World Heritage Sites in Romania

By | October 13, 2021

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (N; 1991)
  • Villages and fortified churches in Transylvania (K; from 1993)
  • Horezu Monastery (K; 1993)
  • Moldavian monasteries (K; 1993)
  • Dacian fortresses in the mountains of Orăştie (K; 1999)
  • Maramureş wooden churches (K; 1999)
  • Historic center of Sighișoara (K; 1999)
  • Old beech forests and primeval beech forests in the Carpathian Mountains (N; 2017)

Fortifications of the Dacians (World Heritage)

The center of the Dacians was in the mountains of Orăştie, where their most important fortifications were located. They originated in the 1st century BC. BC and served to protect against Roman invasions until the Roman conquest at the beginning of the 2nd century. The six fortresses belonging to the world heritage document the connection between military and sacred architecture and prove the high cultural status of the Dacians.

Dacian fortifications: facts

Official title: Dacian fortifications in the mountains of Orastie (Broos)
Cultural monument: Six fortifications (Sarmizegetusa, Costesti Cetatuie, Costesti-Blidaru, Luncani-Piatra Rosie, Banita and Capalna) built around Sarmizegetusa, capital of the Dacian kingdom under King Decebalus; Part of a bulwark of over 90 defensive structures, between 100 BC. Built against the advancing Romans; fortified settlements, stone defensive walls, wooden palisades, mighty earth walls (up to 14 m high) and a network of watchtowers;
Continent: Europe
Country: Romania
Location: Hunedoara and Alba regions, Transylvania
Appointment: 1999
Meaning: Unique and well-preserved example of late Iron Age defenses

Dacian Fortifications: History

8th century BC Chr. Settlement of the Getes and Dacians
60-44 BC Chr. Unification of the tribes into a Dacian empire by King Burebista
1st century BC BC – 1st century AD Construction of the fortifications
from 29 BC Chr. Advance of the Romans across the Danube
86-89 Unsuccessful campaign of the Romans under Domitian against Dacia
87-106 Reign of King Decebalus
101/102 and 105/106 Successful campaigns of the Romans under Trajan against Dacia, partial destruction of the fortifications
106 Dacia Roman Province

Maramureş Wooden Churches (World Heritage)

The wooden churches in the area between the Forest Carpathians and the Rodna Mountains have been built since the 14th century. The narrow clapboard houses of worship with their characteristic bell tower and folk paintings are evidence of high craftsmanship.

Maramureş wooden churches: facts

Official title: Maramureş wooden churches
Cultural monument: Eight wooden churches in the Maramureş region, Transylvania; originated in the 17th and 18th centuries after the construction of larger stone buildings was banned by the kings of Hungary; Combining the influences of Byzantine architecture and European Gothic with local and folkloric elements; Churches in the Orthodox tradition with anteroom, nave and chancel; typical shingle-covered roofs and tall, slender bell towers on each western side; Interiors richly decorated with paintings and partly also with carvings
Continent: Europe
Country: Romania
Location: Maramureş region, Transylvania
Appointment: 1999
Meaning: Masterfully executed sacred architecture made of wood, developed under various cultural influences

Maramureş Wooden Churches: History

1604 Poienile Izei: “Church of Holy Providence”
1643 Budesti: »Church of St. Nicholas« (also »Church in the Valley«)
1663 Rogoz: “Church of the Holy Archangel”
1720 Barsana: “Church of the Entry of the Virgin into the Temple”
around 1750 Leud: “Church of the Holy Virgin”
1767 Surdesti: “Church of the Holy Archangels” (highest tower with 54 m height)
1770 Desesti: “Church of St. Paraskeva”
1796-98 Plopis: “Church of the Holy Archangels”

Old town of Sighișoara (World Heritage)

The small town founded by the Transylvanian Saxons at the end of the 12th century developed into a flourishing trading center in Transylvania in the Middle Ages. The old town consists of very well-preserved town houses from the 16th and 17th centuries and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. The city’s landmark is the mighty 14th century clock tower.

Sighișoara Old Town: Facts

Official title: Historic center of Sighișoara (Schäßburg)
Cultural monument: Fortified castle hill (“upper town”), surrounded by a 930 m long castle wall with originally 14 mighty defensive towers (erected in the 14th – 16th centuries), nine of which have survived; Financing, maintenance and manning of the defense towers by the city guilds; Main gate with hour tower, built in the 14th century on the foundations of a Roman fort (64 m high, four corner towers; Baroque clock tower from 1648, rebuilt in 1677); Monastery church (first mentioned in 1298, baptismal font in 1440, baroque altar in 1680); wood-roofed »student stairs« (1642); Mountain school (early 17th century); Gothic-baroque mountain church (14th / 15th century, then rebuilt several times, wall paintings)
Continent: Europe
Country: Romania
Location: Sighișoara, Mures County
Appointment: 1999
Meaning: Well-preserved, medieval city of great beauty; cultural testimony of the Transylvanian Saxons

Old town of Sighișoara: history

2nd / 3rd Century Roman army camp
12th century Founding of the city by German immigrants
1367 Granting city rights, own jurisdiction
14-16. Century The city’s heyday, an important center of handicrafts and trade
16.-18. Century Multiple sieges (Turkish rule, Kuruc Wars)
1544 The population converts to Protestantism
1603/1709 Plague epidemic
1676 Destruction of the hour tower as well as a large part of the castle and the city by a major fire

Old town of Sighișoara (World Heritage)