Some weeks ago I visited a very interesting place where I used to go for fishing when I was very young. My grandparents were living in a pretty small village in the vicinity of Campina, at Telega, well known for its salt lake and for a prison where – people say – the ex Romanian President, the Dictator Ceausescu was imprisoned in his communist revolutionary youth.
Not far from my grandparents house is a very small and charm full lake, at the base of a round shape hill, called “Rotunda”, surrounded by the forest. The lake has also a very beautiful name: “Zorile” that means in Romanian “at the dawn”. Although it is very small, it is very, very deep: about 200 m.
The lake “Zorile” has always fascinated me. Everybody visiting this place is touched by a mysterious feeling. There is a certain strange silence. It is quite and frightening and nobody could say why… It seems like the place has witnessed some horror stories. From this feeling came the name of the photography series: “CRIME OCCURS IN CERTAIN PLACES”. But for the people who happen to know the history of the lake, the mystery is unveiled.
More than a century ago, there was an underground salt mine. Jailed people were used to dig the salt, most of them condemned at life hard labor. Once arrived at the salt mine, the jailbirds went down the galleries and they never came back. They never see the daylight anymore. The mine was used for a couple of centuries, but slowly, was flooded by underground springs and the main gallery eventually collapsed, shaping the lake. The water is fresh only for the first 5 to 10 meters and after this thin layer is becoming salty.
Sometimes, when a big piece of salt or rock from the walls of the cavity is sliding down, swirls are forming at the surface, swallowing the innocent swimmers unfortunate to be there. Many people died in this way, including the son of an important chief of the Communist Party, in the early 70’s. Divers were sent to find his body, but they failed due to the high depth of the lake and for the side galleries that dig hundreds of meters into the hill.
On the occasion of my latest visit there, I noticed that in the place where the “Danger – Swim forbidden” plate was, now there is a new one saying “Don’t entry – Private property”. I was told by an old man that was a kind of guard for this new private property, that the lake and a good portion of the hill and the forest has been sold by the town hall. Really sad.
Crime occurs in certain places (I)