Archaeologists discover 3400-year-old fortress in Romania, larger than ancient Troy

Cetatea Veche
Cetatea Veche Consiliul Judetean Arad via Facebook

A team of Romanian and German archaeologists has discovered a fortress stretched over 90 hectares in Arad county, in Western Romania. The researchers claimed that it is believed to be almost 3400-years-old that means this citadel was built in the Bronze Age.

As per a local media outlet,, the archaeologists called it "Cetatea Veche" which means, "Old Citadel." This fortress was found in the territory of Sântana, which is a town in Arad county. Even though archaeologists started their excavations in 2009, the research process mainly has developed in the last two years that finally led them to the ancient discovery.

The professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Rüdiger Krause is the lead researcher of this excavation. the German professor, Krause along with the co-researcher and Romanian professor Florin Gogâltan, from the Institute of Archeology and History of Art of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca came to the conclusion that the "Old Citadel" of Sântana was built in the 14th century before Christ, about 3,400 years ago.

“Cetatea Veche”
“Cetatea Veche” Consiliul Judetean Arad via Facebook

Krause said that the research team had "proposed to do research at Sântana for a period of three years. Archaeological works benefit from funding from the Land of Hesse, Germany."

"The citadel in Sântana is one of the largest fortifications built during the mentioned period. Our purpose is to find out why this fortification was made, why this construction was needed," he further added while talking about the importance of this discoveries at Sântana.

The archaeologists also believe that this "Old Citadel" is much bigger than the city of Troy, which is an ancient city located on the northwest coast of Turkey that was besieged for 10 years and eventually conquered by a Greek army led by King Agamemnon.

However, Gogâltan explained that while the Troy is believed to have an area of 29 hectares, "the Citadel in Sântana covers 89 hectares. The buildings of Troy were made of stone. At Sântana, the buildings were made of clay and wood, a sign that civilization was more developed and adapted to the building materials it had."

"The fortress of Sântana was fenced with deep defences of over four meters, but also with earth waves over 20 meters. We are in front of one of the largest and most imposing fortresses in Europe," he told

“Cetatea Veche”
“Cetatea Veche” Consiliul Judetean Arad via Facebook

The archaeologists also used state-of-the-art technologies to draw a map of the fortification. They said that after following the measurement data, collected after researching about 55 hectares of the nearly 90, "we found something that scared us: a huge palace, with a length of 100 meters and width of 40 meters. We want to continue digging and, if possible, we want to make this citadel great again, just as it was over 3,000-years-ago."

During a press conference to announce the discovery, the Vice-President of the Arad County Council and Mayor of Sântana, Claudia Boghicevici said the authorities will support the archaeological team in their research process.

In addition to that Boghicevici also said, "Beyond local pride, this fortress can be a tourist symbol of the area. We really want to introduce this archaeological site into the master plan, to create a tourist pole in Sântana."

Related topics : Archaeology