AN UNIQUE MONUMENT FROM THE WORLD (1937)
The Mountainous Banat is the only place in the world where there is a tourist monument. Visiting the Monument of Tourism, a symbol of love for nature, for tourism, always means a getaway to a bit of happiness.
The Monument of Tourism can be reached easily on the national road DN 68 Caransebeș-Haţeg, to Voislova and from here there are 7 km to the monument on the paved road, and another 12 km until the marble quarry.
The initiative of the construction of the Monument belongs to the Banat Tourism Club from Caransebeș (CTB) and was born out of love for nature and hiking. One day in 1936, around a campfire, some wise men decided to raise a marble monument here in order to celebrate tourism. It was not a coincidence, not a fashion or ambition left unfulfilled. Their will was to make us realize that tourism in Banat and throughout Romania is so rich that even if it is exported, it still remains at home.
“In the 30s of the 20th century, Rusca Montana and Ruschiţa were two of the preferences of the CTB members, especially grace to the marble quarry, the forests with rare beauty, trout and grayling fishing, hunting, as well as mushroom picking and berry picking, all with easy access: 40 minutes by train from Caransebeș to Voislova station and further by the forest train 7 km to Rusca Montana and another 12 km to Ruşchiţa, on a dream route, beside the mountain water. The hiking’s motivations varied: fishing, hunting, air treatments, sunbathing, and rest. Groups were formed at home or train stations, on the train, spontaneously, or by friends or according to preferences. Such an association was represented also by the group dominated by the CTB, which was always present in numerous trips organized by its leadership committee. “[Hamat C., 2004]
Under these circumstances the idea of building a monument dedicated to tourism was born. Ioan Bibel, the owner of the marble quarry, volunteered to provide the necessary marble, and from the CTB, the work was followed by Vasile Magdaş, the head of the Rusca Montana forest district. The execution of the monument began in 1936, the initial installation took place in the spring of 1937 and the inauguration on August 1, 1937, in the place called “Seven Springs”, on the road between Ruschiţa and the Pades Peak (1374 m) – the highest peak of Poiana Ruscă Mountains.
“At “Seven Springs“from Ruschiţa, wonderful picnics were organized, and the tourists were often joined by some important personalities of public life.” [Hamat C., 2004]
Then war came and after that a new reality in Romania, with new events and new people. The Tourism Monument fell into oblivion, it was not maintained and lying at the edge of the forest, it is covered of vegetation and hidden from the eyes of the people.
A first step in rehabilitation was in 1976, when the Tourist Informational Office of the Caraş-Severin County (OJT) was assigned to allocate funds for the construction of a cottage near the monument. Unfortunately nothing has been accomplished because the period of hardship of the 1980s have followed in the Romanian tourism, when the restrictions of gasoline began (the traffic on Sundays was alternative, you could fuel based on the odd or even registration number of the car), the last order at a restaurant was taken at 21 o’clock, the restaurants closed at 22 o’clock, culinary recipes were changed for “scientific types of food” necessary for man (the multilaterally developed man!).
On 9 August, 1984, the monument was moved from the Ruschiţa site to the entrance to Rusca Montană, in the place called ” Big Creek”, where it is still is today, being transferred by engineer Frank Walter, the head of the forest district in Rusca Montană, out of concern for the fate of the monument and as a sign of homage to his predecessor, engineer Vasile Magdas, the author of the beautiful lyrics written on the monument.
The new location, at the foot of a hill, near clear water, provides protection and especially good visibility, without removing it from the geographical environment in which it was conceived.
From that moment on, the monument has been living a second youth, being surrounded by a wooden fence made in Banat style. Behind the fence, on the slope, fir seedlings were planted, and there are always lawyers of flowers in front of it.
In 1997, when the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of the monument was celebrated, a celebration worthy of the value of this true symbol of tourism was held. At the same time, they managed to edit a brand within a philatelic show debated on the theme of the monument. Unfortunately, as Professor Viorel Florea, a man of the place and a great lover of these Banat regions, says, “for the reason that no one would feel embarrassed for having printed such “nonsense “, the name ” The Tourism Monument ” was omitted out of misunderstanding of what the monument really means. “
After this anniversary, the “Tourism Monument Day” is celebrated at “Rusca Montană” every August, – a real feast for the inhabitants of Rusca and tourists, which has reached its XVth edition (2012). Everything unfolds around a campfire, like in 1936, when the idea of raising this monument was born. Over 75 years have passed since then. That is why, if you are a lover of hiking and nature, try to reach this manifestation of Banat held around a unique monument from the world, which urges every tourist to love his fellowmen and to protect all that nature and man have created. The fact is astonishing even today, when the tourist can say in the Mountainous Banat:
“Pure green, raw green …
Oh, mark with your fire,
The Tourism Monument is not a mere attraction, a curiosity to which you come and go, crossing out another “targets” of the visited touristic objectives. It is a symbol of the truth written on its “chest“. Being at the border of our preoccupations and troubles and the nature’s creation, we strive to understand the call that urges us to cast away the affliction and the passion of hatred, to uncover from the mysteries of the flesh the divine spark, the virtue of love”. We will find the true meanings of recreation through tourism in the middle of nature, as the verses on the frontispiece of the monument urge us:
“Oh, you tourist, arrived under the forest’s lap,
Drop the trouble and passion of hatred.
Try to grasp from the laws of land
The divine spark: the virtue of love. “
These words can constitute the most beautiful verses for any true hymn of the Romanian tourism!
The Monument of Tourism consists of 8 blocks of white marble from Ruschita and it is placed on a socle in the form of a regular quadrilateral prism with the side of the base of 80 cm and the height of 40 cm. The tower of the monument consists of three blocks, in the shape of a trunk of regular quadrangular pyramid with the bottom base of 62 cm and the upper one of 50 cm.
The total height of the tower of the monument is of 190 cm.
On the middle section are inscribed in marble the lyrics of Vasile Magdaş, respectively the name of those with whose labour the monument was made: Isac Rădulescu, Pavel Goanţă, Alexandru Andrei, Vasile Magdaş, Ioan Bibel. On the upper body it is carved in a semicircle the inscription “THE MONUMENT OF TOURISM” followed horizontally by the initials of C.T.B. of the Banat Tourism Club and the year 1936, the year of commencement of the marble sculpture works. In the following line is written: “Raised by the Banat Tourism Club from Caran – Sebes“. There are two regular square quadrangular connecting plinths, one with a base of 55 cm and a height of 10 cm, the other with a base of 45 cm and a height of 20 cm. The next body is in the form of a hemisphere with a diameter of 30 cm and a height of 30 cm, from which a 30 cm long symbolic flame gushes, the flame of love for humans and for nature.
The entire monument has a height of 3.40 m.
Paraphrasing Eminescu, we can say that the Tourism Monument: “it is one when it can be seen” and does not bring us money, because some do not see it, while the Look Ness “monster is was not and it is not either “, but it brings the English a lot of money and researches, diving, debates, surveys, assumptions, confirmations.
In order to be known in the world, the Tourism Monument will be dressed in new “outfits” year after year (new clothes) with an “allegory” with the theme of tourism, which will contribute to a better emphasis on the personality of the monument. An alley to the right of the monument will also be opened, on the level curve at the end of it there will be a tourist stop and even a complex with campsites at the edge of the forest.
Although many have changed in the area, the places remained as welcoming as ever. The white marble, the water full of trout, the clean and strongly ionized air, the silence of the forest, all urge you to come to ” Banat’s Sinaia “, as Rusca Valley is also called.
And do not forget to leave a flower beside the Monument of Tourism, as a testimony of your love for nature and fellow men, and for the tourism.