The statue of King Decimal on the Romanian-Serbian border

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Giant portrait of an ancient Dacian king carved on the banks of the Danube

This 40-metre-high, stone-sculpted, bearded face overlooking the Danube looks a lot like a statue straight out of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In reality, it’s therecent work of a Romanian businessman and historian.

Decebal (or Decebalus the Brave) was the last king of Dacia. He was also one of the most powerful rulers of this ancient kingdom. After the reunification of the previously divided Dacian tribes, he fought three wars against two Roman emperors, before finally succumbing to Rome’s might in 106 AD.

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Flickr – Manny Moss

Modern Romania’s national identity is still firmly rooted in its ancient Dacian heritage. This monumental stone portrait of Decebal was designed by Iosif Constantin Dragan, a Romanian businessman and historian. It is located on the Romanian side of the Danube, just opposite the Tabula Traiana, a memorial to Emperor Trajan’s Roman conquest of Dacia in 100-103 (AD) (the Trajan Table is a Latin inscription dedicated to Emperor Trajan, carved on a specially hewn rock face overlooking the Iron Gates). Measuring 40 metres, it is the highest sculpted rock in Europe, and took a team of twelve sculptors 10 years (1994-2004) to complete.

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Flickr – János Korom Dr.

The inscription on the statue is, ironically, written in Latin, the language introduced into Romania by Decebal’s enemies. It reads « DECEBALUS REX – DRAGAN FECIT » (« King Decebalus – Made by Drăgan »). This enormous statue is said to have cost almost €750,000.

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Wikipedia – Ionut68

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

www.desktopwallpaper4.me – Gabi

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Flickr – János Korom Dr.

Statue, sculpture, Roi Décébal, Decebalus, roi de Dacie, Roumanie

Source – www.romania-vazuta-din-caiac.ro

How do I get to the King Decebal sculpture?

As you can see from the map below, this gigantic statue is difficult to access from Romania’s major cities. You’ll need your own car (or rental car) to get there. Follow the DN57 along the Danube to the town of Orsova. If you’re coming from Serbia, the nearest bridge across the river is at Novi Sip.

Have you visited the statue of Decébal in Romania, very close to the Tabula Traiana in Serbia?