Citadel Ika, Cernat - Free time, Entertainment Cernat, Transylvania

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Citadel Ika Cernat

Cernatul De Sus - Extravilan, Covasna county, Secklerland

Latitude: 45.99212, Longitude: 25.992756

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On its top is standing one of the ancient monuments of Háromszék (Three Seats) country, having lasted relatively intact during the centuries and having been renovated nowadays, also called Ika castle, or,- as local people call it - Csernátoni Csonkatorony (the jagged tower of Csernáton).

The exploration of a sequence of the old castle proves the fact that the cylinder shaped castle tower had been probably built later, in the 14. century. The actual castle is older, probably built inthe 13. century. The Ika castle is a considerable strength in the villager's lives.

Many popular beliefs are related to the castle; long ago people believed that invisible forces are defending the castle and not even the dislocation of a stone may not be left unpunished. According to one of these legends, the miller living under the castle decided in his grief caused by his grouchy wife, to demolish the north side of the castle to fall over the mill, but hardly had he touched the stones, his hand withered off and the sudden rain swept him away toghether with his wife. According to another story, a lad started demolishing the peak of the castle after a bet, but he had been struck by lightning and died. The remained stories, provided by the popular belief, offered protection for the castle and defended it from the final decay. Legends were born about the castle building. According to one of these legends, giants had built it up. These were so enormous that "one of them was standing in the middle of the stream with one of his feet and was handing over the stones to his companion, who had immediately inserted it into the wall of the tower, on the top of the mountain". It was also recorded that King Póka's leader -who had escaped from Bálványosvár (Bálványos castle)- was the one who built the castle, but he hadn't resided in it for a long time, since he was killed in a battle. His name has been preserved by Póka-halma (Póka heap) beside the road leading towards Kézdivásárhely. According to another legend, a winged giant and after him a giant snake moved in the tower, encompassing the tower with its tail and leaning into the brook with his head to drink water. Finally a knight appeard - according to the legend, the warrior from Ika - and killed it. Among the millers, residing in the neighbourhood of the castle, was living the belief that the cellars under the tower were full of treasure, being guarded by a red and a black magic cock. When one of them was sleeping, the other was awake. If somebody approached the cellar door, the guard cock crowed as an alarm signal, and the iron door was banged immediately. 

The Ika castle is lying in one of the most important tourist junctions of the Bodok Mountains. The sylvan roads, marked in the military surveys long centuries ago, connecting the Bodok Mountains, are used nowadays as tourist paths. Thus, hikers can get from Csernáton (Cernat) to the Oltfej (Olt valley), Herec castle, Málnásfürdő (Malnaş-Băi), Mikóújfalu (Micfalău) and towards the Jajdon valley (Valea Iaidon) behind Ikafalva (Icafalău) and towards  Bálványosfürdő (Băile Bálványos).

 

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