Rosia Montana (March 23 , 2013) – An enthusiastic crowd from Alba Iulia traveled to Rosia Montana today to see firsthand why Rosia Montana ranks as one of Europe’s greatest historical and patrimonial treasures. Winners of a drawing held at Alba Iulia, the group of 18 spent several hours visiting the historical and architectural wonders of the village with Zeno Cornea, a Rosia Montana native, as their guide.
Of particular interest was Rosia Montana’s Mining Museum, where Rusu Valentim, the museum’s guide, entertained the group with his humor and forgotten stories from the past as they explored the Roman galleries deep underground. Know throughput Europe as one of the world’s best examples of Roman mining techniques, the group was impressed with the galleries beautiful trapezoidal walls formed with only a hammer and chisel.
Later, the group visited the Formal Miner’s School (Fosta Scoala Miniera), buildings registered as national monuments and Gritta’s Cross, a monument placed at the entrance to the mine of Mihaila Gritta, one of the greatest goldsmith’s in the area and the man who financed numerous construction projects during the 19th century including seven churches.
Afterwards, Zeno led the group up Carnic Massif and Raven’s Rock National Monument and Cetate Mountain, the site of the communist-era open-pit mine that destroyed a Roman fortress and untold kilometers of galleries and archaeological artifacts. Showing their sadness that a government would destroy a national historical treasure, their faces were a testimony to the hope that the rest of Rosia Montana does not suffer a similar fate.
The group ended their tour at the Rosia Montana Cultural Foundation where Alexandra Dodu, the Foundation’s Associate Executive Director, acquainted the group with the Foundation’s work to help protect Rosia Montana’s cultural and natural heritage. Ms Dodu explained that the Foundation and the open-pit mining company Rosia Montana Gold Corporation share a common belief; both believe Rosia Montana would support tourism. “The difference,” she told the group, “is that we believe Rosia Montana makes a better tourist destination with its mountains.”