Costeşti-Blidaru Fortress

The Dacian fortresses of the Sureanu Mountains (also known as the Orăştie Mountains) are famous in Romania (and an UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here was the capital of the ancient Dacian civilization. Many of the stone structures are still well preserved and open for the public to see. The area is also popular with local hikers as the view from the hill tops is breathtaking. While you are in the area, it's worth visiting some of the other 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, Baniţa, Luncani-Piatra Roşie, Costeşti–Blidaru, Costeşti-Cetăţuie, Sarmizegetusa) 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 AD; 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 Blidaru Fortress [N 45.667765, E 23.162882] is located at 4 km from Costeşti, uphill the Apa Grădiştei Valley, at an altitude of 705 m - and is considered the most powerful fortress of the Dacian defensive fortification system in Orăştie Mountains. It was conquered by the Romans in 102 AD, later it has been rebuilt by Dacian King Decebal and finally completely destroyed by Roman Emperor Trajan in 106 AD.

On an area of 6000 square meters, can be seen the traces of two twin fortresses, built at different times. The first fortress, which covers the higher plateau of the hill, has the form of a trapezoidal with four outer towers, located in the corners. The entrance was through the first tower. The residence tower, of which the outline is preserved, is placed in such a way so as to prevent enemies from spreading their forces on the inside. The fifth tower, isolated, served as guard tower in front of the entrance (Poiana Perţii tower). West of the first fortress, the second one was built in a pentagon shape, with a single tower, others are common to both fortresses. What draws ones attention here are the war platforms on the northern and southern sides. Here were found also traces of small rooms, used to shelter the defenders of the fortress and warehouses for grain and water, walls constructed of stone and connected with earth, stone, etc. On the lower terraces are four sanctuaries, consisting of alignments of tambours. The two fortresses are remarkable by the originality of the building, strategic position and the technique of building.

Here is also another building, unique in the Dacian world and built, most likely, by a Roman craftsman or under its direction. It's a water tank, building erected outside the fortification on one of the western terraces, below the second fortress, as the water source is at a lower level. It has a height of 4 meters and 6.2 m on 8 m inside, with 2 m thick walls. The walls were covered with an impermeable layer consisting of lime, sand and brick crushing, a typical Roman construction. The mortar does not contain Calcium, still has bactericide properties.

General layout:
A. Fortress-1;
B. Fortress-2;
1. Access gate;
2. Observation towers;
3. Residence tower;
4. Water tank.

Systematic archaeological researches started in 1953 after a few random explorations in 1925 on the Muchia Chistoarelor and in 1944 on one of the Făeragului terraces. The upper plateau with the fortification was studied from 1953 until 1959. The 2003 campaign was focused on the research of a tower identified along the road leading from Valea Făeragului towards Luncani, at "La Vămi". The length of the tower is 11.90 m at the exterior and 6.80 m in the interior, the width of the wall is 2.60 m, being built in the technique called "murus dacicus". This tower is one of the many towers placed on the terraces of the Blidaru hill, in the Făeragu-Târşa Luncani area, with a view towards Orăştie and Grădiştea valley. The archaeological material consists of fragmentary gutter and roof tiles.

Ideea and photos from Jurnal Românesc.


Anonymous said...

It is such a pity that after showing all these extraordinary building works you come to say the water tank was built by a roman engineer or under his direction!! These structures where build long before romans even knew about them. It is obvious that you make strange conclusions not related to reality.