The Colţi Amber Museum

Available in French and Romanian

Surrounded by mystery and legend since ancient times, the Buzau Mountains shelter a great number of unique natural phenomena waiting to be discovered and admired. Many of us have already heard about The Muddy Volcanoes, The Alive Fires or The Cave Hermitages. But what about the Colţi amber? Hidden in these wild mountains, The Amber Museum from the Colţi Village, houses an exhibition of amber jewellery and nuggets extracted from the region.

To get to the museum, we took the national road 10 Brasov-Buzau and somewhere after Patîrlagele, in the village of Măgura, we found our way to Colţi. Unfortunately, the road is in poor condition and the cars almost non-existent. Instead, the hills are full of small villages and the countryside is very picturesque. The museum is far from being famous, so you could find it closed. Do not hesitate to ask the locals for help because they will be more than happy to help you find the person in charge. That’s what we did.

It’s a very simple museum, with only two rooms; in the first one you can see the Colţi amber and in the other one “mine flowers” and semi-precious stones. The building resembles a traditional house, a little larger than the others, and it appears to be in a restoration process. A lady we met there gave us more information about the rumanit, an amber type specific to this place, which can also be found in Russia. The amber is a fossil resin belonging to a species of pine, old of several million years. The Colţi rumanit has over 160 shades, including very dark and unique brown ones. Moreover, the collection is among the most important in the world. The amber was used for amulets and ornaments from the late Palaeolithic and there were periods when it had been more precious than gold. It even lured the Argonauts to search for the legendary Golden Fleece.

Amber could be found mostly in the Colţi Valley, after the rain, when it was easier to be distinguished from the clay layers. Many locals have such pieces of amber and they gladly show them to anyone interested. Otherwise, a souvenir shop exists in the museum, where you can find different jewellery made in Baltic amber, the most famous in the world. An artisanal workshop existed in the village until recently, but now, only one villager still knows the secrets of amber. Losing this ancestral technique with him would be a crime, as it is certain that a part of the soul of this place would disappear.

Author:Octavia Borteş

English version: Mihaela Florea

This trip was made in April 2010

Alina crede în potenţialul turistic al ţării ei. De aici secţiunile în engleză şi franceză ale blogului. Una dintre plăcerile ei cele mai mari, atunci când scrie pentru LumeaMare, e să stea de vorbă cu alti călători, pe site sau pe pagina de Facebook LumeaMare. E sociolog şi locuieşte în Paris de câţiva ani.