Lake St. Ann is the sole volcanic lake located on the Romanian territory. It is situated in Ciomatu Mountain, in Harghita County, and was formed on the crater of an extinct volcano that has erupted tens of thousands of years ago – the last eruption being the most recent phenomenon of this kind to occur within the Carpathian Mountains.
The altitude at which the lake can be found reaches almost one thousand meters (946 m). Lake St. Ann is circular and resembles a painter’s palette, measuring 620m in length and 460 m in width (at its widest point). The total surface is of 19.50 ha and the maximum depth reaches 7 m. Why are these pieces of information relevant in this article? Even if the main theme of the texts presented revolves around the tourist attractions which can be found in a specific area, relevant data concerning the formation and presentation of a tourist objective is necessary because it allows people to get a general idea about the place they are about to visit.
When tourists venture into the “wilderness” in order to visit various monuments of nature, they usually try to find information concerning the weather so as to avoid being taken by surprise by extreme meteorological conditions, but when it comes to Lake St. Ann, these data are easily obtained. The two fissures formed within the volcanic mountain can predict the way in which the weather is about to change. People who dwell in the region will correctly foresee if the day will be characterized by a sunny or a stormy atmosphere. If the emissions coming from the fissures pinch the nose, then storm is underway, otherwise, the day will be sunny, thus allowing tourists to go hiking.
These predictions should be taken for granted because there is a scientific explanation behind the phenomenon. While the volcano is dormant, its core still preserves some of its characteristics, in the sense that some sort of post-volcanic activity still occurs within the mountain and this captures any change in the atmospheric pressure, as subtle as it might be. When the pressure drops, the gases that are located inside the mountain come to the surface, being released in the atmosphere through the aforementioned fissures. These gases are responsible for the pungent smell.
St. Ann Lake is a natural reservation, being a treasure of the environment due to its geological characteristics, as well as to the species of flora and fauna found here.
Besides the fact that they have the opportunity to gaze at a volcanic lake, singular of this kind in Romania and in Eastern Europe, tourists are also drawn to the idea of escaping the agitation of everyday life and retreat into a beautiful natural setting. And this is what Lake St. Ann has to offer. There are no springs which flow into the lake, all the accumulated water comes from the rain.
The location is definitely appropriate for spiritual redemption as it offers the perfect conditions for a retreat into the self. Not to mention that right on the bank of the lake one will find a Roman Catholic chapel dedicated to Saint Ann.
There is a legend according to which a girl was to be married, but she resented the idea as the marriage was arranged for financial purposes. In the eve of her wedding, she ran away and threw herself into the lake. Her body was never found and as a result the lake was named after the girl who gave up her life instead of being forced into doing something she did not want.
The natural setting is characterized by several myths, thus there is this sense of mystery revolving around the lake. Maybe neither of the legends is trustworthy, but some might be connected in a way or another to the historical facts. The bottom line is that you are bound have a unique vacation if you choose to visit Lake St. Ann.