Poarta Zmeilor (The Zmei’s Gate) or La Groși Cave

Poarta Zmeilor (The Zmei’s Gate) or La Groși Cave is a geological park situated in the north-west of the Trascău Mountains at an elevation of approximately 1,150 m, the oldest cave in these mountains.  

The name of the cave comes from the natural bridge situated 15 m from the entrance, called the Zmei’s Gate. It is 125 m long and has a low entrance (2 m tall) which leads into a series of halls and corridors.  

The cave is the result of the limestone’s eroding and dissolving. Numerous chimneys are still developing in its ceiling and several limestone formations can be seen inside the cave, now blackened by the infiltrated humus. In the cave floor there are many small pools filled with the water dripping from the walls. 

Lighting equipment needed.   

The story of the cave as told by the villagers  In the olden days, a zmei’s castle stood on this mountain. The zmei, fairy-tale monsters representing the forces of evil, used to take human form and visit the village dances. They used to set their eyes upon the fairest girl at the dance and then kidnap her at midnight, vanishing inside the mountain. One day, the villagers learned about the zmei’s evil habit and decided to get revenge. They marched towards the castle, burning down all the surrounding forests and demolishing the castle on top of the mountain. The only thing left was the gate, that is still waiting to this day for a beautiful girl to step inside.