Exploring the Ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

Published on May 13, 2023 by Zoltan Nyaradi

The ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa can be found in the Romanian commune of Sarmizegetusa, Hunedoara county. The ancient city offers a window into the grandeur and legacy of the Roman Empire. Founded in the 2nd century AD by the Emperor Trajan, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa was a significant center of commerce, culture, and military power in the region for over 300 years. Today, the ruins of this once-thriving metropolis provide a fascinating glimpse into the heart of ancient Roman civilization.

One of the most remarkable features of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa is its strategic location. The city was situated at the intersection of several key trade routes, making it a hub of commerce and exchange for goods, ideas, and people. Its position also made it an important military stronghold, as it controlled access to the surrounding territories and provided a strategic vantage point for defending against invasions.

The Forum

Walking through the ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, one can still see the remnants of its impressive architecture and engineering. The city was built on a grid pattern, with broad streets and public squares lined with imposing buildings, temples, and shops. The most prominent structure in the city was the Forum, a grand public space that served as the center of political, social, and cultural life.

The Forum in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa.
The Forum with the Retezat Mountains in the background.
Ruins near the Forum.

The Amphitheater

Other notable structures in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa include the Amphitheater, which could seat up to 5,000 spectators for gladiatorial games and other spectacles.

The Amphitheater
Ruins with the Amphitheater in the background.

The Great Temple

The most impressive religious structure in Roman Dacia is The Great Temple.

The Great Temple

Aside from its architectural marvels, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa was also a center of intellectual and artistic activity. Excavations have uncovered numerous sculptures, inscriptions, and other artifacts that offer insights into the daily life and beliefs of the people who lived in the city

Despite its rich history and significance, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa was largely forgotten for centuries after its decline and eventual abandonment in the 5th century AD. It was not until the 19th century that scholars and archaeologists began to explore and excavate the ruins, uncovering the city’s fascinating past and legacy.

Its ruins offer a unique and enriching experience for visitors who wish to explore the ancient history and culture of the Roman Empire. The site is a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s greatest civilizations, and a reminder of the importance of preserving and studying our shared human heritage.