This page can be viewed on the Hungarian geocaching website here. The official name of the cache in Hungary is GCCIRP.
Welcome to Castellum Cirpi, an unexcavated Roman fortress!
The Roman military post called Castellum Cirpi is located south of Dunabogdány, north of Tahi. Its size is 124×147 m, the walls were 1.2 m thick. The earliest castellum, a post surrounded by pale, was built in the 1st-2nd century and was expanded to a stone fortress in the middle of the 2nd century. Later shoe-shaped sidetowers and fan-shaped towers on the corners were built. In the late 4th century a small fortress was put up in the southeast corner. Next to the fortress stood the canabae, the military town. After the fall of the Roman Empire, a village called Várad was founded on the site of the former Cirpi, but was later abandoned. The area is called also "Bolhavár" or "Pusztatemplom". The outlines of the fortress can still be seen. In 1930, Ákos Szalay started to reveal it, since then there was no excavation.
Getting to the cache
The dirt roads in the vicinity change often: new ones are created, old ones are ploughed and abandoned, so don't trust the map. We're aiming to keep the description of the best approach up-to-date, but it may be worth checking the satellite image of Google Maps before setting off.
- Leave road 11 toward the Danube at ROAD1. DO NOT follow the road between the bushes, but follow the smaller road to the right, which goes on the edge of the field, and is much better.
- Follow the road until it ends and splits, turn left here (ROAD2).
- At ROAD3, you'll already be next to the tree nursery garden. Turn left.
- The road will soon turn, follow it to the right at ROAD4.
- The road takes you straight to the bottom of the fortress' hill. At ROAD5, go straight and follow the road up the hill. (It isn't high or steep, it's only a few meters higher than its surroundings.)
- Welcome to the fortress! :)
You can also get to the fortress for the Danube bank at low water level. The road mentioned above leads to the river and ends approximately at DNBUP, so that's the easiest point to get to the fortress from the water.
We hid the previous caches well, but during the last renovation, we were aiming for disguising it and making it more accessible. In line with this, once you're at the coordinates and you know you're looking for a cache, it will be hard not to find it. :) Very few people come here, but please try not to call their attention to the cache.
To avoid having to search 2 acres of overgrown land for ruins, we made two kinds of markings, which lead to the most visible ones. The markings are colored insulating tapes, which we aimed to put on dried branches, more or less following the rules of placing tourist path markings. At the ruins, the last markings are highlighted with white tape, like real path markings.
Blue marking - Towards the Eastern sidetower (ETOWER)
From the cache, go back on the road, and turn right at the edge of the forest, where you see a lot of markings. You can find walls in many of the nearby trenches; the marking leads you to the largest one.
Easily reachable, little overgrowth expected.
Red marking - Towards the Southwestern wall (SWWALL)
From the cache, follow the road towards the Danube, and turn right when the road starts to get off the hill. Go more-or-less straight towards the coordinates: through the overgrown clearing, across the line of trees, then go down the hill and turn around. The long piece of wall is in the side of the hill.
Heavy undergrowth expected, long trousers and closed shoes are recommended. The marking is hard to follow at some places because we couldn't place it well on the clearings.
- The dirt road is pretty bumpy. It's OK by bicycle, but we recommend to leave the car at latest at point 2.
- The recommended road has almost no shadows, so hot days may be problematic, but the fortress has plenty of trees and the Danube is nearby.
- As the fortress was never revealed completely, you can't see too much of it, so it's more interesting than beautiful.
Have a great time!