Sarmizegetusa Regia is situated on the top of a cliff at a height of 1.200 meters in the area nowadays called Orastie Mountains. It was the strategic center of the Dacian defensive and had six citadels. The fortification consists of three parts: the civilian settlement situated next to the fortress and placed on several terraces, the citadel and the sacred area.
The fortress was built with massive stone blocks, on five terraces and had a surface of about 30.000 square meters. It is the biggest from the fortresses situated in Orastie Mountains. Sarmizegetusa fortress was built in maurus dacicus style. Maurus dacicus is a style typical to Dacian population. It is found only in the areas where Dacians have lived and consists in a combination between the traditional Dacian style and the Roman style which was more modern. Therefore Sarmizegetusa Regia has walls 10 meters high and 3 meters thick, something unique for that period. The fortress has a hexagonal shape with unequal sides. It had a defensive role for the army and the population. After it had been conquered by the Romans Sarmizegetusa Regia was rebuilt and transformed in a headquarters for a Roman detachment.
The civilian area consisted of neighborhoods which spread on dozens of terraces and was the biggest known Dacian settlement. It had houses, storages, water reservoirs, workshops, barns and other civilian buildings. Due to the size of the area the Dacians had to build a complex piping system to capture and transport water. Most of the houses were built of wood and clay so there are few archeological traces of them.
The sacred area is actually a sanctuary complex situated at about 100 meters from the eastern gate of the citadel and is connected with it by a paved road. The sanctuaries have a quadrilateral and round shape. The only ones which survived over time are the stone column bases because the rest of the columns were made of stone or andesite. It is uncertain if there were seven or eight quadrilateral sanctuaries because the Romans destroyed some of them during the war. But it is known that the big sanctuary is a representation in stone of the Dacian calendar. The solar disk made out of andesite represents a sun with rays as circle segments. This shows the solar character of the Dacian religion.
Sarmizegetusa Regia was a flourishing citadel during Decebal and started to go down as the Romans destroyed it. But the archeological excavations show that the Dacian society in Sarmizegetusa Regia had high standards of life before the Roman Empire won the war and moved the capital. The archeologists had also found here several ceramic pots with Latin inscriptions, limestone blocks with Greek inscriptions and several gold coins on which was written ”KOSON”.
Sarmizegetusa Regia is an example of the fact that the Dacians were strong and wise people with a complex society and modern facilities for those days even before they had contacts with the Romans.