Carpathian lake Nesamovyte

Nesamovyte lake Carpathians

Nesamovyte lake in the Carpathian Mountains. Photographer Igor Melika

Many know about Synevir Lake in the Carpathian Mountains. It is indeed a tourist attraction. But in the Carpathians there are many interesting small “clouded” lakes – relicts of the ice age. They are all to be found in heights of 1400-1800 meters above sea level – often surround with clouds and legends. Carpathian habitants call the lakes “eyes of the sea” and most of the legends have cosmological and transcendental dimensions.

The shepherds that pasture their herds in the highlands of the Chorna Hora mountain range, mount Svydovets and the mountains of the Rakhiv range tell stories about the death of cattle in deep abysses of these lakes, about terrible storms provoked by a stone thrown into the water.

Nesamovyte lake

This Carpathian lake is situated on a large plateau on the northeastern slopes of mount Turkul on a height of 1750 meters. The slightly arched form of the lake repeats the outline of the windy southeastern slope. The length of the lake is 88 meters, the width – 45 meters and the area is 3.500 square meters. The southern bank is stony: boulders from the rocky slope have over the centuries have dented the moraine, the layer of breed that the glacier tramped to the lake. Along the opposite bank, the moraine is covered with sub-alpine flora. Here grow mainly pine-trees and junipers. From this bank, the lake in recent years displays an intensive overgrowth of sedge – people leave garbage on the bank or throw it into the water, what helps aquatic plants to grow. On the southern side the bottom is covered with huge flat boulders, on the northern side overweighs a grey soil. The depth of the lake generally lies between 1- 1,5 meters. The lake is supplied with water from sources under the moraine layer. The lake is fed by rain and melting snow.

That is a short description of Lake Furious, which in Ukrainian is called “nesamovyte”. But for the local inhabitants, Hutsuls, it is a sacred place where “hail is born”. Modern weather confirms the old legend.

A storm from a stone

The local inhabitants of the surrounding villages believe in this. They swear that the souls of all those, who commit suicide (hang or drown themselves) or take someone else life, land up in lake Nesamovyte. They say that when one throws a stone in the lake, then the souls of all sinners are disturbed. From the lakes a white rider on a white horse and he begins to prance. Where the horse strikes a stone, there break off pieces of ice from the rocky slope. Then the souls of sinners jump out from immense depths, pack the pieces of ice into a big bag and fly out from Chorna Hora as dark clouds in all directions. Where they then open their bags, there hail falls from the sky.

It is also said, that when somebody dies a sinful death, then his soul falls into the lake like a stone and the habitants of the lake with thunder and hail greet in this way the addition.

Not only the villagers of Bystrets, Dzembronya, Zelene and other villages of the highland of Chorna Hora know how large the damage causes the hail which is “born” in the mountains of Chorna hora, to their small garden plots. That is why on so-called “sacred days of hail” nobody undertake any work, not even domestic jobs. And when the storm has passed through the village, they look around with curiosity what damage to whom the hail caused. Proudly they then declare, that who truly believes in God and celebrates all big and small feasts and shows respect for thunder, the storm will not cause any damage. And God forgive the person who tries to throw a stone into the lake. No Hutsul will stroke his head.

With the lake it is so, that often on a hot midday there is not even a small cloud in the sky and within 20-30 minutes the weather will turn devilish mad and such a thunderstorm with wind will approach, that you do not know, if you will witness a white world again. Hutsuls call this phenomena sharha. It is a hurricane with a cold rain and wet snow and hail and lightning. One will not envy a tourist that comes upon such a situation in the highland of Chorna Hora…

The Furious has anchored at the bottom of the glacier and observes with its marine eyes the magic world of the Carpathian Mountains and keeps its secrets.

It was a long time ago as…

These are souls of deceased sinners that making ice. When they were alive, I served them. Now they are serving me to the end of the world.

One Hutsul from Zhabye was returning home from a commercial fair in Hungarian Sighet. The traveler lost his way before the mountain of Spyk and lowered himself into a huge caldron. The darkness of the night be met on the shore of a small lake. He tied his horse to a rock, lit a fire from dry wood, picked up his pot and went to the lake to fill water. He had taken only one spoon as he heard a large noise. He looked up and saw that on the other side of the lake somewhat of a gentleman is rolling in a fine carriage harnessed to two white horses. He rode up to the traveler and asked: “What are you doing here so late?”
”I want to have some dinner and spend the night here, since it is difficult to make my way home in the darkness of the night” – replied the Hutsul.
“Do you want to eat dry kulish after such a journey and sleep under the bushes? Come to me, I live not far away and receive you nicely.” – was replied.
They both sat in the carriage and drove direct into the lake. The water opened and a huge, elegant palace was displayed. All the windows were inundated with a shining light and joyful singing and music was heard from the mansion. The gentleman invited the table that bended from all the oversea foods and drinks. The minute that it struck midnight, all lights went out and the merry company began to sleep.
Meanwhile someone in the courtyard was not stopping and movement was heard. The man looked through the window and saw a crowd of people that were preparing ice from the aquatic surface.
“These are souls of deceased sinners that making ice. When they were alive, I served them. Now they are serving me to the end of the world” – said the gentleman.
The Hutsul understood that some unsure force is talking to him and he crossed himself three times.
The lake began to seethe striking cold waves and it three the guest against the rocky slope.

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