Trovant Museum, Costesti, Vâlcea

The living stones bear witness to the strength of the miners’ troops

Where is it? When can it be visited? How much does it cost?

The Trovant Museum is located on DN67 Drobeta Turnu Severin – Targu Jiu – Ramnicu Valcea, 38 km before Ramnicu Valcea and 9 km after Horezu on the direction named here. After crossing the Costesti river near the homonymous village of Valcea, drive another 1.5 km and park before a curve, on the side of the road, outside the carriageway, when you see “a wall like sand”, from a distance it looks like a quarry. For those who remember the shots with the mining raid when the miners started on foot from Targu Jiu towards Ramnicu Valcea, it is exactly the place where the miners broke the barricade of the authorities, taking them by envelopment. There is also a panel next to the objective. Although it is called a museum, it is not an objective with any building, it is 100% “”in nature””. Visiting is free and can be done at any time of the day or night.

What are trovants?

Trovantians, which are also called “”living stones””, are sandstones developed in sand “”grown together”” namely “”glued”” with natural carbonate cement. Thus, these resulting formations grow from the center to the edges with approx. 1 cm every 300 years. Their shapes are interesting, similar to cylinders, ellipsoids, spheres, 8s with a somewhat polished outer surface. In Romania, trovants are found in several areas: on V. Bezdeadului (DB), at Ulmet in the Buzaului Mountains (where there are the most and most interesting forms), in the area of ​​Cluj, Hunedoara, Bacau, Suveava, Bistrita Nasaud counties. In Valcea, besides the spectacular trovants from Costesti, there is another location, where we did not reach, 16 km south of Horezu towards Craiova, on the Gresarea river.

Our impressions from Costești

The Costesti “Museum” appeared in 2005 and is maintained with European funds by a non-governmental organization. An area of ​​about 1 ha was declared a geological reserve and protected area. Here in Costesti, as in Ulmet for that matter, the density of trovantis is high so that it is well worth a visit to admire and photograph them.

I read that the Trovantians would be 6.5 million years old. At that time there was a delta in the area, which formed a large deposit of sand. The material transported by the rivers was deposited one on top of the other, the new layers pressing the old ones. The water came out through the gaps found and in the presence of carbonates through cementation these sandstones with bizarre shapes, trovantii, were born.

the "sand bank" where the trovans are

entrance to the museum


a dove-shaped trovant

other trovants

greater trovants

perfect forms of trovants


A 30-60 minute stop at the Costesti trovants makes “all the money”.

All the best!