OUTDOOR THERMAL BATHS
From the Corcoaia Gorges, the journey on the Hercules’ Road, in the Cerna Valley, leads to “Seven Hot Springs”. It is the miraculous thermal spring where the snake’s son drank from the charmed water and turned into the seven-headed dragon. After Iovan Iorgovan cut off his first two heads from a distance, throwing his mace and then using his sword, the mighty lad and the dragon engaged in a direct fight.
The Cerna fairy links the first battle of the mighty Iovan Iorgovan with the Dragon to the Corcoaia Gorges. It is said that after losing two of its seven heads, the dragon tried to pierce the mountain, “carving” through the rock in order to get rid of the mighty lad’s sword, leaving behind it a tortuous trail in the lime. Looking up, you will have the impression that the walls are somewhere united, and the rock cleavage is the result of the blow of the sword, by which Iovan Iorgovan slashed the limestone stone and cut off the third head of the dragon.
These gorges, which can only be visited during low waters, bear the name of the old Corcoaia, who advised him to drink water from the Hercules spring to heal.
There, in the gorges, Iovan Iorgovan leaned so hard to give the sword strike that his foot penetrated the rock; the trace of the huge step can still be seen today.
Close to dying, the dragon fled to “Seven Hot Springs”, hoping to bathe again at least in one of the thermal springs to regain its forces.
But Iovan Iorgovan will get there first, just as the coach will descend in speed to this wonderful touristic spot. The road will pass near the entrance to the touristic route leading to Tasna Canyon, and 12 km away from the resort, alongside the path leading to Vânturatoarea Waterfalls, both much sought after by the passionate adventure tourists. Legend has it that the dragon stood under the “shower of the splashing water” after eating a girl’s body and then headed towards the Cuptoare hill for a rest.
More than 5 km away from the resort, you reach the dam of Lake Prisaca, whose water extends over 4 km. Although it is an artificial lake, it gives the landscape more charm. It was finalised in 1986, having a dam of 110 m in length and 45 m in height. Here was the Tierna Hotel built, on a cliff between the road and the dam. It is the right place for rest and recovery of the nervous system, being the highest negative ionization point with 2500 ions / cm2. At the same time, you can sunbathe and practice outdoor sports.
The second artificial lake is Lake Iovanu, near the Cerna Spring (50 km from the resort). It was formed after the raising of a 110-meter high dam at the confluence of the Iovanu River with Cerna. For the construction of the dam a prolonged spur was used from the mountainside, which narrows the valley up to 35-40 m. The lake thus formed at an altitude of 685 m extends over a length of 7 km. The famous Cerna Spring is the most powerful spring in Romania, its flow ranging from 1 to 7 mc / s, depending on the season.
After a kilometre, you reach the much searched touristic destination called “Seven Hot Springs” (km 4 from the resort), with thermal springs used during the Dacian era, in the place called “At the hole”. Here, the passers-by take a bath when they wish and then “get reinforced” in the cold waters of Cerna, under the warm sunlight or in the moonlight.
At “Seven Springs” took place the second battle between Iovan Iorgovan and the dragon. The mighty young man gets first to the springs, bathes, gains power, and cuts one more head of the dragon. As a token of their gratitude, according to the legend, the people carved a large statue in the rock of the mountain, which bears the name “Hercules‘ Face“. Still here, nearby, you must look for the “Ghizela’s Cross”. The name is related to a tragic story from the time of the Austrian empire. It is said that the daughter of a wealthy man from Herculane Baths fell in love with a shepherd who was looking after his herds of sheep in this place. The girl’s parents wanted to marry her with a wealthy old man from Vienna, and they had already set up the wedding date. The beautiful girl, named Ghizela, and the shepherd decided to elope in the morning when the wedding was supposed to take place. The young lady dressed in a wedding dress ran off the valley to meet her lover, but found him dead. The rich man found out about the young lovers’ plan to flee and had killed him. Then Ghizela climbed on a rock and plunged into the abyss. In her memory a cross was raised bearing her name. It is the place where, long ago, they used to attach the girls as a sacrifice for the famous hydra (dragon) on the Lerna (Cerna). Today, the “Seven Warm Springs” is an outdoor thermal swimming pool and a wonderful camping spot.
On the way to the resort, you cross the Cerna Bridge on the right bank of Cerna, after a quick glance at a small waterfall of the river bed, known as the Bobot Waterfalls. At only 0.5 km from the entrance to the resort you can see on the left bank of Cerna the Old Electric Plant, built in 1893, reminding of the beginning of the electric lighting in Herculane Baths.