Transylvanian Carpathia Society (Erdélyi Kárpát-Egyesület, shortly EKE)


The Transylvanian Carpathia Society is a not-for-profit non-governmental association founded in Cluj-Napoca in 1891. Over the years, well known personalities such as Dezső Radnóti, Dr. Antal Hermann, Vilmos Hankó, Gyula Czárán, Jenő Cholnoky, Ernő Balogh, Sándor Tavaszy, János Bányai or Béla Páter have influenced the spirit of EKE.

The Society built and operated fifteen shelters in various parts of Transylvania. It aslo established the Radnaborberek (Valea Vinului) and Dombhát (Anieș) baths in the Radnai (Rodnei) Mountains, playing – in the same time – an important role in the development of Transylvanian baths.

The Society’s heyday was at the beginning of the last century when it hat nearly 6000 members. In the house where King Matthias I Corvinus was born (in Kolozsvár, in Romanian: Cluj-Napoca), they created the Carpathian Museum, where the ethnographic characteristics and the diversity of folk art is presented in a unique way. The Museum was inaugurated on the 2nd of October, 1902, on the same they, when the statue of King Matthias I Corvinus was unveiled.

Because of the political conflicts during the interbelic period, the Society lost the museum and in 1948 lost its remaining assets.

In 1991 the Transylvanian Carpathia Society was re-established, currently operating with 15 member organizations. In the present day the Society counts approximately 1500 members and it is the largest tourist organization in Romania. The EKE Vándortábor (Tent Camp) is its largest, annually organized event. In 2017 the camp is organized by the Háromszék branch and will take place between the 25th and 30th of July in Rétyi Nyír (Rezervația naturală de la Reci).

The goals of EKE are to: protect the natural environment; practice and promote hiking and ecotourism in general; and know, popularize, and protect cultural and ethnic values. After a forced break of 50 years (1948-1989), EKE was reformed in 1991. As of today, there are 18 branch offices in cities throughout Transylvania, all operating under the main administrative center in Cluj.


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