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Skiing in Romania in Maramures County

Updated on January 4, 2017
Borsa ski resort in winter
Borsa ski resort in winter

Winter Sports tradition in Maramures County

Few people know that until 1990 there was a tradition in Maramures County in terms of winter sports. Maramures shouldn't be known only for wooden churches or traditions. There was a time when Maramures identify with winter sports and on the ski slopes in the county were organized various competitions that were aimed at both children and adults.

Maramures had until recently the largest natural springboard for ski jumping in Europe. Derelict since 1990, the trampoline it's hard to be seen because of the grasses that grew uncontrollably over it. Death of mining brought with it a neglect of local authorities to promote such events.

Before there were Mogoşa Cup or The Miner Cup, but today these competitions are only memories and some lines written in newspapers of the time.

A poster with 1948 Winter Olympics, at St. Moritz.
A poster with 1948 Winter Olympics, at St. Moritz.

Borsa and Maramures before 1948

Romania had the opportunity to organize the 1948 Winter Olympics, but missed everything. The event should take place at Borsa, but it was abandoned. It was scheduled immediately after the Second World War to take place at Borsa.

If this would have happened, Borsa as a resort could become a city where international competitions take place. Unfortunately Borsa fell as a choice for organizing this competition as a result of the votes that were given. Then the Olympics were held in St. Moritz in Switzerland.

The reason was a political one because communists were already beginning to settle in Romania. After the war, power was imposed by Stalin and then it was clear that they could not choose a state that had to do with communism. This was the reason for not choosing Borsa.

Then Borsa was a great battlefield for tourism promotion, as the Brasov area during the interwar period. Francisc Nistor, famous photographer and initiator of the first museum of ethnography of Maramures is helping the development of tourism in Maramures. He also makes numerous reports about winter sports in this part of the country. But he also discovers that all the chalets which were built in the interwar period were burnt down.

Francisc Nistor founded the first ski school in Maramures. He also founded the tourism in this county and marked the first time with the club which he led 125 km of hiking trails for the first time.

In Prislop between 1936-1938 was built one of the most beautiful inns that was ever made in Maramures, an architectural gem of wood, with the financial support of the Royal House, especially of King Michael. Because King Michael visited Borsa, even if it was a summer period in 1939 in the presence of Dimitrie Gusti. He gave a sum of money for sleeping in Prislop, and he make a journey on foot and then by horse to Ştiol Lake and the Blue Spring of Iza.

Borșa 435200, România

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Hungarians started the investment before WW1

The first design for winter sports at Borsa is due to foreigners. Hungarians built the Olympic slope, the first chalets, all to create a place conducive to the development of these sports. The whole story began in 1914 when Greater Hungary had the highest mountain peak in the empire, in Rodna Mountains, called Pietrosul Rodnei. Then was thought that in this area, where there are the best athletes at the time, with investment in sports, It could be organized their winter Olympics in Greater Hungary.

Borsa was best situated, as rainfall, but also as altitude and were determined to score Borsa to host Winter Olympics made by the Hungarian Kingdom. They started the first works, they built a slope which today is called the Olympic slope, built the first chalets, the current school complex, the first building of its kind, then they made Stibina chalet, the chalet from Puzdrele area, which had to take staff dealing with the Olympics.

The slope remained and it was still used until 1986, when was moved to another side. By 2000, however, the idea to make such an investment there on a project started during the communist period, was there to be made a cable car linking the current ski to the former Olympic slope.

Skiing at Borsa
Skiing at Borsa

The future of winter sports at Borsa

Currently there are no longer organized sporting events, no more races, nothing of what was once on the slopes. At the moment at Borsa winter sports fans can come and practice only skiing.

City Hall began in 2009 a project to arrange a gondola project, which is currently blocked. Most likely the project, which was started on time of former government will resume next year, according to the most optimistic forecasts of local government.

The building accommodates the "Olympic". The works are executed in 90%. The length of the gondola facility will be 2,113 meters. The transport capacity on a time will be 1,800 people. Olympic slope length will be 2980 meters, with a difference of 770 meters and a width of 60 meters. Authorities say it will be open soon.

Borsa in winter
Borsa in winter

Do you think Borsa would be a good place where to be held the Winter Olympics in the future?

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    • Romanian profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      You are mistaking, Transylvania it's a part of Romania. Search on the map, and you will see that Transylvania it's the north western part of Romania. You have to come here in a trip to see, that it's the same country. Thanks for your comment.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I'd heard Transylvania, which is near Romania, has some of the best snow conditions in the world. Both are beautiful countries. I hope to visit there and ski / snowboard someday.

    • Romanian profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      Anne Harrison, thanks for your feedback. I will write more about Romania.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      4 years ago from Australia

      An amazing article. I hope you plan to write more about Romania.


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