500BC-400AD-Ancient times Europe Romania Archaeological sites, ancient temples UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Sarmizegetusa Regia – The sacred capital of the Dacians

Sarmizegetusa Regia Dacians' capital, Romani
In the middle of a sacred mountain, deep in the forest, 2000 years ago, the Dacians founded their capital, Sarmizegetusa, which was the center of a strong system of fortifications. It is said that at Sarmizegetusa Regia flows a magical spring that has healing properties.
TypeThe ancient capital of Dacians, UNESCO Site, Archaeological Site, Ancient temple
Construction Period1st century BC
Other NamesDacian capital, The Holy Mountain of the Dacians, Sarmisegetusa, Sarmizegethusa, Sarmisegethusa, Sarmisegethuza, Sarmageze, Sarmategte, Sermizegetusa, Zarmizegethusa, Zarmizegethousa, Zarmizegetusa, Zermizegethouse
ConditionPartially reconstructed
Visiting HoursMay 1 – September 30, Daily 09.00 – 20.00;
March 1 – April 30, October 1 – November 30, Daily 09.00 – 18.00;
December 1 – February 28/29 – Closed
Heart of Dacian Gold exhibition On the way to the capital of the Dacian Kingdom, at Grădiştea de Munte, you can see copies of the most important discoveries from Sarmizegetusa by visiting the Heart of Dacian Gold exhibition.
Replicas of the Gold Bracelets
Golden Wool

The process of collecting alluvial gold with the help of wool was widespread in the prehistory and protohistory of Europe. Most probably the sheep’s fur was spread on a wooden frame and then placed in the river. The gold grains were deposited on it, then it was left to drain and dry, and later the gold was carefully picked.
Bronze mold
The mold is a piece of a geometric shape with eight faces, which were depicted in negative zoomorphic representations, real or fantastic.
Unique coins that were discovered only on the territory of Dacia, concentrated in the area of the Orăştiei Mountains and were dated in the second half of the 1st century BC.
Ticket priceFull price 15 RON (3 Euro)
Official Websitehttps://cetateasarmizegetusa.ro/
Always check the official website before scheduling the trip. The visiting hours, tickets price, or other important information may be modified by the administrators.
Getting thereBy CAR
Orastie – Beriu – Orastioara de Sus – Costesti – Gradistea de Munte.
Buy water and food from Costesti and use the toilet if you need it because the next 19 km are almost isolated.
The road is good.
Print the map before leaving home because in some areas there is no phone signal.
The last 2 km (10-15 minutes) can only be traveled on foot. At the base of this road, there is a parking lot (free).
The ticket point is at the fortress entry.
AccessibleFrom the parking, you can reach the entrance with a baby stroller or a wheelchair.
The fortress is not accessible to be visited with a baby stroller or a wheelchair.
LocationDJ705A 66a, Costesti 337327, Hunedoara County, Romania, Europe

What is Sarmizegetusa Regia famous for?

Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital and most important military and religious center of the Dacian state before the wars with the Roman Empire.

It is part of the complex of the six Dacian fortifications: Sarmizegetusa Regia, Costesti-Cetatuie, Costesti-Blidaru, Luncani-Piatra Rosie, Banita and Capalna.

But these fortresses are only those discovered, those in which archaeological research has been done. It seems that there are many more in the area, some discovered but little or not at all archeologically researched like Varful lui Hulpe and Cugir.

Historical theories and archeological conclusions say that Sarmisegetuza Regia was built in two stages, the lower part during Burebista and the upper part during Decebalus.

Burebista (c. 82 – 44 BC) succeeded in transforming the old system with tribal organizations into a system with central power.

Sarmizegetusa Regia reached its maximum development under the rule of the mythical King Decebalus (Decebal). Decebalus was the last king of the Dacians before their conquest by the Romans.

All 6 fortresses that formed Decebal’s defensive system, are now part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage.

The temples were built of andesite stone and wood.

What you will see inside Sarmizegetusa Regia?

Sarmizegetusa Regia consists of three areas:

  • the civilian settlement, situated on the hill slopes
  • fortress, situated on the highest zone (1000 m)
  • sacred area
  • Paved road (via sacra)
  • The walls of the fortresses
    • Murus Dacicus was the construction method used for the walls of fortifications in Dacia
  • The great temple of andesite
  • The large circular temple
    • The perimeter of the large circular temple was delimited by a double andesite belt, the first consisting of massive blocks, the second of groups of pilasters. Inside, the presence of clay-clad wooden pillars was documented archaeologically, supporting a wall interrupted by four symmetrically arranged entrances. The roof had a conical shape, and the room was probably dedicated to the most important god of the Dacian pantheon.
  • Small quadrilateral temples
  • The solar disk
  • The great limestone sanctuary

The worship of the god Zalmoxis

Zalmoxis (Salmoxis, Zamolxis, Zamolxe, Samolxis) was a divinity of the Getae and Dacians, mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories Book IV, 93–96, written before 425 BC.

Some historians claim that he brought among the Geto-Dacian tribes the belief in the immortality of the soul and through this faith Burebista and the priest Deceneu managed to unite these tribes. Zamolxis also promoted mercy and meekness and slavery was forbidden.

It is said that Zamolxis stayed for 3 years in a cave in a mountain. The Dacians called that mountain Kogaionon. Historians and ordinary people still try to identify this mountain. Legends say that this mountain is the one where Sarmisegetuza Regia is today. Proponents of this theory argue that this is the mountain because here are the sanctuaries built by the Dacians. Another theory says that the mountain is Godeanu because it is the only mountain that is visible from all 6 Dacian fortresses. Other theories say that this mountain is in Bucegi or in Ceahlau.

Sarmizegetusa Regia – an energy center?

A theory says that the sacred area of Sarmisegetuza is an important energy point. The andesite disk or sun is the place of astral or divine energies, say yogic followers. In fact, the former Dacian capital was often visited by practitioners of meditation or esotericism. There are historians who claim that the initiation rituals of the Dacian warriors took place here.

Sarmizegetusa Regia is a spiritual place that is said to be placed where two highways of energy meet.

The enchanted gold treasures of the Dacians

It is said that Dacian gold is buried in this area. Dacian gold is a special one, found only on the Romanian territory, at Roșia Montană. Legends say that above the places where the Dacian gold is buried, the Blue Living Fire or the Blue Living Flames burn. These flames can be seen only at night and only by the chosen ones because the Dacian gold is bound by curses.

Archaeological Discoveries at Sarmizegetusa Regia

Archaeological discoveries indicate the existence of a prosperous population: monetary treasures, bronze or glass vessels, and luxury ceramic vessels are accumulated either by trade or by warrior expeditions. Silver ornaments (brooches, necklaces, bells, ceremonial vessels), date from the last part of the 2nd century BC.

An ancient medical kit was discovered, in a brassbound wooden box with an iron handle, containing a scalpel, tweezers, powdered pumice, and miniature pots for pharmaceuticals

Another important discovery was a huge vase, 0.6 m high and 1.04 m across bearing an inscription in the Roman alphabet: DECEBAL PER SCORILO (the most likely translation: Decebalus, son of Scorilus’)

Several jewelry treasures and ancient gold and silver coins have been discovered here in recent years, many of the objects being considered unique.

In 2013, a strong storm dislocated several old beeches, and under the root of a trunk, a group of visitors found the next day a unique artifact in the world: an ancient mold, adorned with representations of mythical animals. The hexagonal object has an unknown origin and it is not known how it reached Sarmisegetuza. The mold weighs 8 kg and is made of bronze. On it are inlaid battle scenes between animals, real and fabulous, among the latter being the griffins.

Among the most precious pieces found at the UNESCO site are several solid gold spiral bracelets, weighing between 500 grams and a kilogram and a half, of which 13 are in the National Museum of History of Romania.

Dacian bracelets – 2000 years old treasure

Dacian bracelets – 2000 years old treasure

Dacian bracelets and the Legend Dacian bracelets, so desired, so mysterious, so controversial, so precious, are a treasure of inestimable value and are 2 000 years old. Legend has it that Decebal, the king of the Dacians, had diverted the…

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