Many of us have memories with the Poieni village due to the summer camps which were organized here. Located in the heart of the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, this place is perfect for hiking and travel guidelines. More so, here you can take refuge from the city fuss. Once you have arrived to Poieni, you can say goodbye to your telephone signal, the only place from where you can still get a hold of those back home being somewhere before the village entrance, upon a bridge.
On the other side, this area is surrounded by a profound feeling of nostalgia, the 500 year old history of the village being transmitted today through stories and tales, from one generation to another, every time, a detail of the old village picture being lost on the way.
The domain of Poieni belonged to one of the owners of the Corvin Castle
The first mention of the Poieni village dates back to 1514 – 1516, under the name of Pleyen, under the administration of George of Brandenburg, one of the owners of the Hunedoara Castle, which had 7 serfs. Brandenburg inherited the Corvin domains through his marriage with Beatrice of Fragepan, the widow of Matei Corvin. She dies poisoned around the year 1510 and Brandenburg loses the castle after it gets occupied by the Transylvania prince Ioan Zapolyia and donated to the Torok family. (source)
The summer camps from Poieni and the Forest Railroad
In the old days, in Poieni, summer camps were organized. Inside the village there are two old buildings that used to host students: Villa 1, regarding which is known that it was once the headquarters for the constabulary and the Girls Camp, made out of two buildings and once located at the village exit towards the woods, on the right side. A few kilometers away from the village there is also Poieni Strâmbu, to which the village buildings once belonged. Poieni Strâmbu is the only camp that still functions today, being private and renovated.
The other two annexes from the village couldn’t benefit from the same happy faith. Out of their once shining stature nothing is left but ruins, the locals waiting for it to collapse in any moment. There isn’t an exact record of whom the owner of these buildings is or the years in which they were built. According to the locals, after 1920, these entered the property of the Romanian state. Today, they would be administrated by the County Center for Sport and Youth.
Until about 20 years ago, at Poieni, the Forest Railroad (rom. mocăniţa) functioned through which beech wood was transported from the forests of Poiana Rusca to the Vinegar Factory of Margina. In 1996, CFF was dismantled, the wood tracks have rooted and the iron was stolen and sold. The mocăniţa railway is recognized today only according to the earthworks.
The wooden Church “Pious Paraschiva” of Poieni, functioning even today, was built in 1791. The interior pictures are the original ones from 1812.
Măreasa and her son, Bogdanovich Ferencz
In the 19th century, the Poieni Strâmbu domain belonged to a countess, Leopoldina Stojánovits. She would come every summer to Poieni and the locals called her Măreasa (from “Măria Sa” in Romanian or “Her Holiness” in English). She had a vacation home on the top of a cliff near the village, out of which today there is nothing left but a foundation covered in vegetation.
Leopoldina had a son, Bogdanovich Ferencz, who, at the age of 18th, being in love with a lady that had another suitor, got to duel him and lost. Some say that Bogdanovich would have died during the duel while others claim that because of the embarrassment of losing the duel and his beloved, shots himself. In 1818, Măreasa gave an order for a crypt to be built in the Poieni forest, in which she buried her only child. She came to visit a few times, after which she disappeared without a trace. Fortunately for us, we managed to complete Măreasa’s story, which can be entirely read here.
From Timişoara to Poieni you can get on the route Lugoj – Făget – Coşava – Pietroasa – Poieni (see map). The road is covered in asphalt until the exit of the Poieni village.
For accommodation places you can contact the camp administrators from Poieni Strâmbu or the Forest Department from Coşava, which owns a hunting cabin, 2 km away from Poieni. There is no restaurant in the area, the only option for food supply being the grocery store in the village.
Written by Alexandra Palconi. Translated by Doiniţa Spuză.
Photo credit: Flavius Neamciuc