Bigar Waterfall

Though it doesn’t impress by size or flow, what sets this waterfall apart from others is its peculiar shape – resembling a mushroom tip or a princess’ gown – and location; a moss covered extension of a cliff over a small river (Miniş). All these features combined, which directly influence the way water spreads and flows into the river below, and the fact that the waterfall is located exactly on the 45 parallel, being halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, have placed it in the top of the most unique waterfalls in the world.

The nature reserve was founded in 1982 and declared a protected zone. The natural area covers 176 hectares, and is included in the National Park of Cheile Nerei. The reserve comprises of a hill area studded with springs, caves; shafts, gorges; calcareous ravines, valleys; and meadows. The fauna includes the Carpathian bear, lynxes, wolves, foxes, and various birds and fish. 

The Bigăr rivulet springs some 200 meters away, from a subterranean river traversing the cave with the same name, ending in the 7 meters high waterfall. The Bigăr spring, cave, rivulet, and waterfall are all close to each other, in topography as well as in legend.

The legend

It is said that long ago, a family of peasants used to live in this very place. Never having children caused them a lot of grief, and compelled them to ask for the advice of a gypsy witch. The witch told the woman that if she drinks the water of the spring, she will bear a child, but should the child be a girl, she must never fall in love, for this will mean her death. Everything happened according to prophecy: the woman drank from the spring and gave birth to a girl, and when the girl reached maidenhood, she fell in love with a lad named Bigăr. In order to prevent her foretold death and make her forget about Bigăr, the girl’s father locked her inside the cave, and her screams were heard by the witch who forebode her destiny. She went to the cave and told the girl that she cannot set her free, but she can end her suffering and reunite her with her lover. Thus she turned her hair into a waterfall on which her tears poured, and the wind brought Bigăr to her, who drowned in her tears and thus they have their destinies forever united in the Realm of Found Longing.

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