Dacian Fortresses

The defensive system of the Dacian fortresses of the Orašţie Mountains was built in the 1st centuries B.C. and A.D. under Dacian rule.

These six fortresses (Capâlna Fortress, Banita Fortress, Luncani-Piatra Rosie Fortress, Costesti –Blidaru Fortress, Costesti-Cetatuie Fortress, Sarmizegetusa Fortress) show an unusual fusion of military and religious architectural techniques and concepts from the classical world and the late European Iron Age.

The six defensive works were conquered by the Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D.; their extensive and well-preserved remains stand in spectacular natural surroundings and give a dramatic picture of a vigorous and innovative civilization. These Dacian fortresses are outstanding examples of this type of defended site.

The system developed by the Dacians to defend their capital, Sarmizegetusa Regia, was composed of three distinct fortified elements.

The oldest is represented by fortified sites on dominant physical features. The defences consisted of palisaded banks and ditches, in a style to be found elsewhere in antiquity. Most of them were important economic and commercial centres, with flourishing settlements both within and outside.

The second group is that of fortresses. These were military complexes, invariably on hilltop sites and occupied only by garrisons. Many had a serious drawback, in that they lacked sources of water and so could not withstand a protracted siege.

The third category is that of linear defences, which blocked access from certain routes and linked two or more fortresses.