Let's travel together #106 - Coloanele de Bazalt (The Basalt Columns)

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GabrielaTravels @gabrielatravelsMay 2019 · 4 min read

Even though it might be a post more interesting for geology lovers, The Basalt Columns are not stepping back from impressing any visitor and tourist who comes by to take a picture or spend a few hours on a completely different world.
The best part is that this place hides three wonderful touristic attractions which are barely known by people and that gives even a more special feeling when you get to see them with your own eyes.

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The Basalt Columns from the tiny village Racoș, from Romania, are being considered a natural monument whose value is particularly important and unique, being a national protected area and part of the Perșani Mountains Geopark.
This place is located on the southeastern part of Transylvania, being surrounded by three different mountains - Harghita Mountains, Baraoltului Mountains and of course, Perșani Mountains.
The natural reservation covers a beautiful surface of 1,1 ha which was declared a protected area back in 2000 when the massive human's exploitation stopped. The Basalt Columns were formed around 1 million years ago when the volcano stopped its activity.

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As soon as you reach The Basalt Columns which are not the ones we discovered on the previous post about The Emerald Lake, we will be welcomed by a panel who tells a little story about each of the three miracles we discovered in Racoș, but also what you can visit around if you feel like you need more of this place's beauty.

The Basalt Columns are located on just 500m away from The Emerald Lake, and they were formed by the presence of lava leaks following the Racoș Volcano eruption.
To be more precise, the basalt columns represent a volcanic rock which is being born after lava is cooling, and the types of basalt columns we can discover are numerous. The basalt columns are used even nowadays as an important material in building different things, but especially pavements.
The Basalt Columns are being extended on a length of 30m and their structure and height is also not to be neglected as it differs from a type to another. That's how you will have the possibility to discover basalt columns from 10 to 15m height.

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Panoramic view over The Basalt Columns from Racoș, Romania

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The types of lava are different depending on the volcano's stage, and the basaltic lava emissions represent the latest stage of an eruptive cycle when the lava is becoming heavier and it leaks quieter. The Basalt Columns are being formed depending on how fast the lava is cooling - if the lava cools slow, the rocks will be compact, but if the lava cools very fast, then also the basalt columns will be formed fast and there will also appear some tensions in the mass of rocks.
That's why in the pictures attached you will notice that some of the basalt columns are partially broken or cracked.
This is the main process that leads to the appearance of prismatic columns whose shapes are different depending on the mineral composition of the rocks and the speed of cooling.

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For geology lovers, The Basalt Columns from Racoș, represent a truly attractive location to discover the various shapes of rocks, some of them being: hexagonal, pentagonal or quadratic, the polyhedron shape being the one that reaches the greatest height.

The Basalt Columns are often called pipe organ due to their structure which makes you feel in a completely different world.
The columns are formed from 3 different stages:

  • The Base: which represent the short columns up to two meters with hexagonal sections of around 40-60cm;
  • The Middle: the main part of the columns which is longer and thicker (2-18m);
  • The Roof: which is the end of the basalt columns also known as dross, representing the part of the basalt lava that gets in contact with the water, being degassed.

The locators also declare that if you spend a few hours next to the natural monument you can heal yourself from any disease.


To reach Racoș you can either by train as it is located between Brașov and Sighișoara, or by car on DN1 to Brașov -> DN13 on the way to Sighişoara -> DJ 131C for the last 10 km until you get to the little village.
Visiting all the beautiful places I presented in the past three posts is completely free.

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SEE YOU IN THE NEXT TRIP! 🗾

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Ohhh yes. Those are a beautiful formation. It's so light in color. I grew up in a huge volcanic area (the hot spot that now resides under Yellowstone National Park worked it's way through the Pacific Northwest first.) So I'm no stranger to basalt. But ours is almost universally black.

That would be known as a post pile around here. The most famous being Devil's Post pile in Wyoming, but there are lots of columns. There is an area on the east side of Couer D'alene Lake where you can see the effects of the Ice Sheet from the last ice age as it carved out the lake. And disturbed columns further east up into the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks Gabriela! For the post and the boots :)


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Never seen black columns but I can imagine how spectacular they are. I also just googled Devil's Post pile from Wyoming as I've never heard about this place before and it looks amazing. I even saw people climbing the basalt columns which is truly crazy :D

Thanks for stopping by, as always is a pleasure reading your thoughts about my posts :D


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