Sarmizegetusa Regia: The Legendary Capital of the Dacians

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

Sarmizegetusa Regia is one of the attractions of our Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Tour

Hidden in the dense forests of the Carpathians, Sarmizegetusa Regia is one of the oldest, most surprising, and mysterious historical attractions in Romania. The capital of ancient Dacia, this site was the core of the Dacian defensive system before the Roman conquest from the 2nd century AD.

Today, it’s one of the six Dacian fortification systems included on the UNESCO Heritage List. It’s definitely a must-see in Transylvania for history enthusiasts.

Sarmizegetusa Regia, the sacred site of the ancient Dacians

Sarmizegetusa Regia is the most important Dacian site discovered until now. Its remote location increased its strategic, political, military, economic, and spiritual importance. Founded in the second half of the 1st century BC, the capital was strongly fortified and with direct access to vast iron resources.

history of Romania Sarmizegetusa

The ancient site reached its greatest development under King Decebalus, before the Roman conquest from the early 2nd century AD. The victorious Romans extended the fortifications on a surface three times larger than before but abandoned the site after building their new capital at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa.

Very few ruins remain today from the ancient Dacian capital and many questions remain unanswered. The archaeological research from the 20th century brought to light three distinct structures: the sacred area, the fortifications, and the civil housing area. The discovered artifacts – water supply systems, ceramics, thousands of iron objects – indicate the life of a flourishing ancient community.

You can still see fragments of the fortification walls from Roman time and a 200 meters segment from the paved road that linked this part to the sacred area. The ruins of seven temples, two circular and five rectangular, and one monumental altar for sacrifices shed some light on the rich spiritual life of the Dacians.

Sarmizegetusa Regia

Temple ruins

Isolated, enigmatic, and for some rich in healing energies, this Dacian site is one of those places you’ll remember long after your visit. Take your time and enjoy the postcard-perfect image in front of you. This is one of the best things to do in Romania.

Combine your visit with a hike to Godeanu Peak

Sarmizegetusa Regia is located in Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina Nature Park. This is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Carpathians. One of its best trails, to Godeanu Peak (1,656 meters), starts right from the site of the ruins. Be sure to have a map as the first part of the trail has only a few hiking signs.

Sureanu Mountains

Godeanu Peak

Where to stay

Stay a few more days to enjoy the natural landscapes and to see all the ancient Dacian ruins. We recommend the guest houses Casa Bunicii, Pensiunea Moara lu AntonePensiunea Dacica.

Travel tips

Don’t miss the ruins of the fortifications from Costesti and Blidaru, also part of the UNESCO Sites.

Visit the History Museum from Deva where you can see the artifacts discovered at Sarmizegetusa Regia.

Visit also the ruins of the ancient Roman capital Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa.

Sarmizegetusa Regia is one of the attractions of our Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Tour


1 Comment

  1. Debby says:

    Romania is the most beautiful country on earth. It deserves a different icon; the real one and not the one fabricated by dirty propagandists. Go Romania!!!!!! I love you Romania 😍😍😍

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