Dacian Fortresses of Orastie Mountains, part of UNESCO World Heritage

The cumulation of these six Dacian Fortresses in the Mountains of Orastie is due to the Dacians need of protection against the Roman takeover. They were all created around the 1st century, BC and AC and played a huge part in the wars between Dacians and Romans.

Most of the fortresses are located in Hunedoara County: Costesti-Cetatuie, Costesti-Blidaru, Piatra Rosie, Banita and Capalna, which is located in Alba County. Sarmizegetusa Regia is the most important one. A full article on the Dacian capital can be found on the blog. The well-kept relics of the fortresses represent the Iron Age, and in 1999, they were included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Costesti-Cetatuie Fortress, used to be the home to Dacian kings. Also, it is believed that was the center of a big Dacian settlement. It was destroyed during the Daco-Roman war, quickly restorated and then destroyed in its entirety. The remainings are an earth wall defensive system, a typical Dacian wall, named murus Dacicus and the foundation of a tower.

The Costesti-Blidaru Fortress, located at the 750 meters peak of Blidaru, represents the strongest fortification, spread across an astounding 6000mp plateau. Costesti-Blidaru has two fields. The first fortress has the shape of a trapeze and is situated on the upper plateau. It has 4 towers on each corner. The second fortress was built after, west from the first one.

The Fortress of Piatra Rosie (Red Stone) located near Bosorod village, is a more secluded Dacian monument, for it is built on a cliff. Getting to Piatra Rosie implies a walk in the woods by foot on a road paved by the Dacians, because cars are not allowed. Who gets here is not only a tourist, but a real explorer.

The fortifications from Banita were destroyed during the Daco-Roman wars. The constructions within this Fortress had an obvious military functions: fighting platforms, defense walls and a watchtower. This fortress’ main role was to block the southern access to Sarmizegetusa Regia.

The Fortress of Capalna, the only one located outside of Hunedoara, in Alba County, had a short life, because it was totally destroyed after a fire caused in times of war. Today, a few relic walls and a tower can still be seen. Capalna was heavily dug up by treasure-hunters but archaeologists have also made some authorized searches. They found ceramic objects with geometric ornaments, bronze pots, tools, iron, golden and bronze jewelry and Roman coins. All of these can be seen at the National Museum of Alba Iulia or Sebes Museum.

These UNESCO World Heritage sites, encircling the Dacian core, Sarmizegetusa Regia, makes up a wonderful tour to explore the Dacian heritage of Romania.

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Stefania Tripe
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” ― Stephen King.


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