The highest cross in the world, also included in the Guinness World Records – the Cross on Caraiman Peak – will be restored and rehabilitated. The announcement has been officially made by the Culture Minister.
The Minister of Culture and National Identity, Ionut Vulpescu, signed on February 23, 2017, a favorable opinion for the restoration, rehabilitation and preservation of the Commemorative Cross of the Romanian Heroes of the World War I – the Cross on the Caraiman Peak. The document also approves the arrangement of an exhibition space, as per requested by the Fields and Infrastructure Directorate of the Ministry of National Defense. According to this opinion, restauration and remediation works will be made on the terraces’ finishing, exterior and interior finishing, metal fabrications and woodwork at the pedestal.
The installations will be also revised and the lighting system of the cross will be replaced, and a performant system will provide protection against electrical discharges in the atmosphere. Investments also provide an exhibition space inside the pedestal.
The Culture Minister has motivated the signing of the opinion on the mentioned investments through a press release: “This summer, in 2017, we celebrate the Centenary of the battles at Marasesti, Marasti and Oituz, which were a turning point for the Romanian Army and an encouragement for the Romanian nation in the World War I. Among the few monuments honoring their sacrifice, there is also the Cross on the Caraiman Peak.
The decision of signing this positive opinion is added to other decisions of its kind that will be taken in the near future, in order to prepare the celebration of the Centenary of the Union of December 1, 1918”. We mention that in July 2016, the Romanian Government has approved a Government’s Decision on registering the building “The Commemorative Cross of the Romanian Heroes of the World War I” located on the Caraiman Mountain in the centralized inventory of the assets in the state’s public domain, to be administered by the Ministry of National Defense and on updating the Annex 4 of the GD no.1705/2006 on approving the centralized inventory of the assets in the state’s public domain. By the announcement of the Culture Ministry, it was actually decided that the symbol of the Caraiman Peak will be reinstated in value. Being a historical monument, built between 1926 and 1928, the Caraiman Cross has been designated the highest cross in the world located on a mountain peak, according to the Guinness World record website. According to the List of the Historical Monuments made by the Culture Ministry, the commemorative Cross of the Romania heroes in the World War I, located on the Caraiman Peak in the Bucegi Mountains, is a historical monument ranked in the A group – monuments of national and universal value. It is located at the altitude of 2.291 meters, according t Guinness World record, with a height of 39,5 meters, including a cement pedestal of 8 meters. It is located in the saddle of the Caraiman Mountain, right on the edge of the abyss to Valea Seaca, at the altitude of 2,291 meters, being unique in Europe both because of the location and the dimension, according to the website dedicated to this monument.
Known as The Cross of Heroes, the monument has been built to honor the memory of the Romanians who died in the World War I, being made of steel profiles. The cross is mounted on a reinforced concrete pedestal clad in stone, with an height of 8 meters, which hosts inside it a room who initially housed the electricity generator needed to power the 120 light bulbs of 500 W on the outline of the cross. The monument has been made by the care of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria of Romania, between 1926 and 1928, “In the glory and the memory of the Prahovan heroes who fell in the World War I, 1916-1918, to defend the country”, as it is written on the commemorative plaque set on the northern side of the pedestal. It was built on the Caraiman Peak in order to be seen from as far as possible. The construction of the monument began in 1926 and was ended in August, 1928, Queen Maria closely monitoring its implementation until the end. According to the documents from that time, the manufacturers of the metal structure were the Bridges Directorate of the CFR General Directorate and the L1 and L5 Sinaia sections, the Romanian designers and engineers Teofil Revici and Alfred Pilder, and the site master was Nicu Stanescu. The project of the ensemble was designed by the architects Constantin Procopiu and Georges Cristinel, and the monument was inaugurated and consecrated on September 14, 1928, at the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The pedestal of the monument was made in 1930 from reinforced concrete clad in limestone shaped and carefully embroidered. The pedestal was built two years after the Cross has been consecrated, for its better embedding, since it was initially implemented directly into the rock. The Cross was lit on the night of the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August, 15) and in the night of the Ascension Day (June, 5) when the Hero Remembrance Day was also celebrated. At the end of the construction work, the Heroes’ Monument was the highest metal structure in Europe, placed at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters, being compared, both in terms of engineering work and symbolism with the Eiffel Tower in Paris and with the Statue of Liberty in New York, or with Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. For the daring people of the mountains, the route to the Caraiman Cross is one of the favorite attractions, especially for the fairytale landscape revealed to the eyes. From the platform at the base of the monument or from its upper terrace, a wide panorama of the Prahova River Valley opens, having Busteni at its feet and exceeding Predeal, Sinaia or the Ciucas Mountains in amplitude. Not at last, the monument was often the place where concerts have been performed, as it happened three years ago. Specifically, at the half of September, 2014, the pan-pipe player Nicolae Voiculet, together with his orchestra, a “calusari” ensemble and a group of tulnic players, performed a unique concert in the world at the Caraiman Cross. The event was held right on the Cross Day. By this concert, where dozens of Romanian artists have attended, was also celebrated one year since the Cross on Caraiman has entered into the Guinness World record as “the highest cross in the world on a mountain peak”. The Cross was officially registered with this record on August 18, 2013.