Topliţa

Toplita (Maroshévíz)

Toplita is situated in the northwest corner of the Giurgeu Basin. This town is the approaching direction and the railway station of Borsec as well. Toplita is one of the coldest settlements of the country. It lies 104 km far from Targu Mures (as of the meeting point of National Roads 12 and 15), 26 km from Borsec, 32 km from Gheorgheni, 97 km from Miercurea-Ciuc.

Toplita is the regional center of the northern part of Harghita county with Romanian majority and it is the fourth most populated town of the county. It was declared town in 1956. In 1992 it had 17,174 inhabitants out of which 11,886 Romanians, 4,992 Magyars, 261 other. On 1st January 1996 the number of its inhabitants was 16,992. Its developing curative tourism has at its basis the aerated springs. Visitors are attracted by the mountain surroundings, its stock of fish and game. At first the town could have been a village settled on a clearing. The center of the former community was called Dombi 'Ten'; in 1786 it belonged to Torda county and at the time only 1,472 inhabitants lived in the 245 houses. In 1850 it had 470 houses already, the number of the inhabitants being 2,342 (2,115 Romanians, 181 Magyars, 21 Gypsies, 13 Armenians, 12 Germans). The forests were in the property of the landowners Lázár, Kemény of Brancovenesti, Bornemissza of Petele and Teleki of Gernyeszeg. Formerly, wood was processed in 72 mills. In 1896 there were 64 mills and saws. The Hordugás double wood-mill made by the Saxon Engel of Cincu was especially famous. Toplita used to be one of the most important places of the Mures floatage.

Toplita, enclosed by the Calimani, Giurgeu and Gurghiu Mountains, is the valley entrance of the Mures river. Its name of Slav origin means hot water, hot spring. It is situated at the way out of the Giurgeu (Toplita) Basin, at the foot of the Tarnita Peak (1,044 m) belonging to the Calimani Mountains at 652 m altitude. It lies 140 m lower than the Giurgeu Basin, 230 m lower than Borsec and 400 m lower than Bilbor. National Road 15 curves up here from the valley of the Mures through the Secu Stream valley towards the Borsec and Bilbor Basins.

In the south, from Subcetate, the town is bordered by the erosive hills divided by the Mures and its affluents which deeply worked their way into the volcanic debris. The town was built on the detrital cones of the affluents (mainly the Valea). The meteorological station lies at 687 m, the Bánffy Baths at 680 m altitude. A travertine bench can be seen next to the latter.

The districts of Toplita: Centre, Valea (Valea, Vale - in the valley of the Toplita Stream), Zencani (to the south of the railway station), Vigani (to the west of the town, near the railway station), Calimanel (to the west of the town), Secu (6 km far from the town). The wooden Orthodox chapel of Secu is registered among the monuments of Harghita county (1992). Moglanesti (along the 12 highway), Magherus (in the valley of the Magherus Stream, to the south of the inner area), Luncani (to the south of the inner area of the town). 1,200 new flats had been built in the center by the end of the 1980's.

The Sf. Ilie Orthodox Church (St. Elias Orthodox cloister church), (Manastirea si Biserica Sf. Ilie) is registered among the monuments of Harghita county and can be seen at the western entrance of the town, to the left of National Road 15 (Str. Stefan cel Mare no. 60). The Saint Elias cloister was originally built of spruce in Stanceni (Mures county) between 1845-47. In 1910, the church decorated with valuable carvings and paintings was moved to Toplita in order to found a cloister by Miron Cristea. It was enlarged between 1924-28 and the cloister and bell cage was also built. The icons date from 1928. There was a museum founded in the entrance building.

Wooden church in Moglanesti (Biserica de lemn Moglanesti, Manastrea Pâraul Doamnei - no. 3357) The church is one of the oldest architectural monuments of the town. The tiled cloister church also known as Manastirea Pâraul Doamnei stands in the valley of the Doamnei Stream, at a distance of 1 km, on the right bank. Gheorghe Stefan Moldovan reigning prince had it built for his wife, lady Safta in 1658. Behind its porch-like entrance we can see the frescos and the inscriptions of the northern wall. The monument cadaster of 1991 mentions 1710 and the 19th century the building period of the church. It is registered among the monuments of Harghita county (1992).

Orthodox Church (Stefan cel Mare 2.)The church was built of wood in 1867. It is registered among the monuments of Harghita county (1992).

The monument of the Romanian heroes (Monumentul Secu). It was built in the northeast part of the town, on the left of the 15 highway in 1927. The crypt of the mausoleum preserves the ashes of the 771 heroes killed in World War I. Here lie those who lost their lives in World War II, too. The mausoleum and the triple cross were restored in 1967.

Bradet spa, the former Bánffy Bath. This local spa is situated at 685 m altitude, on a 17 ha large area. It owes its fame to the mezothermal waters. The water is 26,5 C° coming from a carbonic spring with 4.7 liter/sec output. In 1882, one of the owners of the Toplita forests, Dániel Bánffy had built the storeyed resort house (today's hotel). In 1900 the small resort was registered by the name Bánffy Bath. In 1940 a new concrete pool was built (33,5x18 m). At the beginning of 1970 another small pool was built. In 1970 a camping site was created with 70 cottages and 3 bungalows. The central villa with central heating can hold 49 people, there is a bar and sports grounds. Next to the bath, 65 grade C hot water was found in a 100 m drill-hole. A nice travertine bench can be seen near the bath from where the small stream approaches the left bank of the Mures with a waterfall.

Urmánczy Bath (Youth beach) It was built near the Mures in 1959, modernised in 1981. Its pool is larger than that of the Bánffy Bath, the water is 25 C° with 7.8 liter/sec. output.

Protestant church (Str. Libertatii no. 40). The church was built out of the contributions of the congregation on a 142 m2 area in 1895. The basic area of the church is 117 m2. It got damaged in World War II, it was restored between 1944-46. The 13 m long, 9 m wide, 7 m high tiled church was built of stone and brick. The tower is 27 m high. Until 1907 it had been known as the Toplita Reformed Church and the affiliated churches of Lunca Bradului, Stanceni and Borsec belonged to it.

Other places of interest: the Lázár Mansion was built in 1829, today it houses an orphanage. In 1996, a memorial room was created in comemoration of the writer János Kemény in the town.

Hotels

Hotel Caliman (str. N. Balcescu no. 65.) It can hold 144 people (71 double rooms, 1 suite; Restaurant: room for 120 people, day-bar. Tel.: 066-142-943, Fax: 142-946. Hotel Bradul: room for 30 people; in cottages: room for 140 people; Restaurant: room for 100 people, day-bar.

Walking tours

  1. Walk to the Tarnita (half an hour) and the Vale (half an hour).
  2. Hiking to the Calimani Mountain. Route: Toplita - Secu Stream - Lomás Stream - Delut (hospice) - Fehér Mountain (hospice). At the foot of the Rachitis Peak - [the former Csáky Peak], 2,021 m), in the valley-head of the Voivodeasa Stream, at 1,750 m altitude we can seen the Lake Iezer, formed as a result of the landslide following kaolinisiding. The filling up of the 3-5 m deep lake is at an advanced stage, the pines and junipers around it have been exploited. It is registered as a nature conservation area.
  3. Walking tour to the Fehér Mountain: we can approach it first through the Toplita Stream (Valea), then the Lomás Stream and the Voivodeasa Stream valleys. It lies at 1,300 m altitude; marking: red stripe, 5 hours from the hunting-castle; 1.5 hours from Delut.
  4. Walking tour to the Batrâna Peak (1,634 m). Route: Toplita-Valea Magherus - Valea Secului - Poiana Secului (1,080 m) Babele-Batrâna Peak; marking: blue triangle, length: 14 km, duration: 5 hours, level difference: 830 m.
  5. Walking tour to the Babele and the Batrâna Peak (1,634 m). Route: Toplita - Bradul (Bánffy Bath) - Tyúkospatak - Casuta Braicului - 923 m) - Babele (Görgényi Bábák) - Batrâna Peak; marking: blue cross, duration: about 5 hours.