The mountains always offer us the most spectacular landscapes, and if in some gorges from Cluj county tourists arrive easily, the Răcătău Gorge is opened only for people who are really eager for an adventure in a place where time has stopped for a while.
Răcătău Valley, the one that separates Măguri Răcătău commune from Mărișel commune, is the author of one of the deepest gorges in the Apuseni Mountains. Due to this valley, appeared the “Kingdom of Zamolxe” or “The Land of Zamolxe” as the moti (inhabitants of Motilor Land) call it.
In order to understand the legends related to these lands, we have to mention the fact that our ancestors, the Geto-Dacians, had a supreme god called Zamolxe or Zamolxis. Obviously, various stories are linked to this name, but the most important thing is that Zamolxis was a very erudite priest whom the Dacians worshiped and considered a great god. Zamolxis, considered the Dacians supreme divinity, was one of the fabulous Antiquity characters.
Legend has it that in this place, in the Răcătău Gorge, Zamolxis hid for seven days, from the whole human breath. There is a place called “altar”, the older locals call it “the stairs”. It has very large rocks, which, viewed from a certain angle, show profiles of men in stone. It was said that if you go there and stand facing the rocks and focus very hard, you summon Zamolxis, and this god fulfills the desires you have in those moments.
The gorge has no trace of roads or paths, tourists having to walk from stone to stone, sometimes even through the water. The lower area of the gorge is the most special, due to the rock walls and lush vegetation, the Răcătău Gorge has become the ideal habitat for brown bears. The probability of meeting these animals in your walks is extremely high, because the bear reservation is very vast.
The great rock that dominates the whole area is called Țâcla Gabrii and is the most spectacular place from where you can admire both the villages of Mărișel and Măguri. The narrow paths, winding among pine trees and boulders lead us to the heart of these rare-shaped rocks.
The silence, the wilderness and the imposing forests that dominate the Răcătău Gorge are an oasis of peace at 2 hours away from Cluj. The wonders of the Apuseni Mountains are famous for their peculiarity, and every corner is worth taking a thorough walk and discovered.