Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark – ROMANIA


The Hațeg Country Dinosaurs Geopark is located in the central part of Romania, in a very fertile region, surrounded by mountains from all directions. These natural features along with the cultural background make Hațeg Country a miniature Transylvania. The region is called a “country” from the Latin word “terra”, used in all the medieval documents to show the special character of this land. Protected by the mountains, the Romanian community here resisted the Hungarian conquest and managed to keep its forms of organization.

The Geopark covers an area of 102.392 hectares, including a town (the town of Hațeg – 13000 inhabitants) and 10 communes, the total population of the Geopark area is about 39000 people. Besides the very picturesque landscapes, deep gorges, caves, alpine forests, meadows, orchards and crops the region hosts remains of the human history from Paleolithic to Roman Antiquity and from the Middle-Age to the Modern time.

The most important sites are the ruins of the ancient capital of the Dacia province of the Roman Empire at Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana, the numerous medieval churches among which the magnificent Densus church, a master piece of the Mid Age architecture, as well as the remains of the more recent castles and old nobles’ mansions.

The region is world-wide known for its “dwarf dinosaurs” from the end of Cretaceous, 72-65 million years ago. This special paleontological heritage has inspired the name of the Geopark. Fifteen dinosaur species, both herbivorous and carnivorous from the region, were described, based on skeletal remains found in fossil fluvial and lake deposits. Dinosaur eggs and hatchlings were also discovered in the same deposits, as well as many non-dinosaur species, representing all the classes of vertebrates, from fishes to mammals being represented in the fossil faunal assemblage. The total number of vertebrate taxa is around 65.  Very spectacular in this assemblage is a huge pterosaur (flying reptile), named Hatzegopteryx, from the name of the region. This enormous creature, one of the largest flying animals ever, if not the largest one, had a wingspan of 12 m.

Another geologic event that is well documented in the Geopark is the volcanic rocks-tuffs, lavas and volcanic bombs marking the volcanic eruptions that took place in the region during the dinosaurs existence.

All the natural, historical and cultural sites from the Hațeg region, so abundant and significant, not only for the restricted area of the Geopark, but for the entire country, are integrated within the management plan of the Geopark. This plan has as main strategic points the conservation and management of the sites, in order to allow both tourism and ecological and scientific education. The development and control of a modern and intelligent tourism in the region is a strategic objective of the Geopark, for which the development of infrastructures (agro-tourist pensions, roads and information-points) and the creation of new leisure attractions in the region are envisaged. Among the new attractions, the creation an open-space museum of dinosaurs to include the life-size reconstruction of the species from the Hațeg region is the most important.

Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark

9A Libertății Str.,
Hațeg, 335500
Hunedoara County,
Tel: 0254777853
Email: hateggeoparc@yahoo.com
Dan Grigorescu: dangrig@geo.edu.ro
Alexandru Andrășanu: aalex@geo.edu.ro

Website: www.hateggeoparc.ro