave and the lake, but for the present the whole effect has been destroyed. Debate – how the specialists could prevent this situation?

Video

GROTA MIRESEI Cave of the Bride ROMANIA

Images

The Bride’s Cave
The Bride’s Cave
Efforts of local authorities to consolidate the cave after collapse, without result, however.
The Bride’s Cave
Now the salt mountain has fallen into the lake.
The lake from the Bride’s Cave
The lake was always cold, and over thirty meters deep. Experts who examined this lake many years ago found in it springs of sweet, unsalted water. They predicted correctly that the fresh water would dissolve the salt and destroy the walls of the cave.

PDF version of the legend in national language

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