If you have decided to make a journey throughout the ancient history of Romania, the first thing you must go is Costeşti, the near Hunedoara, some 43 kilometers far, a distance that is easily ported by car, and from there on foot to Sarmizegetusa – the most important Dacian fortress.
What you must know before you see it for yourselves is that, between around 100 B.C. and 100 A.D., Sarmisegetusa was a true megalopolis. It stretched for dozens of hectares and was protected by a ring of fortresses located on the surrounding hills. It was built on a terraced hill by the mysterious Dacians, the same way the Inca tribes terraced their mountains, but only a thousand years later. The amount of stone brought to these hills in order to build those amazing walls and fortresses around is greater than the volume of stone in the pyramid of Cheops. The stone was brought from quarries at 50-60 kilometers, the most plausible version states that the stone was brought during wintertime with the help of the the sledges. Stone blocks weight from 200 kilograms to several tons each.
The Dacian treasures are legendary. After the wars against the Roman Empire that took place between 105 and 106 A.D., Emperor Trajan brought to Rome enormous quantities of gold (165 tons) and silver (331 tons). The figures vary, but there were public facilities for 123 days and Roman citizens were exempt from taxes for a year.
Most experts say that the Romans did not find the greatest treasure of the Dacians, which luckily still remains buried in the area. It may be in Mount Godeanu, which guards Sarmisegetusa towards the north. The Solar Clock from the Altar – the best known and popularized in Sarmisegetusa – points directly towards north and Mount Godeanu. It is also possible that the treasure might have been moved. The excavations have continued in the area, but nothing of any formal research. The state is trying hard to stop the antique “poachers” from continuing seeking out and selling various artifacts in the area. Recently, the staggering gold mold has been found by historians and archeologists.
You can park your car next to the camping in Costeşti and start walking at a brisk pace towards Sarmizegetusa in the direction of the plate indicating 18 kilometers. These 18 kilometers can be driven in full drive, but if you insist going through this route without a car, admiring and enjoying the little surprises that this beautiful scenery has to offer – like birds, fruits and many other delights – the trip will be even more exciting.
Just followed the path of the car to the town nearby, although you can even get there by bike, because the road is easy, rather flat, with a single slope near the western gate of the town. Arriving at the destination you are going to be greeted by a map of this tourist attraction with some inspired additions made by other tourists.
The ruins are well maintained and well preserved, but the actual place is quite deserted in terms of tourism; no guide plates or informative point, of any other info place where you could find a flyer or information in addition to the above map, however there are numerous signs that warn you that “It is forbidden climbing on monuments”. As you’ve probably guessed, the entry is free and the trail traversing the city is at leisure. Make sure you have enough water supplies in your backpack, as an 18 kilometer walk will dry you out.
Limestone and andesite sanctuaries seems to serve and séances in addition to their primary role of historical monuments that represent one of the oldest and most accurate calendars and astronomic observatories of mankind.
If you linger among these sanctuaries trying to decipher the solar disk, you will enjoy a great feeling of serenity and calm, surrounded by the green forests and clean air, but remember to get back to your car just in time, as the path will take about four and a half hours.
If you are considering a day trip to a place so full of history, than this place is worth considering. And if you come along with your children, the little ones will enjoy this trip to the area to run and play and is very easily to keep an eye on them. And if you are passionate about collecting pebbles, or picking wild raspberries, blueberries and other such delights, you will certainly love this experience (sic)! 🙂
Photo source: Picture 1: welcome2romania.wordpress.com; Picture 2: incomemagazine.ro; Picture 3: 360.inp.org.ro; Picture 4: proalba.ro; Picture 5: youtube.com; Picture 6: turism.gov.ro