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Mountaineering enthusiasts from the world over can find in Dambovita County’s mountainous region a series of touristic attractions, first amongst them the Sphinx and the Babele (the Old Women).

The Sphinx on plateau of Bucegi Mountains 
Photo credit: (c) Paul BUCIUTA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

Monuments of nature, the Babele and the Sphinx in the Bucegi mountain range have been for long a source of legends and myths, sparking various explanations in the minds of people.

One legend regarding the Babele’s origin is the legend of Baba Dochia that says that Dochia was an old woman, who spiting her daughter-in-law sent her to the river to wash black wool until it turned white. With her hands bleeding, the young woman saw a magic flower falling in the river and turning the wool white. Seeing the flower, Baba Dochia mistakenly drove her sheep to the mountain believing spring had come and shed her numerous coats along the way, eventually freezing and turning to stone. Other explanations for the formations are that they are in fact the resting place of Dacian god Zamolxe, an energy field or earthly proof of an alien civilization.

It is said that the Bucegi Mountains are host to “areas of universal energy”, or more specifically areas of 1 square kilometer in which the body does not tire and is suddenly reinvigorated. Believers of this theory often wander in search of these areas in order to assimilate said energies. Dambovita County Mountain Rescue personnel, in June, were alerted by a group of 20 tourists that visited the Bucegi Mountains in search of these areas, but were surprised by thick fog and snowfall.

In reality, the Babele and the Sphinx are witnesses to a centuries-long process of erosion, powerful winds being responsible for their forming.

The Sphinx in Bucegi, which, according to unofficial sources, was first photographed in 1900 from the front, and not from the side, as the famous photographs now depict it, is situated at 2,216 meters altitude and resembles a human face. It earned its current name in 1936 when the rock, now 8 meters tall and 12 meters wide, was viewed from a specific angle.

“The rock, resembling a human face, looks toward the precession of equinoxes. Just as interesting is the fact that the Sphinx is contoured perfectly at dusk on December 21 [the Winter Solstice]. Some researchers believed it was carved by human hand and it represents a supreme divine figure of olden Indo-European tribes (N. Densusianu). Another curious thing is the observation made that the Sphinx in Bucegi is the same height as the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt (also resembling a human face), and is similar in appearance to a statue of Zeus found in Italy”, states hellodambovita.ro, a tourism website maintained by the Dambovita County Council.

The Babele, Bucegi Mountains 
Photo credit: (c) Paul BUCIUTA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

Close to the Sphinx are the rock formations known as the Babele.

In keeping with the legends surrounding the Sphinx, they were also named the Caraiman Cyclopean Altars, dedicated to the Earth and the Sky, the Sun and the Moon, as well as to Mars, Roman god of war and agriculture. The legends regarding these rock formations are in constant development, bringing together reality with the supernatural. As such, several theories regarding their appearance have been developed, some researchers believing that water and wind were the main factors in their formation, while others do not exclude the possibility that they were shaped by human hand.

The two monuments at the moment are a matter of dispute due to their proximity to the County demarcation line between Prahova and Dambovita County. AGERPRES

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