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starting right outside our gates. The most iconic Transylvanian
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The Ancient Fortress of Apoulon/Craiva

Helpful information

⧫ From Raven’s Nest – 2 hours drive, about 100 km. Easy access by car up to the village of Craiva Nouă; park the car, then hike to the base of the fortress for about 30 minutes, followed by another 30 minutes of hiking up. 

⧫ The duration of the hike is about 2 hours.

⧫ Basic hike equipment required.

⧫ Activities: trekking; paragliding.

Description

About 20 km near the city of Alba Iulia, an important Dacian political, economic and social center used to run the lands, the fortress of Apoulon. This is considered to be the last known refuge of king Decebal, during the Roman expansion. 

Build out of stone, at 1083 meters high and overlooking Cricăului and Bucerzii valleys, it was the basis of the soon to become capital of an important Roman gold center, Apoulon. Archeological research in the area uncovered several sanctuaries, ancient homes as well as vases and coins of the greek-roman empire. 

6000 years ago, when the first traces of the Apuseni gold were discovered, the human settlements start to grow not only in the fertile area, near water banks, but also in the mountain areas, up to 1300   altitude. Later, the great tribe of the Apouli – name given to the dacians living in Trascăului Mountains – have built the upstanding fortress, considered the second most important after the Sarmizegetusa Regia, in Orăștie Mountains.

After losing a battle at Sarmizegetusa, king Decebal retreated to the strong fortress built to last attacks and sieges. After months of attacks and deprivation strategies, Decebal was defeated and Romans conquered the lands. Legend has it that the Dacian leader, Decebal, has put an end to his days here after losing the second great war with the Roman Empire, in 106.

 

Archeology

On the old ruins, archeologists could distinguish a “murus dacicus” type of wall, used for the building of a compartment inside a religious sanctuary, with a size of 36×67 meters and 3 meters thick walls, similar to Sarmizegetusa Regia ruins. Due to its rough terrain, stone terraces were built to ensure the stability of the fortress. They can still be seen overcoming time degradation to this day. 

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