The cave churches of Buzau are the craddle of christianity in Romania. The area of the cave churches and settlements – also called Tara Luanei by the locals -has been used as shelter, hiding place or worship place for thousands of years.
More than 15 cave settlements are spread over a surface of more than 3 square kilometres and gave this region the nickname of “Athos” of Romania. Some caves are old geological forms, others are carved or graved into the stone. One hermitage is located at the boarder of a canyon of about 10 meters. Signs of the first settlement in this area date to iron and bronze age.
Probably 300 years AD, the first Christian missionaries on Romanian territory arriving from the Middle East lived here. Up to the 19 century, hermits and monks used this caves as places to live and to pray, far away from every day life. It is said that famous Romanian war lords or princesses came here to confess and to wash away their sins. Weapons, icons and crosses are painted on the walls or carved into the rock. Several inscriptions are undeciphered even today, others are just love declarations of some irresponsible tourists.
The isolation of this area produced a plenty of orally transmitted legends, mystical and esoteric stories of magnetic anomaly and paranormal appearances. In fact, “Tara Luanei” – how it is called by locals – has become a famous place for esoteric fans.
But even reliable sources report of many locals who swear that since their childhood they have had several appearances of monk souls striving around. There is a rumor that during the time of Ceausescu, the Romanian Secret Service sent a special agent to investigate the enigma of Buzau Mountains. But nothing is known about the results. Whool-gathering or paranormal appearances? This is definitely a place where legends can live.
This place is unlike any other tourism destination in Romania. It is not made for hundred of buses, even off-road cars cannot access some areas. You need time, a guide and good physical conditions to discover this area. (min 3-4 h walking).
Here you find a detailed description of the most interesting cave settlement:
- shortly available
- Location: Bozioru, Colți, Aluniș, Nucu
- Acces: There are two access points to the cave churches and settlements of Buzau. Alternative A: via Colti- Alunis (DN 10 Buzau- Patarlagele), turn right, cross Buzau river, then turn left and follow the signs to Colti. In Colti, it is recommend to make a stop-over at the Amber museum. From Colti you can reach by car the next village Alunis where – at the end of the road you can park the car and visit the church of Alunis and the first settlement. This is the only settlement that can be reached directly by car. Here is the starting point for a 2-5 h hiking tour (depending how many settlements will be visited) . The road to Colti- Alunis is asphalted, but in bad conditions. Busses cannot access Alunis.Alternative II: Bozoiru (DN 10 Buzau – Parscov) -Fisici – Nucu. The road is also in bad conditions, but the destination can be reached by a normal car. From Nucu the cave churches can only be reached by walking (1/2 h – 4 h depeding how many cave churches will be visited) – a guide is recommended