“Colțul Chiliilor” is an Orthodox hermitage located in the middle of the forest, in the northern part of the Piatra Craiului Mountains, Zărnești, Brașov County. ~ It is the oldest religious settlement in Zărnești (1421), consisting of a chapel arranged in a cave and a monastic ensemble, rebuilt on the site of the one destroyed in 1718 by the Austrian imperial authorities.
~ The route starts from the base of the mountain, on the way to the Plaiul Foii tourist area.
At approx. 3 km from the town of Zărneşti, on the way to the Plaiul Foii area, there is a sign that
leads us to the Monastery, on the right side of the road, and a sign that informs us that we are going to enter the Piatra Craiului National Park, on the left side.
If you are with your personal car, you can park your car here, on the left side of the sign with the Piatra Craiului National Park.
We start the hike, a little cloudy but perfect, as it is a route that is traveled more in open space, without shade, the clouds are welcome, it protects us from the strong sun.
On the route we are delighted with the view of the Piatra Craiului Mountains.
We also see some horses enjoying the green grass. They are beautiful and they like staying for pictures.
We continue our hike to the Colțul Chiliilor Hermitage. After approx. 30-40 minutes, the climb being quite sustained, we decide to take a break, in the shade.
As we lingered, meanwhile, some foreign tourists were coming down from the trail, and a lizard was making its presence felt.
Above we see another marking that leads to the Monastery and continues to Cabana Diana (blue stripe marking). We are on the right track! We continue the route as the sign shows us.
We also found some blackberries. Very sweet and tasty.
Now in the woods, in the shade, it’s much better. The route is easy. After another approx. 30 minutes the sound of bells of some cows can be heard. We are approaching the Monastery.
In the immediate vicinity of the Monastery we find a resting place and a spring with fresh mountain water. We cool down and linger a little longer to smell the grass, the trees, the flowers, to listen to the mountain. We’ve already charged our batteries!
Immediately after the spring, at approx. 100 m, we can find an information panel about the Colțul Chiliilor Hermitage. The access gate to the Monastery can also be seen.
It is so quiet here, under the corner of the mountain. It is a place for self-recovery.
* Brief History – The hermitage from Colțul Chiliilor is the oldest religious settlement attested on the territory of the Zarneşti (1421). It was built under the corner of the mountain as a place of refuge from the Turks and Tatars, and was set on fire along with the cells in 1718 by order of the imperial authorities. The locals, however, continued the tradition, coming every year to the hermitage together with the village priests; in the cave under the rock an altar and an iron railing were arranged.
* In the first part of the twentieth century, the hermitage will be named “Chapel of the Holy Pious Paraschiva”, dedicated to October 14. Currently, a beautiful monastery is being built on the site of the former hermitage. (Text source: https://www.primaria-zarnesti.ro/turism/obiective-turistice/schitul-de-la-coltul-chiliilor/).
* An oasis of peace, surrounded by forest, with a special view offered by the Piatra Craiului Mountains.
Being a Tuesday, the location was quiet, only a monk coming to greet us. Instead, on Sunday, the locals go up here to attend the religious service.
~ A little above the hermitage, going up into the forest, there is a cave in which a Holy Altar dedicated to Saint Pious Parascheva has been arranged.
The cave, about twenty meters long, is adorned with numerous religious icons.
Place of prayer – Chapel of the Holy Pious Parascheva.
On the way down, the rock walls make you shiver, as if they take you to another world.
We sat on the grass and listening to the forest, we breathed fresh air, watching the panoramic view offered by Piatra Craiului. I didn’t need anything more than this view.
How to get here?
* The route to follow: from the center of Zărnești (Tourist Information Center), on the road to Plaiul Foii, approx. 3 km until the observation of the sign with Colțul Chiliilor Monastery (Mănăstirea Coțul Chiliilor- in romanian).
- Length of the route: 5.8 km, difficulty: easy.
- Travel time per direction: 1h / 1h: 30
- Level difference: +310 m
- Also recommended for families with children