Sarmizegetusa Regia – 2000 years of history

Finally we get to a place that has been long waiting on our to-visit list 🙂 We were lucky to visit it in a mini-vacation when we had three days off in the spring of 2016. We’re talking about the Sarmizegetusa Regia fortification.

We arrived here after first visiting the stone church in Densuș that we already told you about. Black clouds were starting to gather above us but we still decided to leave the comfort of the car and start climbing on foot until the fortification.

Getting here is very easy now since there is a freshly laid asphalt road leading to a big parking area. You must leave your car here and continue uphill on the pedestrian-only paved road which is about 1 km long.

Although we hoped for the rain to avoid the area, bad luck struck exactly when we reached the pay point for entering the fortification. Torrential rain and then, soon after, hail started to fall on us.

Unfortunately there is no where to head for cover there. The only place we could find were under some big trees but they only minimised the storm. What can I say, I wish there were some places with a roof for tourists to be protected in such cases..

After this 15 minutes long storm we were all wet. We were somewhat lucky that we had waterproof clothes which held pretty well under the circumstances. Others were not that lucky. Anyway, we bought the tickets and entered the fortification.

Sarmizegetusa Regia is situated in the Orăștiei Mountains and it was the capital of Dacia, the kingdom that predates modern Romania. This fortification was the biggest and the most important one of the six fortification used by the Dacian king Decebal to defend against the Roman Empire invasion. The other five fortifications are: Piatra Roșie (The Red Stone), Blidaru, Cetățuie, Căpâlna and Bănița. All of them are currently in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list.

Sarmizegetusa Regia (Regia means Royal) was the most important military, political and religious place before the wars against the Roman Empire (101 – 102 and 105-106). It was the heart of the defensive line against the Roman invasion.

After Dacia was conquered by the Romans, the latter moved the capital 40 km away and named it Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa.

In present times this extremely valuable archaeological site hosts the remaining of the Dacian constructions which are almost two millennia old! Several huge stones, which are part of the 3 meters – thick defence walls, and columns or pieces of foundation for living quarters can still be seen here!

Also, several temples or sacred places can still be seen, of course only a couple of big boulders used for their construction. One of the most important places in this big fortification is a sacred temple called the Circular Calendar (the one on the article’s cover photo). This place is also the symbol of Sarmizegetusa Regia as it is commonly associated to it.

I found it really fascinating that you can still see the (working) sewer system which is extended in the entire fortification. We actually got to see it properly working after the big storm we told you about 🙂 You can see it in the image above.

We can only recommend to come see this place, the most important place of the ancient Dacian Kingdom, which is the foundation of the Romanians. Beside the fortification, the place where it is built is also very beautiful, surrounded by virgin forests at over 1200 m altitude. Fingers crossed so that storms will avoid the area when you’ll be visiting 😀


This place on the map so you can find it easier:

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