Once upon a time, about the time that Earth was shaping up into mountains and rivers, there was volcanic land, inhabited by dwarf dinosaurs. Millions of years passed by and lava turned into amazing mountainous realm, inhabited by brave locals who worked, prayed and defeated this territory. Dacians was their name, Dacia was the country. Hateg County is the region in our story. Some voices say this is the land where Romanian nation was born. We say that across Hateg County the tourist can visit real dinos’ land, meet an incredible ancient proofs of local spiritual life, intriguing churches, all set in beautiful alpine realm, which above is rich in gold as no other place.
The Blue Eyes Mountains – Retezat
In Retezat Mountains, it seems like nature wants to protect itself from human destruction and keeps its peaks upright to altitude over 2.000 m, attracting only nature lovers and constraining damaging people to stay away. This is the only explanation we find that this alpine realm stood time and modernization. The 80 glacial lakes reflect a blend into the sky in their mesmerizing blue as eyes of the mountains. Bucura, the largest of all, lays in the center of the mountain as king of all lakes of Retezat.
The national park Retezat mountains still gathers around 1190 plant species, 90 of them cannot be found anywhere else on the world. Endangered flowers can be still admired on the Retezat valleys by daring travelers.
It seems a chosen world where everything comes into balance. Bears, wolves, lynx and chamois, deer, wild boars, rabbits, 195 species of birds, insects of all kind live on the heights of the mountain.
All comes in magnificent sizes and impressions, except the dinos who lived in this region. Has always been as beautiful as now? The Geopark proves that nature is continuously transforming across history.
The land of dwarf dinosaurs in Transylvania
Not far from the heights of the mountains, on river valley there is the land of dinos, real fossilized dwarf dinos. The landscape preserved a history long that we can hardly count the numbers.
The population of prehistoric creatures melts into the natural landscape offers to the contemporary tourist an image what world used to be like millions of years ago. Scientists found in Hateg county Geopark dinosaurs, crocodiles, flying reptiles or even turtles.
Sarmizegetusa Regia – the sacred place
Sarmizegetusa is the Dacian kings’ home, the chosen place where Romanian ancestors had their capital. It is more than fortress or an important vestige for UNESCO World heritage, it is an icon of a developed ancient nation. Some historians assert that was build in 3rd or 2nd century BC, others bring proofs as being even older.
Placed at 1.200 m altitude in Orastie Mountains, on over 30.000 square meter surface, for most Romanians, Sarmizegetusa is the cradle of local land. The fortress within its rectangular shape is divided into distinctive sacral and administrative areas. They still show us an excellent developed form of state organization millennial old, prior to Roman conquest.
Some people find similarities between the Andesite Sun within Sarmizegetusa Regia and “The Stonehenge” due to sacral settlement of the praying area of the fortress. There are so many mysteries around area and contemporary spiritualists say that special energies float around Orastie Mountains. In time, Sarmizegetusa became more and more popular not only as a touristic and historical attraction, but also as pilgrimage place for paranormal believers in.
But… it is not the only interesting spiritual place around Hateg County!
Densus church and intriguing stories around it
We travel through time and space and reach Densus village, and its Saint Nicolas church. Its bizarre shape and the construction materials used to build it have aroused so many question. When was that built? There is not a certainty about it. It was either 12th century, or 13th. Some historians say it is even older – they consider it as the oldest Christian architectural settlement on Romanian territory.
In spite of being a Christian Orthodox church now, Densus has nothing to do with typical architecture. It looks more like a strange, stone, temple. Some of the pillars are made from Roman sewage or bath system relics. The sculptural lions above it enhance the hypothesis that was build with materials from ancient buildings.
As we spoke earlier about paranormal believers, tourists looking for this type of places will find Densus intriguing. There are advocates who assert that one of the ancient pillars is loaded with a special energy and it heats up or vibrates when it is touched.
The Gold of Hateg
Gold lovers would find Hateg County a very interesting place. Dacians, the people settled in Sarmizegetusa, was a rich nation and numerous massive gold jewels found by either scientists or treasure hunters are a proof. Even nowadays Romania is an economical attraction due to its gold reserves, and controversies around interested investors challenged local public opinion into debate.
The Brad Gold Museum, unique in Europe, comes from another story. The tourist can learn in a single place that humans populated Hateg County 5.000 years ago and extracting gold in Romania is a 2.000 years old job. They also can savor the vision of pure-raw gold, in the original shape that is in a mine, prior extraction. It is a land of history, mystery and beauty. Book a tailor made tour and enjoy the sight!