Râul Doamnei

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Râul Doamnei
Countries Romania
Counties Argeș County
 - left Zârna,
Izvorul Surlei,
Izvorul Mioarelor,
Izvorul Groşilor,
Râul Târgului,
Valea Mare
 - right Valea Rea,
Drăghina Mare,
Valea lui Roman,
 - location Făgăraș Mountains,
Junction of headwaters Valea Rea and Zârna
Mouth Argeș
 - location Pitești
Length 98 km (61 mi)

Râul Doamnei is a left tributary of the Argeș River (the two rivers meet just north of Piteşti). It is formed at the junction of headwaters Valea Rea and Zârna River. It is 98 kilometers in length and frequently dries up in summer, owing to the works upstream that have redirected part of its water supply toward a reservoir serving the hydroelectric plant on the Argeș.

Râul Doamnei flows through a hilly region, forming narrow strips of fertile plain on both of its banks.


The stream's name literally means "the lady's river", or "the princess's river". Râul is Romanian for "The river". As such, it may form part of the Romanian names given in full for virtually all rivers. However, since Doamnei is the genitive of Doamnă ("a lady"), Râul is part of the name itself in this case.


According to legend, a wife or concubine of Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler died during the 1462 siege of Poenari Castle by an Ottoman army led by Vlad's half-brother Radu cel Frumos.

A former servant of Vlad, held as a prisoner and servant to the Ottomans but still loyal to the Prince, having seen the shadow of Vlad's wife behind a window and shot an arrow in that direction, with a message informing that the Ottoman army was going to attack the castle the next morning. Upon reading the message, Vlad's wife flung herself off the castle's tower and into the stream below the castle, preferring death to Ottoman captivity. The stream was then named in recollection of the event. A fictionalized version of these events is depicted in the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula, although in the film, the river the princess throws herself into is the Argeș itself.

The ecosystem of the river was affected by the building of the reservoir. Before its building, Romanichthys valsanicola, an endemic fish species, used to populate this river. Currently this species, listed as critically endangered, is only found along a 1 km stretch of the Vâlsan River.[1]


  1. ^ World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). Romanichthys valsanicola. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 5 May 2006. Listed as Critically Endangered (CR A1ace+2ce, B1+2abcde v2.3)

Coordinates: 44°52′N 24°53′E / 44.867°N 24.883°E / 44.867; 24.883