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 protection system called limes. Around AD 41-54, a 500-strong cavalry unit arrived, and a Roman legion of 6,000 men was stationed here by AD 89. The city gradually grew around the fortress, and after Pannonia was reorganised by the Romans in AD 106, Aquincum became the capital city of Pannonia Inferior. The city had around 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants by the end of the 2nd century, and covered a significant part of the area today known as the Óbuda district within Budapest. Ruins from the old Roman settlement can be seen in other parts of Budapest as well, notably Contra-Aquincum. These Roman structures were, during the 2nd and 3rd century AD, the heart of the commercial life of the Pannonia province. The excavations show evidence of the lifestyle of this period. The most important monuments in Aquincum are the two amphitheaters the Aquincum Civil Amphitheatre and the Aquincum Military Amphitheatre built in the 1st century AD.

People living in the settlement could enjoy the achievements of the Empire, like central heating in the houses, public baths, a Mithraeum and palaces, as well as two amphitheatres, the Aquincum Civil Amphitheater and the larger Aquincum Military Amphitheatre for gladiatorial combats and beast fights.

Many historic artifacts from the city now appear in the Aquincum Museum. The museum exhibits a reconstruction of the hydraulic system, Roman houses and paintings that have been recovered on site. The ruins of a three-level aqueduct have been discovered around the city.



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Founded: 41-89 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Hungary


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User Reviews

Joe T (2 years ago)
One of the coolest places in all of Budapest. This is an excavated Roman city where Marcus Aurelius wrote portions of Meditations. There is a lot of information provided giving an overview of what functions the respective areas had, and it was just amazing to be able to walk through a city that was lived in by the Romans. Don't forget to look at the various busts and monuments that are along the back wall. It's also very easy to get here via public transit. A must see!
Ignacio MLS (2 years ago)
Good place to visit if you enjoy Roman ruins. The major con is that it's a little bit farm from the city center and there is nothing interesting to see in the surroundings. The archaeological remains are beautiful and interesting. There is a lot of information about the Roman settlement and about the way people live in Roman times. Moreover, every July there is a interesting Roman event with kid activities where you can wear like a gladiator and practice Roman sports.
Miles Macdonald (2 years ago)
I spent a lovely few hours here exploring this 1st Century Roman Site. It extends across a large area but the information contained boards around the site (Hungarian & English) are very helpful in detailing the ruins and recreating an image of what the buildings would have looked like in Roman times. The main indoor museum has impressive collection of household objects, pottery etc. Don't miss the two other buildings, Painter's House and Mithraeum. The Painter's House is a Seven Room recreation, fully furnished, of what a Roman House might look like in the 3rd Century.
Petar Chaushev (2 years ago)
The place is definitely worth visiting if you're into Roman history. The temple of Mithras and the museum exhibitions were most noteable, in my humble opinion. The only downside worth sharing is that beside the tickets lady no one else spoke English, so I had to rely solely on written descriptions.
Yue Sun (Halo) (2 years ago)
The Roman ruins, the excavation of which was the largest archaeological operation in Hungary. The whole ruins is very grand and huge, and I only had a rough view after visiting for two hours. Even if you are not interested in archaeology, you can visit here on a sunny day, just go around and it is worthy.
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