Ancient Roman sites

Gisacum

In the 2nd century AD, the city-sanctuary of Gisacum extended near Saint-Aubin, which was gradually abandoned until disappearing in 5th century. In the 1801 archaeological excavations uncovered this important Gallo-Roman site; but in reality at the time the town covered an area of 250 ha. The interpretation centre has a permanent exhibition tracing the history of Gisacum, and the archaeological garden offers an original d ...
Founded: 0 - 100 AD | Location: Le Vieil-Évreux, France

Veliki Brijun Roman Villa

On the western coast of Brijuni, along Verige Bay, stands a magnificent Roman villa rustica. Its construction began in the 1st century BC, and it achieved its greatest splendor in the 1st century AD. Certain parts of the villa were used until the 6th century. It consisted of several buildings for various purposes situated at carefully chosen sites in different parts of the bay. On the southern side of the bay stood a su ...
Founded: 100-0 BCE | Location: Pula, Croatia

Lillebonne Roman Amphitheatre

Lillebonne is located on the north banks of the Seine River. From the first to the third centuries AD the town, then called Juliobona by the Romans – a homage to Julius Cesar, was a very prosperous port. The relatively well preserved Roman amphitheatre (capable of holding 3,000 persons) and baths are all that remains from these times. Many Roman and Gallic relics, notably a bronze statue of a woman and two fine mosa ...
Founded: 0 - 200 AD | Location: Lillebonne, France

Vizula

Vižula is an archaeological site near Medulin, confirmed to be populated from the Neolithic to the Early Middle Ages. Remains of a Neolithic settlement were found including wicker cottages glued together by soil and mud, as well as parts of the ceramics and some dishes. However, the most significant is the Roman villa, which has undergone systematic research, dating back to the 1st and the 2nd centuries. It was found tha ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Medulin, Croatia

Fréjus Roman Aqueduct

The aqueduct of Fréjus was built in the middle of the first century after the ramparts were in place. It functioned for 450 years until the 5th century. It is 42 km long, with a difference in altitude between the highest spring of Neïssoun and the castellum aquae in the city of 481 m. The aqueduct runs mostly in a covered conduit for 36.4 km and for 1.8 km on bridges and 500 m on walls. Large parts of the aqueduct are s ...
Founded: c. 50 AD | Location: Fréjus, France

Vitudurum

Vitudurum is the name of a Roman Vicus, those remains are located in Oberwinterthur, a locality of the municipality of Winterthur. The majority of the remains of commercial, residential, religious and public buildings are situated around the St. Arbogast church. Vitudurum was established nearby productive resources and a prehistorican route from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance in the late first century BC or early f ...
Founded: around 4 BC | Location: Winterthur, Switzerland

Nemetacum

Arras was founded on the hill of Baudimont by the Celtic tribe of the Atrebates, who named it Nemetacum or Nemetocena in reference to a nemeton (sacred grove) that probably existed there. It was later renamed Atrebatum by the Romans, under whom it became an important garrison town. The archaeological site Nemetacum in Arras is one of the rare sanctuaries devoted to the oriental god Attis in France.
Founded: 15 BC | Location: Arras, France

Brijuni Kastrum

The richest site by its strata on the Brijuni stretches on an area somewhat greater than 1 hectare. Finds from the period of the Roman Republic and Empire, Late Antiquity, Eastern Goths, Byzantium, Carolingian period and Venice testify to the long time settlement. The first villa in Dobrika Bay was built in the 1st century BC.  During Augustus" rule, partly on the site of the first villa, a new villa rustica was er ...
Founded: 100-0 BCE | Location: Pula, Croatia

Dalheim Ricciacum

Dalheim Ricciacum is the site of a well-preserved Gallo-Roman theatre dating from the 2nd century AD. The site was first excavated by the Société Archéologique around 1850 under Antoine Namur (1812–1828). Thousands of objects were discovered, registered and described in three reports. It appears that the settlement grew considerably until by the 3rd century it covered an area of about 25 hectares. In addition to the ...
Founded: 100-200 AD | Location: Dalheim, Luxembourg

Mamer Roman Ruins

The remains of the Roman public baths in Mamer have been reconstructed. During the Gallo-Roman era which lasted until about 450, the Romans built and maintained a number of roads in the area including the Kiem (Latin caminus, road) linking Trier to Reims through what is now Mamer. Mambra was a Romanvicus centred around a villa with thermal baths, sited on the banks of the Mamer River at the eastern end of today"s Mam ...
Founded: 0-200 AD | Location: Mamer, Luxembourg

Aquae Iasae

Aquae Iasae was the Roman settlement and Roman bath in the area of present city Varaždinske Toplice. In the 3rd century BC, in this area lived the Illyrian tribe Jasi, whose name the Romans referred to later in calling this place Aquae Iasae, 'Waters of the Jasi'. The village Jasa, thanks to its springs of water, grew into a significant medical, ceremonial, cultural and economic center of Pannonia Superior. Bu ...
Founded: 0-300 AD | Location: Varaždinske Toplice, Croatia

Aguntum

Aguntum was a Roman site in East Tirol. The city appears to have been built to exploit the local sources of iron, copper, zinc and gold. During the early Christian era the city was the site of a bishopric. The oldest Roman remains are a two-roomed wooden structure discovered beneath the bath house and dated to the mid-first century BC. Aguntum was a mining and trading centre which exploited local sources of iron, copper ...
Founded: 50 BC | Location: Lienz, Austria

Rodange Roman Ruins

The large Trevian oppidum in Rodange dates from the 1st century BC, surrounded by ramparts of a length of nearly 3 km. Gallo-Roman vicus ruins were built between the 1st and the beginning of the 5th century.
Founded: 0-100 BC | Location: Rodange, Luxembourg

Goeblange Roman Ruins

In the Miecher forest extensive remains of a Roman farming community have been found. Two large villas have been excavated and the foundations partially rebuilt. There are other buildings and fortifications on the site which are now being unearthed. Information boards at the site explain that the villas probably date back to the 1st century but were extensively developed in the 4th century. Roman civilization was then th ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Koerich, Luxembourg

Steinsel Roman Ruins

The rural sanctuary in Steinsel dates from the 1st to the 4th century AD.
Founded: 0-300 AD | Location: Steinsel, Luxembourg

Roman Funeral Monument

The funerary monument in Grevenmacher-Potaschberg used to be an imposing 12 m high, but only parts of it have been reconstructed. The decoration includes representations of mythical scenes, as well as scenes from the everyday life of an affluent winemaking family. The monument stands amidst of an enclosed cemetery that invites you to linger.
Founded: 100-200 AD | Location: Grevenmacher, Luxembourg

Doclea Roman Ruins

Doclea (also Dioclea) was a Roman city, the seat of the Late Roman province of Praevalitana, and an Archbishopric, which is now a Latin Catholic titular see. The Romanized Illyrian tribe known as Docleatae that inhabited the area derived their name from the city. It was the largest settlement of the Docleatae, founded in the first decade of the 1st century AD. Doclea was built to conform to the terrain. It was a large to ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Podgorica, Montenegro

Virunum

Claudium Virunum was a Roman city in the province of Noricum, on today"s Zollfeld in the Austrian State of Carinthia. Virunum was founded under Emperor Claudius as the capital of the province of Noricum. The new Roman foundation was situated on the main route from the Adriatic to the Danube, with a branch through south eastern Carinthia connecting Virunum with the Amber Road. From AD 343 Virunum is known to have be ...
Founded: 50 AD | Location: Zollfeld, Austria

Bruckneudorf Roman Villa

In Roman times the Bruckneudorf area was already densely populated, and Villa Bruckneudorf, one of the most important Roman villas to be discovered in Eastern Austria, is a few kilometres to the east. The villa is presumed to be a residence of the imperial family in the autumn of 375 AD. Today impressive ruins remain. Of the magnificent mosaics, more than 300 m² are still preserved. These are located in the Landesmus ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Bruckneudorf, Austria

Teurnia

Teurnia was a Roman city in western Carinthia. In late antiquity it was also a bishop"s see, and towards the end of Roman times it was mentioned as the capital of the province of Noricum mediterraneum. As early as 1100 BC, people had lived there on Holzerberg hill, which may well have also been the centre of the Celtic Taurisci nation. Before c. 50 AD the Roman town was built with a forum, a market basilica, a templ ...
Founded: 50 AD | Location: Sankt Peter in Holz, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.