|Elevation||2,505 m (8,219 ft)|
|Area||300 km2 (120 sq mi)|
|Counties||Dâmbovița, Prahova and Brașov|
|Age of rock||Neogene|
The Bucegi Mountains (Romanian: Munții Bucegi [ˈmunt͡sij buˈt͡ʃed͡ʒʲ] ( listen); Hungarian: Bucsecs-hegység) are located in central Romania, south of the city Brașov. They are part of the Southern Carpathians group of the Carpathian Mountains.
To the east, the Bucegi Mountains have a very steep slope towards the popular tourist destination Prahova Valley (a.o. Bușteni and Sinaia). At a higher elevation is the Bucegi Plateau, where wind and rain have turned the rocks into spectacular figures such as the Sphinx and Babele.
The exact origin of the name "Bucegi" is disputed by philologists. "Buceag" or "bugeac" seems to be the source of the name, a word designating in the language of mountain people both the moss in the forest and the wilderness or the junipers. Archaic version of the name "Bucegi" is "Buceci", name still used today by elders in the mountains, and about which linguists say it's derived from "huceag", "buceag" or "bugeac".
Linguist Sextil Pușcariu claims that the name of Bucșoi, one of the mountains that reach the Omu Peak, derives from "Buc", "Bucur", just as "Buceci", "Bugeci" derives from "Buc" with the same suffix like "Măneciu" or "Moeciu". And "Bucur" is a genuine Dacian name. In Iorgu Iordan's work, Toponimia romînească, the name of the mountains is derived from Slavic buk, meaning "beech".
The mountains are grouped in three ranges:
- Bucegi Mountains (Omul Peak - 2505 meters)
- Leaota Mountains (Leaota Peak - 2133 meters)
- Piatra Craiului Mountains (Baciului Peak - 2238 meters)
Bucegi Mountains are bordered by Prahova Valley, area with the most ski resorts in Romania. Moreover, since 1935, a part of Bucegi Mountains has been included in the list of protected areas in Romania, with national park status.
Among the most popular ski resorts within the Bucegi Mountains are Sinaia and Bușteni. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Carpathians", Sinaia offers the possibility of performing winter sports. Ski slopes within the resort are serviced by ski lift, accessible by cable car. The main tourist attractions are Peleș Castle, Pelișor, Royal Station, Sinaia Monastery, Casino and George Enescu Memorial House.
Bușteni, located at an altitude of 800–900 m, features a diversified base of accommodation and meal (hotels, rest homes, chalets, tourist stops). A cable car links Silva Hotel and Babele Chalet, on the mountaintops. This area has unusual rock formations, such as the Sphinx and Babele. Bușteni is the starting point of trekking on some of the most attractive routes in Bucegi Massif. In the winter months, Bușteni offers the possibility of practicing skiing and sleighing. There are ski slopes with varying degrees of difficulty. Bușteni is also a cultural point, featuring Cantacuzino Castle and Cezar Petrescu Memorial Museum. Likewise, there is a trout farm.
Bucegi Natural Park
Bucegi Mountains area, whereof exist references since the 15th century, has been proposed for protection in 1936, due to peerless landscapes and great diversity of plant and animal species. This proposal was taken up only in 1990, when materialized through the Minister's order no. 7/1990. Bucegi Natural Park covers an area of 32,663 hectares across three counties (Dâmbovița, Prahova and Brașov), having more than 60% of the territory covered with forests.
The Heroes' Cross on the Caraiman Peak
A herd of sheep near Sinaia
Mălăiești Valley in late autumn, deep in the heart of Bucegi Mountains at around 1720 m asl
- Mihai, Dana (4 June 2013). "„Buceagul“, misterioasa denumire care a dat numele munţilor Bucegi. Vârful Omu, sanctuar dacic". Adevărul (in Romanian).
- Iordan, Iorgu (1963). Toponimia romînească. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Romîne. p. 84. OCLC 460710897.
- "Muntii Bucegi". CeSaVezi.ro (in Romanian).
- "Sinaia si Busteni". RomanianMonasteries.org (in Romanian).
- "Parcul Natural Bucegi". Ziar de Busteni (in Romanian).
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