Veliki Brijun Roman Villa

Pula, Croatia

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 sumptuous summer residence also with an economic function with two peristyles. Also part of the complex were temples of the sea god Neptune situated at the end of the bay, Capotolium triads and deities of love and beauty Venus. Dieta, palestra, thermae, fishpond and the economic part were situated at the northern side of the bay. By an interesting system of promenades stretching one kilometer along the sea, all the buildings were connected into a unique whole, in ideal harmony with the landscape.

From the seaside this complex was bordered by the shore built of large stone blocks today being about 1 m below sea level. Access to the harbor was controlled by a chain, (verige in Croatian), connecting opposite shores, after which the bay was named.

Besides this villa furbished with mosaics, frescoes, stucco decoration and precious marble, on  Brijuni there was a number of Roman villas of mostly economic function, among them particularly interesting the villa on Kolci hill.

The Roman villa in Verige bay is part of the Roman Emperors Route which has received a certificate of the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural routes. Route that is 3,5 thousand kilometers long stretches through Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania and promotes archaeological tourism. It covers 20 archaeological sites important for the period of imperial Rome and related to the lives of 17 Roman emperors.

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Brijuni, Pula, Croatia
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Founded: 100-0 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Croatia

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