History and location
The Black Sea is far for the dwellers of Neamt county, their closest neighbor being the Ceahlau Mountain. Despite all these, more than 40 years ago, alongside with the closure of the Bicaz dam, the people living in Neamt received their own sea.
The Izvorul Muntelui Lake (also known as the Bicaz Lake) is a reservoir on the Bistrita river, a few kilometers upstream of the town of Bicaz. The water stored in the lake is used for producing electricity in the Bicaz-Stejaru hydro-electric power station.
A masterpiece of engineer Dimitrie LEONIDA, a descendent of the monks from Sf. Munte (The Saint Mountain), the dam was built in the 60s, regenerating the famous legend of Manole’s sacrifice. The dam is 127 m high, 435 m long and has a maximum width of 119 m at its base. The lake itself is 40 km long, has a total surface of 33 km and a maximum water volume of 1250 million m3. It is the biggest artificial lake created on internal rivers from Romania.
Genius, work, sweat, human losses…this is the story of the dam and the hydro-electric power plant from Bicaz.
Dozens of villages were dislodged and moved to other parts of the county, in order to make room for the actual reservoir. After moving the population of the Bistrita’s valley, the entire area was flooded, creating this impressive lake, which can even be seen from the Toaca peak (on clear weather). The “tenants” of the former graveyards still “haunt” the depths of the lake, which cover the remaining of the once populated villages, and the trouts coming from underneath the mountains make the shadows of the belfries silently vibrate. All of these, as well as the energy “squeezed” out of the water by the enormous dam and the energy of the rocks, the air, the numerous monasteries and hermitages closely placed, give the ones who choose to spend their time here the opportunity of regenerating their own bio-energy, offering the exact excess of vitality, confidence and optimism that each and every one of us needs so much.
Bicaz, a tourist’s center positioned in a picturesque area, is situated 26 km of Piatra Neamt, the link between the two towns being the DN 15 road, as well as a railroad. This small town, placed at the foot of the Ceahlau Mountain at 432 m altitude and surrounded by hills covered with thick forests, developed mainly after the construction of the Izvorul Muntelui hydro-electric power station. It can also be called “Bicaz port town”, due to its placement on the banks of the Izvorul Muntelui Lake, also known as “the sea of Bicaz”. The town has a museum, which presents the history of Bicaz and other settlements from the middle course of Bistrita river.
The “Izvorul Muntelui” Lake – Bicaz, (35 km of Piatra Neamt), a reservoir formed on the Bistrita river, behind a 120 m high dam, a real artificial mountain, represents an appealing recreation area.
Situated between the 47° northern latitude parallel and the 26° eastern longitude meridian, THE “IZVORU MUNTELUI” Lake – BICAZ but also the BICAZ NAVAL TOURIST’S COMPLEX can even be seen, on the clear days, from the Toaca Peak (1900 m). The medium height of the relief is approximately 1100 m, while the lake is 100 m deep.
You can get to the Bicaz Naval Tourist’s Complex by car, by ship or on foot. No matter which part of the World you are coming from, you have various entrance gates to us: the Bicaz Dam – Izvorul Muntelui – the Izvorul Alb Village – the Ceahlau Village – the Dochia Hermitage – the Izvorul Alb Wharf.
From the satellite, it can be seen that the Bicaz Lake is smoothly connected to the lively vein of the Bistrita river, being perceived like greenish-bluish iris inside the hydrographic region’s orbit of 4,035 sq.km.
From VATRA DORNEI, BORSEC or GHIORGHIENI, week by week, Ardealul sends dozens of stubborn tourists, who long to repeat the unknown sacerdotal paths of Zamolxis’ adepts or the early Christianity’s pilgrimages, or, why not, the passages which lead tot the Panonic Plain.
A little bit further from the dam, you can find the Potoci piscicultural resort, from where the trouts “migrate” towards the kitchens of the floating terrace, the Lebada (Swan) saloon or the Pescarus (Seagull) restaurant. The road which connects Bicaz to Durau, Borsec or Campulung Moldovenesc passes over the dam.
At the furthest point of the lake (the lake’s tail – as it is called), there is a huge aqueduct, a bridge that crosses the lake. From the top of the Poiana Teiului aqueduct you can see, in the right top corner of your running car’s wind screen, Stanca Diavolului (The Devil’s Rock). When the lake’s water level is high, this solitary rock around which many legends were created, appears to be rising out directly from the lake.