Legendary Places / Devil’s Ditch - Dumitreni

Devil’s Ditch - Dumitreni
On the left side of Kis-Küküllő, near Balavásár, in a picturesque, narrow valley lies Szentdemeter, where there was once a castle that was similar in the reatness and beauty to the castle of Lázár in Gyergyószárhegy. Unfortunately, over the centuries the castle has been destroyed, but there are still many interesting sights and stories in the small town and its surroundings, which captivate visitors here.One of the best-known attractions is the nearby Devil's Ditch, a mysterious and old mound line that is related to the history of the Castle from Szentdemeter. From the Elek Benedek's tale, we know that three great gentlemen, Balázsi, Nyujtódi and Csáki (these names are true, some of the noble families living in the neighborhood) have built the castle for several years, while working the locals abominably and plundering those who went there. They even became friends with the devil so that they could continue to dominate the inhabitants. The devil has heard the wishes and the curses of the simple people, and he made the truth: the nobles were tied to an enormous ploughshare, forcing them to dig a long ditch near Szentdemeter, let them know what the torment is. The villagers might even hear the shout of the devil and the screams of his whip – the ditch dug by the nobles has been called the Devil's Ditch ever since.

The valley of Demeter, which is a popular tourist attraction, was destroyed also by natural disasters – in August 1940, huge floods damaged the houses in the village. Then a young man from Hungary taught the villagers a new craft to offer them livelihood: the tradition of cornhusks-braiding was transferred from father to son, and there are still old people who know this craft. Spun cornhusks are used not only for the manufacturing of consumer goods, baskets, but also for souvenirs and decorative objects for visitors.Nowadays, the church of Szentdemeter, rebuilt several times, but still maintaining its medieval character, is the most visited place in the settlement, and the valley itself, in which once the legendary lords had so much to suffer from fraternizing with the devil.

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