The Râmeţ Gorges (Romanian: Cheile Râmeţului) are located in the proximity of Râmeţ commune, Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. Developed at the east of the Trascău Mountains, on the middle flow of the Râmeţ Rivulet, the Râmeţ Gorges are among the most important touristic points from the Apuseni Mountains (Western Carpathians). In its upper part, Râmeţ Rivulet is named by the locals Monastery Valley, and in its lower part, Mogoşului Valley; the rivulet is also named Geoagiului Valley.
At the exit of Trascău Mountains, between Trascău, Urmezu and Vulturilor peaks, it formed a gorges zone of 1 km in length. On the entire length of the gorges, there are traces of an old tunnel-shaped cave. The gradual collapse of the cave ceiling eased the further evolution of the gorges. This can be argued by the fact that the keys have a transverse V-profile, wider at the top. The Râmeţ Gorges are extremely narrow, with steep walls. At the basis of the walls there can be found many caves’ entrances.
Eaves presents a large distribution, both in water and suspended, which reflects the stages of deepening of the river stages in the limestone ridge. The most impressive are found in the area called La Cuptoare, where the gorges are very narrow (3-4 m) and the slopes are eave-shaped. In the central part of the gorges, there is a tunnel with a length of about 15 m and a height of 4-5 m.
After leaving the gorges, 3 km downstream, Râmeţ Rivulet form new gorges, near the Râmeţ Monastery. Though having a length of about 100 m, these gorges are spectacular, having the appearance of a huge gate. Slopes have a V-shaped transverse profile, wide open at the top, presenting numerous towers, poles, and grottoes.
Due to the spectacular landscape and to the special karstic elements that it presents, the Râmeţ Gorges have been declared Geological, Paleontological and Speological Reservation since 1969. The reserve consists of limestone massifs since late Jurassic. In the western part prevails conglomerates, sandstones, marls and marno-calcars, and Cretaceous and Mesozoic basalts in the eastern area.
The vegetation of the area is remarkable, with endemic species as Dianthus spiculifolius, Silene dubia, Aconitum moldavicum, Hepatica transsilvanica, Cardamine glanduligera, Viola jooi, Sorbus dacica, Cephalaria radiata, Campanula rotundifolia ssp. kladniana, Centaurea pinnatifoida, Cirsium furiensis and some rare species as Taxus baccata, Geranium macrorrhizum, Cypripendium calceolus, Aquilegia nigricans ssp. subscaposa, Viola biflora, Daphne cnerorum, Geranium macrorrhizum, Sparganium neglectum, Typha shuttleworthii, Herminium monorchis etc.
Because of the abrupt relief, the gorges can be browsed only along the water during the summer, with a good knowledge of the area and a good training!
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