Ancient Roman sites

Tsikhisdziri

Tsikhisdziri is home to an archaeological site and ruins of a Late Antique fortified town, which is identified with the Roman-built city-fortress of Petra. Petra, founded at the behest of the emperor Justinian I in 535 and, after a series of battles for the possession of that city during the Lazic War with Sasanid Iran, was demolished by the Romans themselves to prevent it again becoming the enemy"s target ...
Founded: 535 AD | Location: Kobuleti, Georgia

Alauna Roman Therms

There are imposing remains of the Roman therms of the ancient antique city of Alauna (today Valognes), built in the 1st century AD. The edifice was built in a symetric plan and had about ten rooms, including a steam room, a hot pool and a cold pool. The masonries were elevated at about a dozen metres and neatly built, associating small cubic stone block bases to brick layers.
Founded: 0 - 100 AD | Location: Valognes, France

Corseul Roman Ruins

Corseul was called Fanum Martis ('Temple of Mars') in Latin and was the capital of the Gallo-Roman province of Coriosolites. It was founded in 10 BC. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, like many other cities, Fanum Martis was renamed for its people, the Curiosolitae. This name change occurred as the Roman Empire weakened and paralleled a revival of the ancient Gallic gods in local religious sculptures and dedicatory ...
Founded: 10 BC | Location: Corseul, France

Ad Quintum

Ad Quintum was an ancient Roman city in Illyricum, on the Via Egnatia connecting Dyrrhachium with Byzantium. The settlement was probably founded in the late 2nd or in the early 3rd century AD, and continued to be populated until the 4th century AD. Its well preserved ruins can be seen near the present-day village Bradashesh, right next to the SH7 road. The site was extensively excavated around 1968 which uncovered a fine ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: Bradashesh, Albania

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 mosaics, ...
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

Burnum

Burnum was a Roman Legion camp and town. It is located 2.5 km north of Kistanje. The remains include a praetorium, the foundations of several rooms, the amphitheatre and the aqueduct. It is assumed that Burnum originates from the year 33 BC, but it is more likely that it was established a few decades later. Several Roman legions were located there in succession, and the first one was Legio XX Valeria Victrix from the beg ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Kistanje, 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

Ruffenhofen Roman Park

Ruffenhofen Roman Park is an archaeological park covering an area of about 40 hectares. The ancient fortification lies around 2.2 km from the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes. Roman fort of Ruffenhofen Castle as well as large elements of the associated civilian settlement have survived underground and have not been built over.
Founded: 100-200 AD | Location: Gerolfingen, Germany

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

Torreparedones

Located in Baena, the Torreparedones Archaeological Park, also known as Torre de las Vírgenes and Castro el Viejo, is one of the most important archaeological places in the province of Cordoba from an archaeological viewpoint. Since the Modern Age it has been known for the casual appearance of notable remains that reflect the category it once had in antiquity. It is located in the heart the Cordoba countryside and is pa ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Baena, Spain

Engehalbinsel Roman Vicus

A sanctuary with three fana (Gallo-Roman temples), a small bath building, an amphitheatre, several necropolis and remains of buildings where discovered in 1763 and excavated in 1956 near Bern. It has an ellipsis shape arena, whose axis are 28 x 26 metres, two walls which could be an entry at one end, and a niche at the other end. Its blenches were probably wooden made. Long regarded as an amphitheatre (it would one of th ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Bern, Switzerland

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

Aqueduct of Diocletian

The Aqueduct of Diocletian is an ancient Roman aqueduct near Split, constructed during the Roman Empire to supply water to the palace of the emperor Diocletian. The Aqueduct of Diocletian was constructed between the end of 3rd and beginning of the 4th century AD, at the same time as the palace. The aqueduct took water from the river Jadro, 9 kilometres northeast of Diocletian"s Palace, today Split"s city centr ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Split, Croatia

Cornelius Aqueduct

The Roman aqueduct bridge in Termini Imerese is the largest and best preserved in Sicily. The source was located 5 km east of the city, at the foot of Monte San Calogero where the remains of the two settling tanks can still be seen in the locality of Brucato. The aqueduct needed to cross the Barratina stream and the earliest the crossing was made at Fontana Superiore with a siphon about 600 m long, of which the well pre ...
Founded: 2nd century BCE | Location: Termini Imerese, Italy

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.