From: Prahova County, Muntenia, Mountains
The origin of the name Sphynx is due to its similarity to a human head, specifically to the Egyptian Sphynx. It is located in the Bucegi Mountains, at an altitude of 2,216 m, and was formed due to wind erosion. Made up of a single block of stone, which over a long period of time took the form it has today, the Sphynx in Bucegi, sitting on the Bucegi plateau, is 8 meters tall and 12 meters wide.
Over time, there were rumors according to which the Sphynx was to be dynamited or moved elsewhere, because of material interests regarding the acquisition of the land on which the Sphynx presently sits. These financial interests led to aberrant ideas that would destroy one of the most important tourist attractions in Romania. It remains to be seen whether this will come to pass or not. Many occultists and paranormal specialists claim that such a thing would not occur, because of the important energy surrounding the Sphynx in Bucegi. It is said that the place is an energy center used in the past by extraterrestrials, and there are many local legends in this regard. There is a particular cave in the vicinity of the Sphynx, surrounded by energy-related mysteries. These mysteries attract countless aficionados. Other rumors claim that there is an abandoned uranium mine in this area, which has been out of order since World War II. These, of course, are merely rumors, but as many rumors turn out to be true, this might also be such a case.
What is truly exceptional about the Sphynx in Bucegi is the fact that its sphynx profile is easily visible from several vantage points. Another important aspect is that access to the area is extremely easy.
There are other similar rock formations in the Romanian mountains, which, due to wind erosion over time, have come to take the sphynx shape. Among these are the Sphynx at Stanisoara, the Sphynx at Toplet, the Sphynx at Piatra Arsa, as well as the Sphynx at Solomon’s Stones and the one at Brotacei. Nevertheless, none of these megaliths are as renowned as the Sphynx on the Bucegi Plateau.
People have been fascinated by this natural wonder since ancient times. Proof of that fact is the oldest picture of the Sphynx in Bucegi, dating back to 1900, when photography was at its beginnings. If we take into account the fact that in those days, cameras were extremely heavy, yet someone was interested enough to take a picture of it, it becomes apparent how important this rock formation was to visitors. This photograph is named The Old Women of Caraiman. The first official naming of this formation as The Sphynx in Bucegi dates back to 1935, in an article in a specialized journal of the times called Alpine Newsletter. Once this naming occurred, it was only a step away from becoming official. The second such naming occurred in the Romania Magazine, established by Alexandru Badauta, who also established the National Tourism Office, due to his special interest in this field.
Access to the Sphynx in Bucegi
The easiest access route is by using the Busteni – Babele Cable Car, the length of the route is 4350 m, it has an altitude difference of 1235 m and the travel time is approximately 15 minutes. The cable car carries 25 people and the daily schedule (except on Tuesdays) is between 7:45 AM and 5:00 PM (the last trip up is at 4 PM and the last return trip is at 5:00 PM). On Tuesdays, the cable car hours are between 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM. It is good to know that usually, the wait time is over an hour, and hour and a half.
The cable car price is 29 lei per one-way trip (58 lei for a round trip) for adults and 16 lei for children (under 12 years old).
The Babele Cabin is the most well-known cabin in the area, and can accommodate 108 visitors. From the cabin, the access route to the Sphynx is easy to travel, because from Busteni there is a path marked with a blue triangle, through the Urlatoarea Mica and Urlatoarea Mare Valleys, all the way to the vicinity of the Jepi forest range. This route, however, is only recommended in summer. Nevertheless, compared to most mountain tourist areas, which have a difficult access, the access to the Sphynx in Bucegi is relatively easy, due to its location, on the Bucegi Plateau.