Roman Sites in Hungary

Early Christian Necropolis

In the 4th century, a remarkable series of decorated tombs were constructed in the cemetery of the Roman provincial town of Sopianae (modern Pécs). These are important both structurally and architecturally, since they were built as underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above the ground. The tombs are important also in artistic terms, since they are richly decorated with murals of outstanding quality dep ...
Founded: 300-400 AD | Location: Pécs, Hungary

Aquincum

Aquincum was an ancient city, situated on the northeastern borders of the Pannonia province within the Roman Empire. The ruins of the city can be found today in Budapest. It is believed that Marcus Aurelius may have written at least part of his book Meditations at Aquincum. It was originally settled by the Eravisci, a Celtic tribe. Aquincum served as a military base (castrum), having been part of the Roman border protect ...
Founded: 41-89 AD | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Aquincum Civil Amphitheatre

Aquincum Civil Amphitheatre is an ancient structure in Budapest, the lesser of two located in Obuda. The other is the Aquincum Military Amphitheatre. It was built between 250 AD and 300 AD. South of the western gate is an inscription of the Greek goddess Nemesis also known as Rhamnousia/Rhamnusia.
Founded: 250-300 AD | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Aquincum Military Amphitheatre

The Aquincum Military Amphitheatre is the greater of two amphitheatres in Budapest, the other being the Aquincum Civil Amphitheatre. It was built around 145, during the reign of emperor Antoninus Pius.
Founded: 145 AD | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Fertorákos Mithraeum

The Fertőrákos Mithraeum is a temple to the Roman god Mithras at Fertőrákos in Hungary. The temple (known as a mithraeum), follows a typical plan of a narthex followed by the shrine proper that consists of a sunken central nave with podium benches on either side. It was discovered by chance by a stonemason called György Malleschitz in 1866 who undertook the initial clearance of the site. It a ...
Founded: 200-300 AD | Location: Gemeinde Mörbisch am See, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.