Fundatura Ponorului or "Palm of God", as this area is also known, is the place where time seems to have frozen. Fundatura Ponorului is located in Grădiștea Muncelului-Cioclovina National Park.

A beautiful filming made at the Fundatura Ponorului.

It is a protected area of national interest, located in the mountainous group of the Șureanu-Parâng-Lotrului Mountains, belonging to the mountain range of the Southern Carpathians, in the southern part of Hunedoara county, on the administrative territories of Baru, Boșorod, Bănița, Orăștioara de Sus communes. and Pui, at an altitude of 900 meters.

The locals do not have a very easy life, but as a tourist, this place fascinates you, because time seems to stand still, and the haste and agitation of the 21st century have not yet crossed these valleys.

How to get to Fundătura Ponorului

Fundatura Ponorului can be reached from the road leading to Petroșani from Hațeg. From Ponor, on a road on the left, you go to Federi village. Basically, this is the lowest area in the Șureanu Massif, like an arena, which is surrounded by high mountains.

After a few kilometers of climbing, in front of those who choose to visit this area, there is a former red bauxite quarry, and beyond it, the road narrows considerably, becoming more and more difficult to navigate. The road crosses several hills, occupied here and there by an old wooden house, just like in the grandparents' stories, which are surrounded by wooden fences, but also by orchards.

These homes are modest, and unfortunately many of them have lost the battle with time. However, those who have remained to live here do not lead a very easy life, the life being quite hard, but they manage to manage.

The beauty of the place in Fundătura Ponorului takes your breath away

The beauty of the place takes your breath away, regardless of the season that you visit. Everywhere you look, the landscape is different and, every time, it conquers you. Regardless of the time of year, the "Palm of God" welcomes its tourists with open arms, to whom it offers a little of all the wonders of nature.

The people here are thrifty, although they are quite old, everywhere you can see dwellings, haystacks, cows, horses and thousands of sheep, guarded by the locals. During periods of heavy rainfall, when river flows increase, the meadow often forms lakes on larger areas, which sometimes, if the winters are colder, freeze and the Ponor meadow becomes a huge ice rink.

The waters of the Ponorului Valley cross the field and forming a beautiful area

Fundătura Ponorului valley is crossed by the waters of the Ponor valley, which in the past was united with the Ponorici valley forming a large valley that flowed its waters N-E of the Hațeg depression, through the Fizești area.

In time, the rivers parted, Ponoriciul being captured by the current valley of Cioclovina, and the Ponor river was captured through the area of Federi and Ohaba localities. It seems that, in this area, the waters dug the limestone formed in the Jurassic period and infiltrations appeared in the riverbed, which created the largest known caves in the Șureanu Mountains.

Over the years, these infiltrations have become the flagships that can be seen today. The rivers completely eroded the limestone layer to the substrate formed by crystalline rocks, widening their riverbed and creating the most spectacular karst depressions in the Șureanu Mountains.

The bed of the Ponor river is a winding one, forming several turns, which extend for about nine kilometers on the main stream, near the top of Porumbelu Mare, where it springs for two kilometers on the tributary that comes from Poiana Omului.

The natural park includes, within its limits, six of the most spectacular nature reserves of Hunedoara county.

Part of the Grădiștea Muncelului Cioclovina Natural Park

The natural park includes, within its limits, six of the most spectacular nature reserves of Hunedoara county.

More precisely, it is about the Ponorâci-Cioclovina Karst Complex, Tecuri Cave, Șura Mare Cave, Crivadiei Gorges, Ohaba-Ponor Fossil Place, Bolii Cave.

At the same time, nearby are the archeological sites in the UNESCO Patrimony from Sarmizegetusa Regia, Costești, Blidaru, Luncani-Piatra Roșie and the authentic ethnographic settlements from the Luncani Platform.

photo source: Marius Turc

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