Ciuc region

Racu (Csíkrákos)

Coming from Miercurea-Ciuc, Racu is the last village of Middle Ciuc, near the Olt river, in the vicinity of the Bogat Pass, at 786 m altitude, along National Road 12, at a 11 km distance from Miercurea-Ciuc. To the east of the centre (on the right), the no. 124 county road branches off towards Satu Nou, Vacaresti and Mihaileni. In 1992, the number of its inhabitants was 1, 164, with the exception of 6 people all Magyars.

Geomorphologists draw the border between Upper and Middle Ciuc at the Bogata Olteana Pass. It is merely a natural geographical border, since from administrative point of view, Middle Ciuc belonged to Upper Ciuc as well. In the west of the village, the Harghita-Madarasi rises (1,785 m). Between the Bogat and the Csere Hills, the andesite-reef of the Kőd Peak (845 m) narrows down the valley of the Olt river. To the east of the Bogata Olteana Pass, the volcanic formations spread over the right bank of the Olt. The northern border of Racu, along the highway, is also called Saltfield.

(1) The Roman Catholic castle churchwas built on the border with Satu Nou. It is registered among the historical monuments of Harghita county (1992). The church built at the southern foot of the Kőd Mountain is one of the oldest monument of the Tinutul Ciucului, dating back to the Arpadian age. It preserves late Gothic elements. The church has crenellated walls with bastions.

One of the most interesting part of the church is its 30 m high tower, ornamented with the signs of the zodiac painted in red and brown, reminding of the fertility signs of the pagan nature cult. Nowhere in the country can we find frescos of this type. Besides the frescos, pieces of the original coffered ceiling are the most important values of this church.

The Cserei Mansion stands in the vicinity of the Racu Stream, in the church street, today it houses the maternity home. It apperas on the List of Historical Monuments of Harghita county (1992). Built between 1667-1674, the building is a simple Szekler mansion with frescos on its walls.

(3) The Bogata Olteana Bath. The heated mineral water bath was built in the vicinity of the Bogat Mountain chapel, on the right bank of the Olt river, at 700 m altitude. It functions only in the summer with six tubs.

(4) The Bogat Mountain ChapelThe chapel appears on the List of Historical Monuments of Harghita county (1992). On the 787 m hill rising above the right bank of the Olt, archeologists found remains of Bronz Age, Latene-age and a mediaeval settlement. According to the locals, a castle and Racu's first church stood here in the Middle Ages. After they had fallen to ruin, in 1725 a wooden chapel was built on the mountain. The annual feast is held on 1st May. From before the chapel a beautiful panorama opens on the Upper Ciuc villages.

The oldest house in the village was built in 1837, and it can be seen in its original form.

The wooden headboard was erected in commemoration of the victims of World War I by Jenő Szervátiusz. It appears on the List of Artistic Monuments of Harghita county (1992).

(1) The ruins of the Pagan Castle of Racu. The ruins of the castle can be seen on the 1,273 m peak named Racu Castle, in the forest. It is supposed to have belonged to the Transylvanian frontier defence system, similar to the Ciceu Castle. Built probably in the 12-13th centuries, used till the 15th century, it was destroyed by the Austrians.

(2) In the vicinity of the Pagan Castle, tourist marks lead to the Harghita-Madaras (blue cross, 19 km, 870 m slope, 7-8 hours).

Satu Nou (Göröcsfalva)

Satu Nou can be approached turning eastwards in the centre of Racu on the no. 124 county road. It has actually grown together with Racu forming one parish with the latter. The village is situated 14 km from Miercurea-Ciuc.

Satu Nou lies between Racu and Vacaresti, on the southern slope of the Kőd range dividing Upper Ciuc into two parts.

One of the most beautiful churches of Upper Ciuc and the whole Ciuc Basin was built on the area of Satu Nou (see description at Racu).

Its Reformed Church was built in 1801, in the place of an older (15th century) church.

Văcăreşti (Csíkvacsárcsi, Vacsárcsi)

The village is situated along the Racu Stream and the no. 124 county road between Satu Nou and Mihaileni, to the north of Miercurea-Ciuc, 16 km far from the town. It is crossed by the Racu Stream, which is joined by the Frumoasa Stream in the south. The village has grown together with Satu Nou. Its name is unique in Ciuc, its origin being still unknown. On the northern mountainside there is a cone-shaped hill where a quarry was functioning between 1950-1965.

The small chapel built in 1721 was enlarged between 1983-84.It is affiliated to Racu.

The remains of the Sándor Mansion (16th century) is situated near the Csorgó-stream). The place is registered as archeological reservation.