The Romanian Village with 1 Inhabitant and a 10km Marble Road
Alun, the Romanian village with just 1 inhabitant and a 10 km marble road is one of those mystical places we only hear about in story books. It’s a place of mystery, located in the Poiana Ruscă mountains, in the remote parts of Ţinutul Pădurenilor (The Land of Foresters), Hunedoara County.
Alun, meaning ‘Hazelnut tree’, went through a huge depopulation process after the fall of communism and after the marble quarry was shut down in 1990. The village relied solely on the exploitation of marble, and since the quarry closed, people have moved to the city, or went abroad to find work. Only 1 person remained in Alun, surrounded by amazing landscape and 104 empty houses (103, not counting his home).
Being close to the marble quarry, and since this was the most wide-spread type of stone in the area, all the houses from Alun are really solid. They have a marble foundation and all the roads inside the village are paved with marble.
The last house built in Alun, House No. 104, was built in the 60’s, near the marble quarry. Half a century ago, the village was inhabited by 100 families. Today, Alun and the surrounding area around the village are home to only 2 families (5 people in total).
Alun was a really important village in communist Romania. The marble coming from its quarry was used to build The People’s Palace in Bucharest, the biggest building in Europe and the second largest building in the world.
Besides having a 10 km marble road, the village also has another beautiful attraction. A marble church was built here during 1937-1940 and villagers used to say that this place was a unique building in Europe. “They came from all over Europe to see the church”, says Aron Benteu, one of the people living in the area.