Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa
The former capital of the Roman Dacia is only 8 km from the Porțile de Fier (Iron Gates) of Transylvania, close to the pass to Banat. Founded as such by the emperor Trajan himself (probably in 108 A. D.), Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa is the first city with the rank of colony in the province and the only one that received the epithet metropolis. The city walls (530 x 430 m, then 620 x 520 m) enclosed an area of approximately 22, then 33 hectares, but numerous public (amphitheater or temples) and private buildings had been raised and extra muros, so that the settlement stretched close 100 hectares.
Immediately after the northern entrance to the city is the headquarters of the financial prosecutor of Dacia, in fact a complex consisting of the private residence of the dignitary, offices, a temple and two thermal buildings. Nearby is a large barn.
The city is dominated by the tribunal (45 x 41 m), the center of public life (institutional and commercial), located at the intersection of the two main urban roads, cardo maximus and decumanus maximus. The entrance was through a triumphal arch (tetrapilum) in the courtyard paved with marble tiles; in the center of it is a trophy. Porches made of marble columns completed the edifice on three sides, the whole being decorated with bronze statues. The remains of important public buildings are found on the southern side of the forum: basilica, the courts, the offices of magistrates and officials or the curia. On the western side of the forum the traces of the Capitoline temple (34 x 19 m) were investigated.
The amphitheater is one of the best known monuments outside the city, measuring 88×69 m. In the second phase it was build-up in stone and had an ellipsoidal shape. To the east of this monument is the sacred area, where the temples of gods such as Domnus and Domna, Aesculap and Hygia, Liber Pater, Silvanus, Nemesis, Mithras (underground edifice) or the Palmyrenian Gods can be found. It seems that one of the religious buildings, the Great Temple, was intended for the devotion of several gods.
Necropolis were identified to the east, south and northwest of the city enclosure, guarding the roads leading to the Dacian Colony. Most important was the imperial road coming from Drobeta and heading towards Apulum, visible and used to this day.
Medieval Fortress of Deva
The Medieval Fortress of Deva was built in the 13th century on a volcanic neck which dominates the Mureș Valley through its excellent strategic placement. The stronghold was attested for the first time in the documents in 1267, while the earliest architectonic elements belong to the Gothic style. Transformations of the initial plan were undertaken in the 15th-19th centuries, in accordance with the interests of the authorities of the time and the evolution of the art of war. The main edifice from the top of the hill is surrounded by three enclosures, following the conformation of the terrain. Their gates are defended by towers, while the walls are enforced by strong buttresses and bastions. The first precinct comprises the main structures: the princely palace, the kitchen, the water tank, possibly a chapel, etc. The access was made on a mobile bridge. The fortress was destroyed during the 1848-1849 Revolution due to an explosion of the ammunition chamber.
Magna Curia Palace
The Magna Curia Palace (Bethlen Palace) is the oldest functional building in the municipality of Deva. The first structure was raised in the 16th century, yet the plan of the respective medieval edifice is unknown. The current aspect of the palace is the result of the constructing endeavors carried out in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the owners of the building left their mark on its history, such as Prince Gabriel Bethlen (at the beginning of the 17th century) and Ioan Haller, governor of Transylvania (at the middle of the 18th century). On the course of the last major intervention, the palace received an upper floor and four corner bastions, while the facade displayed an evident Baroque aspect. We should also mention the monumental stairway from the northern side of the palace. Some of the inner chambers of Magna Curia are also spectacular, like the central hall which features a beautiful fireplace or the rooms with the roof decorated with stucco works.
The castle was built in the 15th century by Iancu de Hunedoara on the site of an old fort, on a rock at the base of which flows the Zlaști stream. It is an imposing building, provided with towers, bastions and a dungeon.
The fortress was one of the largest and most famous properties of Iancu de Hunedoara. During the construction it underwent significant transformations, serving both as a strengthened strategic point and as a feudal residence. Over the years, the various masters of the castle changed its appearance, enriching it with towers, halls and rooms of honor.
The archeological site of Grădiștea de Munte – Sarmizegetusa Regia is located in the southwest of Transylvania, on the territory of Orăștioara de Sus commune, Hunedoara County, Romania. Spread 4.5 km in a straight line, it covers an extension of the Piciorul Muncelului (foot of the Muncel), located between the Valea Albă (White Valley) and the Valea Godeanului (Godean Valley), in an area characteristic of the Șureanu Mountain. Not less than 260 anthropogenic terraces complete this landscape, arranged for the rise of numerous constructions and structures.
From the topographic point of view, three zones can be identified: the stone fortification, the sanctuary and the two residential neighborhoods, east and west. The fortress visible today on the ground was build-up with molded limestone blocks, fragments of architectural pieces from andesite, elements of limestone channel, the wall generally presenting two facings between which there is a soil fill and the local rock. The enclosure comprises the highest share of the site as well as one of the largest terraces, with an area of approximately 1 hectare. Another element of fortification, visible only after the LiDAR scan, is a wave of earth, with a stone core in some places, with the appearance of a rectangular fortress. A ceremonial alley of limestone slabs was identified from the present fortification and towards the sacred area, without knowing exactly where to start point of the alley. This leads to the large circular temple on the eleventh terrace and presented in antiquity the appearance of a stepped road, probably covered with a wooden structure. Two secondary branches led to other terraces, the 9th and the 10th.
The sanctuary is composed of 7 temples and an altar, to which is added the presence of a spring. The religious buildings were made either of wood or stone, limestone or andesite, having different planimetric sides. Two types of temples can be identified, round, with wooden and clay walls, and rectangular, with column alignments. In most cases, the delimitation of the sacred and the profane space was noticed through a series of small stone pilasters, as well as the rectangular platform-type entrances of the temples. The religious landscape is completed by a circular andesite altar, but also by a spillway channel, made of limestone segments. It should be mentioned that the terraces on which the structures are mentioned are supported by massive walls in the isodome layout.
It should be mentioned that the presence of limestone and andesite monuments was the main factor for which, in 1999, the Dacian Fortresses in the Orăștiei Mountains entered the World Heritage List (code 906). At Sarmizegetusa Regia, the area of the UNESCO monument is 18.3 hectares.
Roman Fort of Cigmău
The Roman fort of Germisara, today the village of Cigmău, was built on the first terrace of the Mureș River, on its right bank, where the southern gentile slopes of the Metaliferi Mountains reach the meadow of the respective water course, which connects Transylvania with the western regions of Banat and Crișana. The plateau dominated by the ancient ruins is called by the locals Turiac (Turkish Hill), while the exact place of the fortification bears the toponyms Progadie (Cemetery) or Cetatea Urieșilor (Fortress of the Giants). Scholars believe that the name Germisara, meaning ‘hot springs’, was of local origin and was linked directly to the curative properties of the waters in the area.
Micia Roman Fort
Not far away from the town of Deva, on the left bank of the Mureș River, there was in antiquity one of the largest forts from Roman Dacia. A quasi urban settlement was established around it, known under the name of Micia. The fort of Micia was one of the most important fortifications from the Roman province, aimed to control the access on the Mureș Valley upstream the Dobra Gorge. The fort, the amphitheatre, the civil settlement, the craftsmanship area, the sacred zones, as well as the two necropolises identified so far cover up an area of approximately 25 hectare. This surface is delimited to the north by the Mureș River and to the south by the piedmonts of the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, partially overlapping the actual administrative territories of the villages Vețel, Mintia, Herepeia and Vulcez.
The Roman remains of Micia have been signalled since the 18th century, but the first archaeological investigations were undertaken at the end of the 19th century.
Known as the city of the three fortification, Alba Iulia has a particularly interesting archaeological heritage and varied, but also extremely important for Romania’s national history. The location itself village on the right bank of the river Mures, at the confluence of two major rivers (Ampoiului and Sebes) provide optimum conditions a special development of human habitation ever since the Stone Age, with the onset of urban life immediately after the conquest of Dacia and transformation Roman province (the beginning of the second century AD).
Due to the secure control of traffic Mures Valley (ancient Maris) and golden area of the Apuseni Mountains, after the second war with Dacians led by King Decebal Roman Emperor Trajan decide to fix the Apulum (latin name Alba Iulia town, coming from the Dacian settlement of Apoulon ), a Roman legions, which of course had raised a legion camp.
Deployed at Vindobona (Vienna), Legio XIII Gemina, who participated in both Daco-Roman wars, start up camp at Apulum, where the foundation is located on a plateau slopes gently from west to east side the third natural balcony of Mures. A first phase is the phase of the timber camp, which contained the mound fortification, palisade and towers of wood, which is built in Apulum, around the year 107 AD. (under Trajan), but technical details are not known at this stage. Camp with stone wall was probably built under Emperor Hadrian, until around 125 AD., Important elements of which are studied at several points between 1982-1998 (porta principalis dextra) and 2011-2012 (via principalis and the headquarters building – principia of the camp). The approximate dimensions of the camp are 480 m x 432 m (and hence an area of about 21 hectares), with the long sides of the north, respectively south.
Apulum – is the main Roman city in Dacia Province. High on the bank of the largest river here – the ancient Maris (now Mures), became the seat of the 13th Legion of Gemina (between 107-268 AD).
The Roman site of Apulum is extremely complex, its dimensions and morphological characteristics being particularly important for the research and deciphering of the Daco-Roman archeology.
Thus, if the first Roman settlement was situated in the Mureş meadow, right on the bank of this river, where a river port also developed, from which the products exploited in Dacia: gold, silver and salt were going on the water. From this first vicus, the first Roman city, raised to the rank of Municipium by Marcus Aurelius, was later developed, so that under Commodus it was already mentioned as Colonia. The surface of this city was impressive – around to 40 hectares.
The Roman camp, on the other hand, were placed on the high terrace of Mures on an area of about 21 hectares, provided with classical fortification elements: gate and house towers, enclosure wall, vallum and fossa. He held a legion camp of medium size (about 21 hectares), being legalized here by Legio XIII Gemina, brought here from Vindobonna, to be relocated after 268-274, at Poetovio /Ptuj (in Slovenia).
The second Roman city of Apulum developed from cannabae placed around the Roman camp, so under Septimius Severus this settlement is raised to the rank of municipium (Septimium Apulense), so that in the middle of the 3rd century and he raised himself to the rank of Colonia.