CAPALNA    (comuna Sasciori, jud. Alba)
At 2km South of Capalna village, on the left bank of Frumoasei valley (Valea Sebesului), between Valea Gargalaului and Paraul Rapii, there is Dealul Cetatii (610m). It is connected to Dealul Stauinilor to the South –West, by a narrow saddle while the others are very steep. The peak of the small hill was levelled on several terraces; some of the narrower ones are located on the South –East side, to Rapii stream and on the Northern side. On the slopes of the above mentioned stream course and up to the saddle there is a road which turns then to the fortress.
The fortification elements are all visible on site, are arranged on levels starting from the saddle and up to the upper sector of the small hill. They consist of a trench, two earthwork walls, each of them containing an inner trench, a dwelling tower and a yard made of a wall that surrounds the upper part disposed on terrace. Going up from the saddle the Ancient road disappeared. Following the modern path, the first obstacle is the trench, then the two half-moon earthwork walls and a trench is behind each of them . At the back of the outer earthwork wall there was a big trench resulted at the excavation of the earth partly required to erect the inner earthwork wall. From there the slope continues up to a terrace cut in the rock and 12-13m wide and 39m long; on its edge there is a simple palisade. A square shaped dwelling tower was built on this terrace. The tower base was constituted of walls with two paraments made of finished limestone blocks. The floor walls were made of fired bricks and a door situated on the North-East side to allow the access to the upper terrace – fortress plateau (probably by a wood footbridge). The roof was probably made of wood tiles. As the dwelling tower was placed along the yard wall forming even a prominence of it , it indicates that it was used for defensive purposes. The symbol “C” was carved on one of the blocks of the outer paraments of the North –west walls. Taking into consideration that behind the tower, the rock was as high as the upper plateau, the construction had to be protected against the fragment sliding. To this aim, the rock was standing erect and was lined with a parament of limestone blocks to the South –East and one to the North –West, like those of the murus Dacicus wall type, but in this case the blocks were tied by means of cross – beams directly to the rock. North –West from the tower, in the space delimited by the parament wall of the rock and the North –West corner of the yard wall , there was an inner “courtyard” crossed by a strange wall in an oblique plane. Its construction system was specific when compared with all the other existing walls of the fortress and namely, it had two paraments , but they were made of slabs put on their edge, and every two paraments, if not every one of them, were provided with troughs made of wood. As the wall is maximum 0.48m thick, the emplecton is only 0.08-0.10m thick. The constructive features determined the experts to consider it the stone foundation of a wood wall.
The yard wall, along most of its route, supported also the back terrace fill. The main gate of the fortress reached by the access road, was situated on the South –East side. It consisted of an inner tower with three sides, the fourth one being the yard wall itself. The gate tower was a terraced construction and the roof was made of wood tiles. Following the route of the yard wall, after the big curve turning to the North –West, there was the secondary entry which was narrower and bordered by two walls: it did not allow the access of the carriages. It was noticed that during the period between the two wars with Trajan the secondary gate was blocked, and the space between the walls turned into a storage area of different “residues”.
This fortress was meant to protect the intra-Carpathian zone outlet of the road that started South of Carpathian Mountains , passed near the Dacian fortresses of Polovragi, wnet up to Urdele pass, and got down in Valea frumoasei area. Another road from East, from Tilisca Dacian fortress also reached Valea Sebesului.
The fortress construction started by the middle of the I century p.Chr., and this fortress had been running until the beginning of the II century P.Chr., . During peace periods there probably was a small military camp , headed by a commander while during war periods the number of its military members increased singnificantly.
The fortress was conquered during the first war against Trajan (101-102 p.Chr.) and probably some of the constructions were partly dismantled as per the stipulations of the peace treaty of 102. The rehabilitation of the fortress walls was made in a rush , prior to the start of the hostilities of 105-106. Again, the fortress was conquered and destroyed.