The Land of Hateg
Tara Hategului (meaning the Land of Hateg, or Hateg Country) is the area that lies in the southwestern part of Transylvania, comprising the villages and towns in the depression with the same name, and the settlements located on the superior course of the Strei River.
The Land of Hateg is the cradle of Romanian civilization, a place where nature and man have coexisted harmoniously for millennia.
Historical highlights – archeological findings suggest that Hateg Land is the oldest populated area in Romania, inhabited since the middle period of the Paleolithic age.
Origins shrouded in legend – legend has it that, when Prince Cande arrived in the area, there was a dragon guarding the lands. The valiant prince fought the monster, and only after he won the battle he could settle in Hateg.
The stone heritage – The Hateg Land is also known as the land of stone churches, due to the large number of this type of edifices such as the Church from Santamaria Orlea, dating from the 13th century, and the church of Densus, believed to be the oldest in Romania, built on the foundations of an ancient temple.
The gates of Hateg Land – you can get into the land of stone churches through three “gates”. One of them is literally called the Iron Gates of Transylvania and is located in the western extremity of Hateg Land
The Corvin’s Castle – situated in Hunedoara County it is one of the most interesting castles in Europe. The eclectic architectural style combines Renaissance elements with Gothic, Neo-gothic and Baroque influences, resulting in a flamboyant edifice of outstanding beauty.
The Kendeffy Castle – built in 1702 in the Baroque style, the Kendeffy Castel is situated nearby the Santamaria Orlea village. With its crenels and towers, the castle is one of the most interesting architectural monuments from the area.
Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana – the ruins of the old capital of the Roman province Dacia can be seen in the Sarmizegetusa village from Hunedoara. This city of huge historical value was founded by the first Roman governor of the province, Terentius Scaurianus between 108 and 110 AD.
The Retezat National Park – is an incredible area of the Carpathians, hiding the largest glacial lake in the whole range, Bucura, and the deepest sinkhole. Mountain climbers and hikers have over 20 peaks that go over 2000 meters to explore.
The Wisent Reserve – the wisent (European bison) has disappeared from the forests of Europe decades ago, but in 1951, the species was reintroduced in forested areas of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldavia, and Romania. In the Hateg Wisent Reserve, tourists can admire a small but growing population of wisents.
The Dinosaurs Geopark – paleontologist discovered in the Hateg area fossils of a unique type of dinosaurs, known as “the dwarf dinosaurs of Transylvania”. Many millions of years ago, Hateg was an island on the sea that covered the area of modern day Romania, where dwarf dinosaurs evolved in isolation from the rest of the world. These included herbivores like Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus (a “duck-billed” dinosaur), but also fierce carnivorous species. Within the geopark’s limits, there are some others sites of geological interest, like the areas of volcanic activity and the Karst cave system.
The Archeology Museum in Hateg – opened in 1924, the Archeology Museum houses an impressive collection of weapons, mosaics, sculptural monuments, and fragments of mural paintings and bones.
In the area
The Colt Citadel – located in the village of Suseni, the Colt Citadel looks like a square tower which was later fortified with other bastions; the citadel is said to be Jules Verne’s inspiration for his novel “The Castle from the Carpathians”.
The Hateg Citadel – dating from the 13th century, the Hateg Citadel is situated in the village of Subcetate, merely four kilometers from the town of Hateg.
How to get there: You can easily get to Hateg Land by train, car, and bus. Daily trains from Bucharest, Timisoara, and Cluj Napoca stop in the train station located in Subcetate, merely 3 kilometers from the center of Hateg.