The Franciscan meditation route in Șumuleu Ciuc

Șumuleu Ciuc– as the most important destination of pilgrims in the county – ”wove” many small pilgrim’s route around itself, with the aim to give opportunity for the people having arrived for several days, to spend a (half) day in nature, contemplating the flora and fauna with its visual and acoustic content. In this way, they can taste a different point of view and they can start looking at nature, at themselves and at their fellow being from another perspective.

  1. János Kájoni meditation route (sign: black K): 6 km, 3 hours

It is named after the great Franciscan monk, organist, organ builder, songwriter, translator, botanist, printer and publisher, creator of Kájoni Codex.

It is a half-day long route, which goes from the shrine of Șumuleu Ciuc, touching upon the spring of sparkling mineral water. On the road it approaches the plateau between the two Șumuleu mountains where the Three Hills altar is also located. From there it goes on the road from the west to the Big Șumuleu mountain, and from there, with a small rise, we reach the second saddle of the Big Șumuleu mountain. Leaving behind the markings of K. Xantus and J. Écsy pilgrim routes markings, on a small path in the forest, following the K signs, we reach a saddle near the Big Șumuleu peak. If we make a 100-meter-detour to the left (SW), on a smaller mountain peak we find the ruins of the former St. Luke chapel and monastery. Turning back, we climb 300 meters up to the Great Șumuleu peak (1,033 m) where once the Great Șumuleu Castle rose, also called Salt Castle. Today, a watchtower is located on the hill, from where we descend in a beech forest to the saddle of the Small Șumuleu mountain, and near the (Suffering of Jesus, Salvator, St. Anthony) chapels we get back to the mineral water springs.

This is a medium level route. It is not advised for children under 12 and for beginners!


  1. János Écsy L. meditation route (sign: brown T): 6,4 km, 2 hours 30 minutes

The route commemorates János Écsy L., the monastery and provincial vicar, blessed with extraordinary abilities, who was imprisoned for his faith.

The route is similar with the Joannes Kájoni route up to the second saddle, namely, from the spring of sparkling mineral water it follows the track until the plateau between the two Șumuleu mountains, and it reaches the second saddle from the city side of the mountain. However, after reaching this point, the route goes up the mountain (to the south), going around the Big Șumuleu mountain without any great effort.

This is an easier route, where later a greater station of the cross could be established. Advised for children and beginners as well!

  1. Xantus Keresztes meditation route (sign: green X): 19 km, 7 hours

This is a one-day route, commemorating the heroic death of Xantus Keresztes, the King’s Judge in Lower Ciuc, and his peers during the 1694 Tatar invasion. It follows the same track like the ones mentioned above, but from the second Șumuleu saddle this goes to an eastern direction between large clearings and forests, reaching the mountain ridge, where we turn right (SE), from where there are 5.3 km to the ruins of the Xantus manor.

We can walk comfortably on the ridge with a nice view on the right to the Hosasău valley. Following the sign, we leave the ridge to the right (S) and descend to a lower ridge above the Hosasău valley, reaching the ruins. From here we return, and after 200 meters to the right (SE), towards a smaller side valley, we descend to the chapel.

Here we can have our lunch, and then turn back, following the direction of the valley to the west, with 300 m before the village of Fitod, we turn left (S) towards the church in Leliceni (if we are tired we can go back through Fitod). Next to the church in Leliceni, we can see the centuries-old linden tree and the Véreskép (Picture in blood) monument (commemorating the Tatar’s invasion in 1694), where we begin to descend to the newly built houses in Fitod. At the end of the village, through a side street, we can reach the hillside, and through the saddle we return to Șumuleu Ciuc.

This is a medium level meditation route, it is not suggested for the children under 12 and for beginners!