The treasures from Gradiste Hill

Near the entrance to the town of Slatina from Craiova, beyond the Olt river, the highest form of natural relief from Slatina rises: Grădiște Hill. With a height of over 600 meters above the ground, the Grădiște Hill has been guarding for thousands of years not only the town, but also its surroundings. Several legends and stories have appeared on its account, interweaving the myth with history and reality, transforming the relief form into a true symbol of Slatina.

The first written record of the hill, then called “Țuguiul Grădiștei” can be found in the Geographical Dictionary of Olt County in 1895, where it is mentioned “a large hillock, located south of Slatina, in the mouth of the Șopotului valley, which separates the town from Olt valley”. In the Monography of Olt County of 1944 it is said about Grădiște that it is “the highest hill in the entire surrounding area”.

Not only is the height of the hill well known; dozens of legends and stories circulated about Grădișt that brought it fame beyond the borders of the county. One of the most popular legends about the Grădiște Hill says that, over the years, the inhabitants of the area would have buried their treasures and wealth here, for fear of being robbed by thieves or Ottomans. Until the early 1900s, locals frequently left their homes and places of birth. This was based on several possible reasons, but the most common were fear of repeated attacks by the Turks and fear of epidemics or plagues. Before they left, they buried the most precious odours on the tops of Grădiște Hill, hidden in boilers, buckets, pots, jars and jugs.

As it was heard that the Turks came, the inhabitants of Slatina buried their money and everything they had dearly and fled through the neighbouring villages or into the mountains. Legend says that after the danger passed, some of them came to look for their fortune, but because they had forgotten where they buried it, they couldn’t find it. Others died in the distance, sick or cut off by their enemies, and their treasures remained hidden forever.

Over time, both in Slatina and around the city, true monetary treasures from different historical periods have been discovered. Most of these treasures found in the area come from the Olt Valley, from the plain area between Slatina and Slăveni, or from the central area of the Lower Olt Valley. Currently, these coins and monetary treasures are held and displayed at Olt County Museum.

In modern times, the importance of Grădiște Hill has increased with the construction on the plateau at the top of the Water Castle of the town and the building of the House of Marriages. This place now houses the Local Council meeting room and is also the place where the marriages are celebrated. On 1 December 2012, the largest and tallest tricolour flag in Romania was hoist at the peak of Grădiștei Hill at that time – the 391-square-meter flag is set on a 15-meter-high base and has a 31-meter high flagpole.

Locals and tourists today go up Slatina’s Grădiște Hill to discover the ancient legends that surround it in mystery, to photograph the flag or to admire the magnificent panorama over the city.




• “Grădiștea Hill from Slatina – history, legend, reality”, %83d i% 5% 9Ftea-history-of-slatina, -legend% 4% 83 -REAL

• Silviu I. Purece, “The places and contexts of discovery of the Roman imperial treasures of Oltenia”, in the Studia Universitatis Cibiniensis, Series Historica, volume 5, 2008

• Sorin Langu, “The phenomenon of hoarding in the 8th – 14th century in the extra-Carpathian space”, in Danubius, no. 21, 2003

• “The largest flag in the country, hoist at Slatina, on the Grădiște Hill”, November 30, 2012,