Şumuleu-Ciuc (Csíksomlyó, Somlyo, Schlomberg)
Sumuleu-Ciuc was and has remained the centre of faith and culture in the protecting love of the Holy Virgin, the still living mythology. The keeping force of this belief still lives in the Szeklers' minds. The Whitsun pilgrimage is the huge public celebration of faith of Transylvania.
For almost 550 years it has been the spiritual centre of the Tinutul Ciucului, famous pilgrimage place (Whitsun pilgrimage; the 1,000 Szekler Girls' Day – was held here in 1931 first), the religious and cultural centre of the Roman Catholic Szeklers, the residence of the Transylvanian Franciscans. The real attractions of Sumuleu-Ciuc are its history and monuments.
The monument complex of Sumuleu-Ciuc is unparalleled in Transylvania, and its unique value is the Mary-statue. This statue Tearing Madonna, Woman of the Sun is the masterpiece of the 16th century religious art.
After so many hardships and bad luck the people of Ciuc raised their souls towards faith and humaneness here. 'Babba Mária' has always given new hope and force to the many thousands of pilgrims.
Sumuleu-Ciuc was known as the centre of the student amateur theatricals of high quality and the written literature starting with 1670. Moreover, it also used to be the administrative centre of the Tinutul Ciucului, Gheorgheni and Tinutul Casinului for many centuries up to 1876.
Sumuleu-Ciuc has become the symbol of the solidarity and survival of the Szekler people.
Today, Sumuleu-Ciuc is the north-east outskirts of Miercurea-Ciuc, formed as a result of the union of two villages, Sumuleu and Cioboteni. On the no. 5 communnal road, the distance between Sumuleu and Soimeni is 2 km.
It is situated 3 km far from the town centre, in the valley of the Sumuleu Stream, at 705 m altitude. Above it rises the double volcanic cone of the Sumuleu Mic (834 m) and the Sumuleu Mare covered by beech woods (1033 m). The volcanic block of Sumuleu, the huge andesite mass shaped by erosion, belongs to the Harghita Mountain, forming its part to the east of the Olt Valley. To the east of the Sumuleu-Mare the Sumuleu Beech, the Middle Beech and the corner of the Kánásorr (1,014 m) stretch as far as the Armaseni border. Some think that the Salt Castle used to stand on the peak of the Sumuleu Mare. The mineral water of Sumuleu-Ciuc in the valley of the Lok-stream (“Nagyborvíz”, is the favourite sour mineral water of the inhabitants.