Retezat Park, one of the most important protected natural areas in Europe

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Retezat National Park was designated on Sunday one of the most important protected natural areas in Europe, on the occasion of the European Day of Parks.
On behalf of The Council of Europe, Francoise Bauer, delegate of the European forum, conferred this distinction at the Academy House in Bucharest.
The event was organized in Romania’s Capital exactly on the day when 100 years were celebrated since the setting up of the first national parks in Europe, namely in Sweden, in 1909. In Romania, Retezat National Park was the first designated as such, in 1935, on a former hunting ground of the Royal House.
In 2008, Canadian Foundation New7Wonders has launched a worldwide campaign, following which people all over the globe could vote places to be included into the new seven wonders of the world.
At the end of the first preliminary stage, with votes cast by more than 100 million people, Retezat was the only place in Romania which qualified for the second stage, with votes to be cast till the date of July 7 this year.
Retezat National Park covers a surface of more than 35,000 hectares and, according to specialists, is the last forest in Europe where man never set foot. Each month, dozens of groups of tourists reach the zone, but the most are eager to practice ski on the specially arranged slope.
The park has more than 20 peaks higher than 2,000 meters and 80 lakes, the best known being Bucura (the largest glacial lake in the country, with a nine hectare surface) and Zanoaga (the deepest in Romania – 29 meters).
As many as 185 bird species, 1,190 plant species are present in this area – a third of the total in Romania and 90 of them are unique in the country. Romania is also member of the Europark – the initiator in 1999 of the European Day of Parks, through the Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the protected areas under the Europark authority are the Danube Delta and Retezat National Park.
Total surface of the biosphere reservations, national and natural parks in Romania is of 1.2 million hectares, accounting for 5.04 percent of the country’s territory.
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