Sarmizegetusa Regia is the place you need to see in Romania if you are passionate about the ancient civilizations. Some travel websites resemble it to the English Stonehenge. It’s a place which made it to the Unesco cultural sites.
I admit it didn’t make it on my must-see places at first, but being so close to this place, while taking my 4-day trip around Romania, I gave it a chance. And I’m so glad I did. Moral of the story? Always ask other’s and try everything which is somehow connected to what you believe. I believe in discovering. Places, people, stories and myself. So I discovered Sarmizegetusa Regia.
It’s this weird, mystical place, buried deep in the woods, and if you get lucky enough to be there while raining, it will feel like out of this world.
What is Sarmizegetusa Regia?
Just the biggest fortification of the late Dacians, on the Romanian lands. It used to be the military, religious and political centre of the Dacian civilization. That is before the Roman Empire started to interfere.
The grandiose settlement with houses built on the mountain, temples and sanctuaries, with paved roads and water, supplied with water, was protected by mountains.
Although most of it has still to be dug from under the ground, the sacred area of temples and a paved road is visible. This is a huge proof that the 2000 years old civilization had a well structured and organized settlement.
Some of the temples had a God the archaeologists and historians have still to discover. The most known of them all is the Great Sanctuary, which was used as a calendar. The mystery of how this sanctuary was built stands till this day.
Some claim that Sarmizegetusa Regia is a place of great energies. But that’s for you to decide. (If you feel better in some way, maybe it’s because of this place.)
Kings, officials, the nobility, craftsmen, merchants, builders. It was called Regia – of the kings – to be distinguished of the Roman city which was built after the Romans conquered these lands.
Probably it was the largest craft centre in the entire ancient Dacia. The strategic location was supplying the staple to maintain their production.
Where is Sarmizegetusa Regia?
In Grădiștea Muncelului Natural Park, in the Hunedoara county, lies this invaluable proof of ancient civilization, the centre of a 6 fortress system, used by the Dacian king, Decebal, to fight against the Roman invasion.
Nowadays, this place is buried deep down into the woods, in the mountains. I went there by car, as part of my 4-day car ride around Romania, and it felt like the most forgotten place in the world. It was also raining a bit.
It feels magical because it’s not in a city or any kind of contemporary settlement. The last village before reaching it’s pretty far away, and the road there is very narrow.
After Decebal lost against the Romans, the capital was moved to Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana, which is 40km away from this one. No, Haven’t been there. But I’ve heard this one is better.
You will love it here if you are an admirer of ruins and history. And although I love sunny weather, I bet this place looks much better on a slightly cold weather and a bit rainy.