Arutela Roman Castrum in Calimanesti on UNESCO list, could be developed with European funds

The Arutela Roman Castrum in Calimanesti, the most famous Roman fortification in southern Valcea county, will be included on the UNESCO list along with other military constructions located on the southern border of Roman Dacia, with the local authorities announcing that they have a project to develop it with European funds.

The castrum is part of the Limes Alutanus, a line of fortifications built by the Romans along the Olt river to defend themselves against the invasions of barbarian tribes. It has already been surveyed and delineated this summer by a UNESCO commission of British archaeologists.

“Arutela was built in 137-138 /…/ The entrance gate is rebuilt in the 1980s to recompose a castrum, according to all the descriptions found so far, as castrum were built, because all Roman castrum were built in the same way. You can see the partitions with the respective rooms, with the room where the craftsmen were, where the military guard was and where they kept their horses. But there are also remains of this castrum in the ground, which, as we know, was destroyed by the flooding of the Olt River, a flood somewhere in the middle of the 3rd century and was abandoned,” said Florin Epure, director of the County Directorate for Culture of Valcea.

In addition to Arutela, there are many other such Roman military constructions in Valcea which are also on the UNESCO list. Of these, however, only the fortification of Calimanesti is visible, its ruins having been unearthed at the end of the 19th century following work to connect the mineral springs in the area.

The Calimanesti castrum was also preserved quite well after it was restored in the 1980s under the coordination of specialists from the Military Museum in Bucharest.

The authorities of Calimanesti say that the inclusion of the castle in the UNESCO heritage is a good thing, which will certainly help to further enhance the value of this historical monument, for which they also have a development project with European funds, worth about 2.5 million euros.

In addition to the fortifications in Valcea, other sites from the Roman period in Olt, Dolj and Gorj counties are included in the UNESCO Tentative List.