Izvorul Muntelui Lake and Dam
The Bicaz dam is one of the most visited places in the entire Neamț county, impressing with its size.
It is the first construction of this type erected in Romania through an immense human effort that lasted 10 years (1950-1960).
The construction of a dam on Bistrița was the dream of the engineer Dimitrie Leonida, who set up the Stejaru hydropower plant project, a construction that was to produce electricity for all of Moldova, with the help of Bistriţa waters.
More than 18,000 people, including soldiers, political prisoners or residents of the Bistriței Valley, forced by the communist regime, worked on the construction of the dam at Bicaz, the adduction tunnel and the electric plant at Stejaru. Shack-type housing was built in the Dodeni and Ciungi neighborhoods, canteens, but also a construction site hospital for those organized in labor colonies.
The heaviest and most dangerous jobs were assigned to priests, intellectuals, or to so called wealthy peasants and consisted of digging, dislodging and transporting waste with wagons, thus accidents occurred frequently during the work due to lack of experience and working conditions.
At the foundation of the dam, approximately 1,300,000 cubic meters of rock were excavated to hold 1.2 billion cubic meters of water.
The Bicaz Dam is 127 meters high and is the largest gravity dam on the inland rivers of Romania, being surpassed by Porțile de Fier/Iron Gates I, and is the third highest dam in the country. It is the 9th highest weight barrier in Europe.
The construction consists of 30 plots (blocks) separated by joints sealed upstream with reinforced concrete and copper wedges.
The body of the dam is crossed by galleries, ventilation shafts and niches for visiting. In the specially arranged rooms there are actuation and control installations, tracking equipment of the behavior of each element.
18,760 people (almost 2,300 households from 20 villages) were displaced to close the dam and build the reservoir.
Some preferred not to leave their native places and dismantled their houses piece by piece, and where possible, rebuilt them higher up, away from the waters of the coming lake.
The cemeteries were displaced and transported on the "Road of the Dead", the trees were cut and the buildings demolished, sometimes even by dynamiting.
In the nearby village of Hangu the only building that could not be completely dynamited was the Hangu Church (built of reinforced concrete with rails taken from a disused railway), the remains of which can be seen when the waters of the lake are dried up, in dry summers or frosty winters. It is said that those who tried to dynamite it were followed to death by a curse.
There is a high-precision seismograph inside the dam, which records the tiniest tremors of heavy machinery crossing the area.
The body of the dam is crossed by galleries, ventilation shafts and visiting niches, and in specially arranged rooms there are actuation and control installations, tracking equipment of the behavior of each element.
Designed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale, the dam at Bicaz never faced any problems and survived the great earthquake of March 4, 1977.
The scenario related to the breaking of the Bicaz dam in the event of an accident is equivalent to a disaster, with a breach of 75% in width and height, the flood wave would reach 19.5 meters at Piatra-Neamț (at the Bâtca Doamnei Dam).