Banita Fortress

On the territory of the Băniţa village  we find  Geto-Dacian Fortress Băniţa , one of the most spectacular Dacian fortresses dating from Burebista’s time. The citadel was rebuilt during the reign of Decebal, but after the Dacian-Roman wars, it was destroyed. It was built in the western limit of the basin Jiu Valley, in the highest area of Bolii Hill .

Due to its location, the fortress offered safety. From the road, Dacian fortress seems to be just a rock, which does not reveal its hidden treasures. Situated between three hills, it blocked the access to Sarmizegetusa Regia in the south, being close to the route passing the Carpathians  to  Valcan  and  Merisor pass . The defense system is unique, the inside walls, the towers and the platforms to fight are stairs built due to the very steep slopes and lack of flat surfaces. Because of that, its builders have done works for leveling the area.

Situated at an altitude of over 900 meters, the fortress was discovered during 1961 -1962, when it was the only research concerning this historical objective of great importance. Being situated on a steep and isolated cliff, with a slope of about 250-300 meters, the access was almost impossible; it could be reached only from the northern part of the fortress, where the entrance was marked by a gate and a monumental staircase with a length of 45 meters.

Inside the fortress it can be seen a defense and a living space, located on three terraces made ​​under the action of leveling. Two channels cut in the rock were draining the excess water that reached the fortress. The fortress of Banita was a main point in the system of the Dacian fortifications and defense. According to the historians, the system of fortifications was composed by ​​ a defensive wall made ​​of wrought limestone, an earth and stone rampart and fight platforms. In the highest point of the fortress it was built a tower house.

Inside the Banita Fortress there were found numerous amounts of tools, pottery and molds for casting metal objects, and a sanctuary outside the fortified area that has been studied by archaeologists. They said that the fortress was a military one. After the fortress was destroyed, the Roman army advanced towards Sarmizegetusa Regia. That fact was confirmed by the existence of the camps discovered in  Jigonul Mare  and  Comarnicel.

Banita Fortress was designated an UNESCO cultural heritage and could be arranged if the Hunedoara County Council would be able to take it over. The fortress can be accessed following the European road  E79 and  it is recommended to the tourists who arrive in this area, to visit  Gradistea Muncelului Reserve, which includes the Dacian  Bolii Citadel,  the Canyons of Crivadia  and  Bolii Cave.

Source: www.vatra-daciei.ro

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