In the outskirts of Farkaslaka (Lupeni, Harghita, Romania), on the 953 m (3125 ft) high Gordon Hill stands Transylvania’s newest point of interest, a gigantic, 22 m (72 ft) tall statue called ‘Heart of Jesus’. It shows Jesus with his arms outstretched, and was ment to imitate the famous ‘Christ the Redeemer’ of Rio de Janeiro. It is also a look-out tower, with stairs inside, that lead up to the head of the statue towering above the surrounding trees, offering a great view on the surrounding landscape, the Harghita mountains to the east, and in clear conditions even to the Southern Carpathian mountains.
The steel construction, designed by Walter Zawaczky, financed by local enterprises and donations is completely weatherproof.
The statue has been erected in 2011, after long controversy concerning its form and use. Responsible offices wanted to stop construction because of the “unworthy materials” used, or for being a “cheesy copy”, not matching apparent artistic expectations of the authorities. Finally a legal loophole has been used by the supporting local government to finalize the project.
Most of the locals liked the idea of the statue, they expect it to attract tourism. People from the surrounding towns and villages tend to visit it every once and a while. The road leading up the steep hill was also said to be renewed (when we visited in May 2013 it was quite difficult for a normal car to climb the hill on the rocky road).
My personal thought is that it is not less worthy than the statue of Rio, not less artistic than the many many office buildings in Budapest. I could make some ironic guesses, what the authorities wanted to see, but let’s not go down that road 🙂 I like it as it is, hiding up to its shoulder in the trees, and I like the gesture it makes with its hands. Once the road is renewed, I will surely revisit it, the panorama is absolutely worth the climbing!
And a little bit of extra: on the road, outside Székelyszentlélek (Bisericani) there is a sheperd making and selling excellent cheese, don’t miss it!
How to get there
Coordinates: 46° 23′ 36″ N 25° 15′ 23″ E
Farkaslaka stands near the road 13A (Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș-Szováta-Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu-Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc). Gordon hill can be reached through Székelyszentlélek, then taking the dirt road up the hill. Other means of transport stop far away (plane at Marosvásárhely or Bucuresti, bus in Székelyudvarhely, train in Segesvár/Sighișoara) so you have to rent a car to get here.