Sarmizegetusa Regia – Ancient Dacian Capital

Romania’s former president, Ion Iliescu is infamous for opening his address to the US Congress with the line “the ducks come from the trucks”, actually meaning that the Dacian people stems from the Thracian people 🙂

Why I bring this anecdote up on a travel photography blog you ask? Because this post is about the ancient  Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa Regia, that was conquered by the Romans in 105 A.D., after an unsuccessful attempt some 4 years earlier. I can easily understand why this fortified city was so difficult to conquer: hidden high up in the mountains, in the middle of a thick forest, protected by some other five fortified settlements (BlidaruPiatra RoşieCosteşti, Căpâlna and Băniţa), this place is difficult to access by car in modern days !

On the other hand, as I stood in the middle of the sanctuaries, and listened to the storm closing in, I asked myself: why on earth would anyone to conquer this fortress? Were I ‘the Romans’, I would have gladly left the crazy guys hide in the middle of the forrest, 60 kilometers from the nearest place of interest, and would have gone on conquering the rest of the country 🙂

When I got there, a storm was coming fast. The place was deadly quiet, my shutter made an echo (!), my breath was all steam (although it was July), the whole place was numbing. It simply made one shut up and relax, calm down, breathe deeply and want to stay there for an indeterminate period of time.

Enough talking already, it’s not literature that you’re here after, is it ?

If you intend to visit, take your time. The road starts  from Orastie and is 30 kilometers long after the end of the asphalt. It’s not that well maintained either. But I think that autumn should be a great time to travel to such a location.

There are numerous other posts about beautiful places in Romania on this blog. I suggest you come back regularly, or subscribe for free (via RSS or email ).

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