Bâlea Lake, October 2006
|Max. length||360 m (1,180 ft)|
|Max. width||190 m (620 ft)|
|Surface area||4.7 ha (12 acres)|
|Average depth||11.35 m (37.2 ft)|
|Surface elevation||2,034 m (6,673 ft)|
Bâlea Lake (Romanian: Lacul Bâlea or Bâlea Lac, pronounced [ˈbɨle̯a]; Hungarian: Bilea-tó) is a glacier lake situated at 2,034 m of altitude in the Făgăraș Mountains, in central Romania, in Cârțișoara, Sibiu County. There are two chalets opened all the year round, a meteorological station and a mountain rescue (Salvamont) station. It is accessible by car on the Transfăgărășan road during the summer, and the rest of the year by a cable car from the "Bâlea Cascadă" chalet.
On 17 April 1977. an avalanche killed 23 skiers gathered near the lake; 19 of those were high school students from the Samuel von Brukenthal National College in Sibiu. This was the deadliest avalanche ever in Romania, with the 41st highest death toll in the world.
In 2006, the first ice hotel in Eastern Europe was built in the vicinity of the lake. The hotel has opened for 15 years since then, but not during the 2019–2020 season, due to higher than usual temperatures.
- "40 de ani de la cea mai gravă avalanșă din România" [40 years since the deadliest avalanche in Romania]. Digi 24 (in Romanian). 24 April 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- Găină, Ramona (17 June 2013). "Povestea avalanșei din 1977, cea mai mare tragedie montană din România" [The story of the 1977 avalanche, the greatest mountain tragedy in Romania]. Adevărul (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- "Chill Out in The Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lac". AllTipsAndTricks.com. December 9, 2006. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Buciu, Laura (16 December 2019). "Motivul pentru care nu poate fi construit Hotelul de Gheață de la Bâlea Lac" [The reason why the Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lac cannot be built]. mediafax.ro (in Romanian). Retrieved 9 June 2020.
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