Located on the bank of the Arges River, between the slopes of Pleasa and Vidraru Mountains, along Transfagarasan Road, at about 40 kilometers far from Curtea de Arges, Vidraru Dam is considered by specialists a real jewelry of engineering. It was built, with many human sacrifices (about 80 persons lost their lives during its construction) between 1961 and 1966. 42 kilometers of subterranean galleries were drilled, about 1 768 000 cubic meters of hard rocks were excavated (of which one million had to be extracted from the undergrounds), 930 000 cubic meters of concrete were used and 6 300 tons of electro – mechanics equipment were set up for its construction.
The accumulation lake, with a water accumulation volume of 465 million cubic meters, has 10, 3 km in length, and a maximum width of 2,2 kilometers (in the Valea Lupului zone – Calugarita), a total surface of 870 hectare and the maximum depth of 155 meters. The power station is in the underground, in the Cetatuia Massif, at 104 meters depth, and it can generate an approximate of 400 GWh per year.
At the completion date, it ranked 5th in Europe, and 9th in the world. As specialists say, it is a double curved dam, its height is 166 meters and arch length 307 meters. Its outline is electrically lighted by night, so it can be noticed from the plane. The access to the Dam is by the East border of the lake, on the road that climbs to Balea. At the end of the dam, one can take left to Cumpana Depression. Tourists can climb to Belvedere platform to admire the beautiful landscape.
approximate of 400 GWh per year.
On Plesa Mountain there is also the sculpture of Prometheus, with the flash of lightning in his hand, as a symbol of electricity, made by sculptor Constantin Popovici. Few hundred meters far from the Dam there is “Casa Argeseana” and also the wharf where they organize pleasure trips by boat. The highest launching runway for bungee jumping was arranged at the Dam for the extreme sport lovers.
The natives who worked at the construction of the giant from the mountains remember that there were hard conditions and that many men lost their lives. Nobody knows the precise number. In some documents it is stated that it was about 80 workers that died in different accidents, in some others about 20. It is certain that after more than 40 years Vidraru Dam attracts thousand of tourists, even foreigners, which are amazed by this monument of the engineering technique.
The inhabitants of Curtea de Arges remember how their town flourished in the years when the dam was built. Today some of them think, frightened, about the fact that, if anything wrong happens there in the mountains, the freshet would reach Curtea de Arges in seven minutes, and the high of the waves would be of about half a block of flats. There was a problem back in 1977, when one of the slide valves blocked because of the water infiltrations, and hundred of tones of water washed the downstream localities, destroying several houses and killing a woman. But this kind of problems can no longer appear nowadays, or at least that is what the management team of Vidraru Dam states.
Nearby, located on the top of the mountain, there is the Poenari Fortress, a former residence of Vlad Tepes (also called Dracula), built as a fortress against the Ottoman invaders. There is a road of over 1000 steps that leads to the fortress. Although it is just a ruin, one can take photos of the Vidraru Dam and Fagaras Mountains. Extreme sensations lovers say that this is the meeting place of vampires, taking as argument the song “The Curse of Poenari” of the black metal band Wallachia.