The Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization is an institution located in the city of Deva, Hunedoara County.

The museum was founded in 1882 as the County Museum and hold relevant and significant archaeological collections from the land of Transylvania, such as numismatic, ethnographic and natural science exhibits. It is organized into three sections: history, natural sciences and art, being in the possession of cultural objects classified as national cultural heritage treasure.

The Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization is situated in the Magna Curia Palace or Bethlen Castle, constructed in the 17th century, under the sovereignty of Prince Gabor Bethlen. Under Bethlen’s authority, Deva was named for a short tome the capital of Transylvania. The museum is placed at the foot of the citadel hill close to a beautiful park.

Magna Curia Palace is the oldest historic building in Deva. The edifice has a Baroque style and suffered several transformations during time. The last ones were made in first part of the 18th century. Initially, the Magna Curia Palace was built in Renaissance style in 1621 by Gabor Bethlen starting from the existing house built by Francisc Geszty, the Captain of the garrison of Deva’s Fortress, in 1582.

The museum houses collections of archaeological eras: Prehistoric, Dacian, Roman, Pre-Medieval and early medieval Numismatic collections of decorative art, ethnography (costumes, tools, pottery, religious icons on glass), collections of natural sciences (botany, paleontology and others) and a library with approximately 40,000 volumes. Extensive archaeological discoveries from the Orastie Mountains area are exhibited in the museum.

Also, the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization has an important collection of medieval medals, old Transylvanian coins, and first bills that existed on this territory. Visitors interested in ethnographic collections are invited to spend a beautiful afternoon in this place.

The Department of Natural Sciences is one of the most exciting places from all the territory of Romania, and was built in 1967. Here travelers can find paleontology collections, minerals, mammals, mollusks and further general information.

In the area was founded Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia. Documentary evidence of the city of Deva first appeared in 1269 when Stephen V, King of Hungary and Duke of Transylvania, mentioned “the royal castle of Deva” in a privilege-grant for the Count Chyl of Kelling Under Voivod John Hunyadi. Deva became an important military and administrative center, partially destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1550. After this event it was rebuilt and the fortress was extended.

The city of Deva has preserved the historical spirit of the Dacian times, and is worth visiting, being beautiful and interesting especially for history lovers. Corvin Castle is only 20 minutes away from Deva by car.

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.

Sarmizegetusa Regia: it was the capital and most important military, religious and political center of the Dacian state before the war with the Roman Empire.

It was the nucleus of a strategic defense system of six Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains, used by Decebal for defense against the Roman conquest. The archaeological sites Sarmizegetusa is located in the village Gradistea Muncelului, Hunedoara County.

After the conquest of Dacia and its incorporation in the Roman Empire, the capital was moved to Ulpia Traiana ( Sarmizegetusa) located over 40 km away.

The dacian ruins of the Dacian fortress known as Sarmizegetusa Regia, were included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It is not known certainly the pronouncement in Dacian language, and it is not known the meaning of the word. There are some assumptions, that according which the name is composed with two basic elements: zermi= rock, height and zeget = citadel , so the name will be translated as “High Citadel”.

Since Sarmizegetusa initially was not a military fortification, but a religious and civil settlement, etymology should be considered with certain reservation. It is possible that the name shows the sacredness of the place or that it was a royal fortress at the beginning.

Another theory says that the name has another meaning: “Sarmatians and Getae settlement” from the latin “sarmis et getusa”.

All this attempts to find the meaning of the name Sarmizegetusa generated theory that are only at the stage of hypotheses.

The fortress from the Gradistea Hill is the largest of the Dacian fortifications. Situated on a cliff of 1200 m high, the fortress was the strategic center of defense system from Orastie Mountains and included six citadels.

The fortress, a quadrilateral formed of massive stone blocks, was a construction on five terraces an area of about 30,000 m². Sarmizegetusa also contained a sacred area. Among the most important Dacian large circular sanctuaries is the Circular Calendar.

The walls of the fortress were 3 meters thick and 4 -4 meters high.
Nearby dacian wall, on an area of 3 km lies a large civil settlement, were can be seen many homes, workshops, warehouses, barns and water storage.

At 100 m to east, next to the city gate, are the sanctuaries that have various shape and size.
During the Roman hostilities the sanctuaries were destroyed and we don’t know for sure if it was one large sanctuary of 2 smaller built one next to each other.

Civilians were living near the fortress, on terraces build at the bottom of the hill. Dacian nobility had water in their residences, brought true ceramic pipes.

Archaeological inventory shows that Dacian society had a high standard of living.
The Dacian capital reached its peak under Decebal, Dacian king was defeated by the Roman Empire during the reign of Emperor Traian. After defeating the Dacians, the conquerors established a military garrison there and began to tear down the city.

The new Roman capital, Ulpia Traiana Augusta Sarmizegetusa was built at a distance of 40 km Sarmizegetusa. Emperor Hadrian wanted the new capital built by Traian to be perceived as a continuation of the Dacian one, and this is why he named it the same: Sarmizegetusa.

Today on the spot of Ulpia Traiana is the city Sarmizegetusa, from Hunedoara County.

All 6 fortresses from Orastie Mountains ( Sarmizegetusa Regia, Luncani – Piatra Rosie, Costesti – Blidaru, Castesti – Cetatuie, Capalna, Banita) that formed the Dacian fortifications defense system are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

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