Built on Dâmbovița river, in a breathtaking landscape at the foothills of Piatra Craiului mountains, Pecineagu dam and lake are worth visiting by anyone.
It is considered to be the largest riprap dam in Europe but it holds a dark and tragic secret. In 1985, at its inauguration, Alexandru Condreescu, the lead engineer who designed the dam died, after the powerful water jet coming from the drainage valves literally pulverized him.
Being 107 meters long, Pecineagu dam was meant to help the area situated below the lake with water supply for irrigation and to act as a hydroelectric power plant. Situated at an altitude of over 1100 meters, the whole system had a huge drainage funnel – a Glory Hole – which allowed 687 m³/s of water, which continued with a 81.50 meter high shaft and a 389 meter long drainage tunnel.
As the years passed, a lot of species of fish were introduced in Pecineagu lake’s waters. One of them was the Danube salmon (Hucho hucho). They thrived until 2000, when the lake was almost emptied and the poachers caught every single salmon in the lake. Since then, the area is relatively quiet and nowadays, bears are thriving here, thanks to the efforts made by Conservation Carpathia, an environmental organization.