Built in the Ist century BC and Ist century AD, in the time of the Kingdom of Dacia, these fortresses display an unusual fusion of the military and religious architectural concepts of the classical age of Europe. They speak for the vigorous and innovative civilization of the Dacian people.
The six Dacian fortresses from the Orăştie Mountains formed the defensive system of heart of the Dacian Kingdom from the reign of Burebista (82 BC – 44 BC) to Decebal (85 AD – 106 AD). They make up a complex of fortresses and settlements especially created and deliberately located in order to form a very strong defensive system. They were built as a means of protection against the growing threat of the Roman Empire, who wanted to conquer Dacia. They were the highest expression of the Geto-Dacian material development, the way they were raised is still not fully understood at this time, and the remaining ruins are all overwhelming after thousands of years, and they pass on the legends created around them.
The six citadels are: Sarmizegetusa Regia, Luncani-Piatra Roșie, Costești-Blidaru, Costești-Cetățuie, Banița (all located in Hunedoara county) and Căpâlna (located in Alba county).
The most important fortification is the Citadel of Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of the Dacian kingdom. It included in its perimeter the fortress, the sacred area and the civil settlement. About 100m East of the fortress, on two terraces, lies the sacred area, with a broad road, paved with limestone slabs leading to it and ending in the main square. Rectangular and circle-shaped sanctuaries were raised in this area. The civilian settlement of the Eastern and Western districts stretched over several dozen terraces, constituting the largest Dacian dwelling complex documented so far. Here there were housing groups, craft workshops, warehouses, barns, drinking water reservoirs and water distribution facilities. In one of these dwellings, the famous ceramic dish with the “DECEBALVS PER SCORILO” inscription was discovered, that aroused a lot of controversy relative to the blood lineage of King Decebal of Dacia.
The Piatra Roşie Fortress, located in the village of Luncani, integrated into the defensive system of central Dacia in the Orăştie Mountains, is built of stone, has a four-sides shape, of 102 x 45m, with defense towers located in the corners of the enclosure. A fifth tower is raised in the middle of the Eastern side of the fortification. The name of the fortress was given because of the red stone used to build the fortress.
The Costești-Blidaru fortress, located on a plateau of the hill named the same (Blidaru), was a fortification that contained two enclosures, joined together and all surrounded by six strong towers.
Costești-Cetățuie, is a fortification that had a first defense system made of a wave of earth, with a base of about 6-8m and a height of 2-2,5m, which protected the upper part of the hill, plateau and terraces. On the plateau are the traces of two towers inhabited. The fortress was the outpost of the fortification system that defended the capital. Destroyed during the first war against the Romans, of 101-102 AD, the fortress was quickly restored and then destroyed definitively during the second war of 105-106 AD.
The Baniţa fortress was designed to block the invaders heading for Sarmizegetusa Regia from the South. The complex of fortifications consisted of military-purpose buildings, enclosure walls, towers, battlefields, and a defense earth wave.
The Cetatea de la Căpâlna, part of the defensive system of the Dacians, had an oval shape with over three meters thick walls that can still be seen today, along with on eof the defense towers, of almost ten meters wide on one side.
All these Dacian fortresses and fortifications are part of UNESCO World Heritage.
The caption depicts the Great Circular Temple, located in the archaeological site of Sarmizegetusa Regia.
Romania Color will be there for you when you want to take a trip in time, back to the days of the Dacian kings.