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The Bărăgan Plain (Romanian: Câmpia Bărăganului) is a steppe plain in south-central Romania, in the eastern part of the Wallachian Plain. It lies south of the River Călmăţui, a tributary of the Danube. It is mostly a cereal-growing area.

Climate

The Bărăgan Plain has hot and dry summers, and houses the location where the highest-ever temperature in Romania was recorded (44.5°C, at Ion Sion). Winters are cold, and subject to the effects of a blizzard wind, known as "crivăţ" (this feature also gives the plain its name, derived from the Cuman language for "place where the blizzard is raging").

In his novel, Ciulinii Bărăganului, the Romanian writer Panait Istrati describes the Bărăgan Plain as follows:

No trees grow here, and it's so far from one water well to the next that you can die of thirst half-way. The inhabitant of Bărăgan constantly hopes that one day someone will come and teach him how to live better in the Bărăgan, in this dreadful wilderness where water is hidden in the deepest bowels of the earth and where nothing grows except thistles. They cover the land in less than a week. It's the only thing the Bărăgan will tolerate, except for the sheep who lust after these thistles and devour them greedily. Come winter, the shepherd abandons this God forsaken land and returns home. Then the Bărăgan dons its white fur coat and lays to rest for six months. Nothing lives here any more. That's the Bărăgan.

Due to its climate, it is one of the most inhospitable areas in Romania. It was used as a depot for mass deportations by the Communist authorities during the 1950s.

See also

References

  • Panait Istrati, The Thistles of the Bărăgan, Vanguard Press, New York, 1930
  • [1], [2] Walther Konschitzky, Peter-Dietmar Leber and Walter Wolf, Deported to the Bărăgan 1951–1956, Haus des Deutschen Ostens, Munchen, 2001

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