Salty springs

The area of Nature Park Vânători Neamț is reach in underground resources with special properties. So let us start, with or without a stick/ trekking pole on the winding slopes of the county, to follow the history, to discover springs and waters with healing properties and to enjoy nature, just as it was left by ancient civilizations.

One of the oldest salt water springs is Slatina, on the eastern slope of the Culmea (height) Pleșului, above the village of Lunca, Vânători Neamț commune, certified over 8000 years, considered to be the oldest salt exploitation site in Europe and even in the world. The Slatina spring was used not only by the Neolithic civilizations, later being a source of salt for the preparation and preservation of food for the inhabitants of the area, a source of trade and treatments for various diseases. So, if you want to know the story of an 8,000 year old spring, or you want to take home some of the magic liquid, to use it for cooking, or you just want to enjoy the view and the fresh air, don’t hesitate to reach the area.

The salt sources from Oglinzi-Băi, reveal the source of the Corugea Fountain, used since ancient times, proof standing the sites on its radius, frequented in the neo-Eneolithic and Bronze Age. At present, the source is very little used, but in the past it was an intensely frequented water source. Residents in the area say that after the Second World War, the people of the village went with carts to load up on salt water, and the most intense exploitation was during Christmas, when this brine was needed for meat preservation. The fountain is on the edge of the forest, the place where in the winter, locals say, wild animals, like deer, deer or wild boar, come. On the other hand, in the 19th century these water sources from Oglinzi were captured and used for medical purposes within the Oglinzi Spa Resort. It is worth mentioning that, near these springs, ceramic pieces, fragments of foot-vessel, ash or different archaeological materials have been found.

We also find salt water resources in Bălțătești, the place where, due to these springs, it was possible to build a spa and medical recovery station. Every year tourists who either need medical treatments, or want to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of nature, come here to find out the history of the place where once important cultural personalities such as Garabet Ibrăileanu, whose novel “Adela” drew upon the beauty of Bălțătești, or Calistrat Hogaș and Mihail Sadoveanu passed by, the memorial houses in the region standing as a testimony.

The documents say that the area was known since the Bronze Age, when salt was extracted from here, the area being rich in so-called salt springs. At the time of the use of springs by the Cantacuzino princes, it is said that three salt springs were known: Olga, Elena and Gheorghe, named after the names of the families that owned them.

Ever since you descended the Big Forest, from Crăcăoani, the spring of the Sărata Valley invites you to discover it by walking on its hidden path, and next to it the village Bălțătești shows itself as a compact appearance, with surroundings full of history and picturesque.

Dan Ciuca