‘I am not concerned that you have fallen…I am concerned that you arise.’ ~Abraham Lincoln
Geamăna, Transylvania, Romania 10.12.15
Once a bustling settlement nestled in a picturesque Romanian valley, the village of Geamăna was wiped from the map to make room for a toxic dumping lake, yet traces of the stubborn little town still dot the landscape.
Up until the shockingly recent year of 1978, Geamăna village was thriving with a markedly comfortable and happy populace living in a lush valley. Unfortunately it was this same year that rich reserves of copper were found in the nearby area, the mining of which created huge amounts of toxic waste that had to be disposed of. Seeing the Geamăna valley as the perfect bowl in which to pour his newly cooked toxic soup, communist dictator and Romanian super-villain Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the village to be abandoned and flooded the entire valley. Once flooded with water, Ceausescu began dumping unfathomable amounts of highly toxic water laced with cyanide and other chemicals into the new lake turning the waters into a multi-colored sludge, and erasing almost all memory of Geamăna from the land save for a few rooftops and this lonely steeple breaching the waters.
A majority of the citizens migrated to other villages nearby, but a few stubborn locals simply moved to the edges of the flood area where they continue to live today with no public infrastructure such as schools or doctors.
Geamăna was one of the most challenging locations to find in Romania…miles of rocky potholed dirt roads surround the lake & recent rains made the trek to Geamăna quite treacherous.