Alba

Dăbâca Fortress

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Dăbâca Fortress
Location:
Dabaca

Landmark:
Monuments and Archaeological sites

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Once upon a time the Dabaca Fortess or the County Fortress, although you would not believe by the way it looks nowadays, was a former royal fortress, extremely important for Transylvania. Located in the commune with the same name of Cluj, the Dabaca Fortress appears mentioned for the first time in documents in 1214.

 

According to researchers and archaeologists, the Dabaca Fortress was raised in the 9th century, demolished in the 13th century following the Mongol invasion and then rebuilt in order to be destroyed again, its rocks being used at the construction of another important residence in the area, Teleki Castle.

 

The Dabaca Fortress was built on Lona Valley from thick stone, which replaced the initial wooden palisades, and at some point it also had dungeons and towers.

 

Other experts sustain that the 9th century construction was raised on the ruins of another fortress, even older, probably belonging to the Ruler Gelu – but such theory is not supported by archaeological evidences.

 

Anyway, if you get here, you should not disregard the fact that the ruins in front of you have evolved over time: from a simple fortification, it turned into a fortress that has suffered various changes and transformations over the centuries. It’s like you have an open history book in front of you, but its pages are so torn that you have to guess what it’s written. You must use your imagination, because much of what is left of the fortress lies buried underground and covered with lush vegetation.

 

Its troubled past, as well as the present buried underground and deteriorated by time, does not erase the fact that the Dabaca Fortress was extremely important for Transylvania in the medieval period.

 

Defended with ditches and ramparts of earth, with three meters thick and three or four meters high walls, this was the residence city and the royal city of Dabaca County, having the role to control the road on which the salt was transported, the most important natural resource of Transylvania.

 

A legend circulates among locals about the Dabaca Fortress. The elders say that this was the giants’ city, some knights who during the day were in charge with carrying salt, and in the night were hiding in this fortified area for fear not to be killed by farmers. The documented history shows that Dabaca was mastered in the 13th century by Pechenegs and their knights were named giants, so the legend may be based on some truth.

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