Discover Romania: Myths and living legends – The Oldwomen from Ulmet (The Trovants)

A day trip to living stones: The Trovants from Buzău county.

Who said Romania is only home to vampires, werewolves, and haunted forests? This hidden gem also contains pyramids, spaceships, giants, and even the legendary living stones.

My friends (also partners in crime) and I have organized a one day tour of Luana’s Country in Buzău County that takes you to and through some of these wonders.

Among the Muddy Volcanoes (here), the Giant’s Throne (here), and the houses carved in stone from Alunis (here); you will visit one of the most interesting landscapes that the world has to offer – The Trovants.

There are two sites where you can find the Trovants in Romania. One is located in Costești, Vâlcea, which is the largest. The second is located in the commune Bozioru, located in the North-Central part of Buzău County, also known as The Old Woman (Babele) of Bozioru.

For this trip, you will visit The Old Woman of Bozioru because it is easier to link with the other spots.

Now, what does makes this place so special?

According to many geologists and scientists, The Trovants are an absolutely unique and bizarre geological phenomenon. This place is littered with spherical cemented sandstones that were placed here over 6 million years ago from heavy seismic activity that occurred during that time.

The “bizarre phenomenon” here is the stones themselves. They are known in Romanian as trovants or the Living Stones because they actually grow! Yes, you read correctly, they grow.

The shapes of these stones vary heavily from a cylinder, sphere, spacecraft, ellipse, and a disk shape with no sharp corners. Studies have proven that these stones change shape every 1,200 years. Each Trovant varies in size from a few centimeters to even 10-meters. Their internal structure is also unusual; cutting a stone in half reveals rings very similar to the rings found in a tree as it ages and grows.

They believe that the stones increase in size due to the high content of various mineral salts, which are under their shell. When the surface becomes wet, these chemicals start spreading and put pressure on the sand, making the stone ‘grow’.

The science behind the stones is not so bizarre, as the composition of the stone contains many minerals and salts that react with water to cause this growing characteristic. When the stone becomes wet, the rock expands and changes shape. Over time, these stones will grow and change drastically.

The Old Women are famous both for their strange shape and for the many legends that have been told over the years.

The most interesting characteristic is the energy produced by these stones. Many locals travel to these stones just to place their hands on them, bringing about a joyous energy to that person and making them as good as new. This belief is based on another legend that originated from the giants that existed in Luana’s Country (Tara Luanei).

Another local legend says that the stones change their position which looks really stunning and arouses curiosity.

In 2008, archaeologists found a large stone with illegible symbols and writing inscribed on it. The writing belonged to a civilization never mentioned by any historians. In order to protect this stone, the archaeologists buried it.

Many legends speak of these stones, their divine origin, and how they came from an alien world. The locals say these stones bring prosperity and luck, and this is why their gates are guarded by the Trovants. It is also said that these stones move, jumping from their original place to another location from time to time.

Once the hiking begins in the Bâlca’s Meadow, a strange object comes into view and welcomes you to the area. The object appears in the shape of a half dome, partially buried in the ground.

This particular living stone is perfectly placed and aligned with the polar star, giving it a powerful presence in local lore and legends.

It is told that this Trovant, the little brother of the others, grew rapidly and made its way down into the meadow where it lies today. Beginning its journey at the top of a nearby ridge. The local that saw this occur, stated the noise petrified him, making it impossible to run away. He watched intensely as the stone grew before his eyes and moved down into the meadow. When he made his neighbors aware of this event, they dismissed it and named him the village fool.

Today, this Trovant is the only stone that lies .5km from the center of the area, the furthest distance any Trovant has been found from the center of the site.

Some Legends even go as far as stating that Alien beings relocate the stones to change their energy transmitters.

In the center of the site, atop the mountains, the largest of these living stones, also called “the old women” can be found.

Beyond the legends and tales, some researchers, archaeologists, paleontologists, philosophers, and mystics come up with all sorts of other assumptions: the stones could mean the transition from the mineral to the vegetable kingdom, could have a divine or extraterrestrial origin, could be artifacts or fossils of plants or animals, or giant dinosaur eggs, or petrified prehistoric animals.

Some scientist tested the energy level and they found an intense activity in these stones.

Another part of these legends would be that here it was a spacecraft base and a runaway from the aircrafts, with radio transmitter and signalling.

After a short hike in the forest you can see the remains of some sort of columns or petrified bones looking like trovants.

How to get there: The GPS coordinates for The Old Women of Bozioru are: 45.368636, 26.464641

Entrance fees: None.


  • I have approaches shoes, but any hiking boot will do perfect, comfy hiking pants and tshirt and a rain/windproof jacket (it is 100% depending on the time of the year when you visit it)
  • BRING WATER, I usually carry camelback or nalgene bottles
  • And as a photographer, I took only my Canon EOS Mk 2 with 16-35 mm USM IS2 f2.8 lenses

The whole day trip map is here:

Photo: Diana C.
Text: Diana C. & Josh H.


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