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.
But the biggest boom was seen under the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 4th centuries. The public part of the Roman settlement was located on the highest terrace of the hill Varaždin spa, today the park and archaeological site. The residential part of Aquae Iasae was on the terraces that descend to the foot of the hill in the foothills of the craft-established commercial and trade show facilities.
At the end of 3rd century AD Aquae Iasae were ravaged during the incursion of the Goths, then in the beginning of the 4th century the thermae were restored by Emperor Constantine. The resort was completely ruined and deserted in the 4th century during the invasions of the Migration period.
Intensive archaeological excavation and research have continued since 1953, under the Department of Ancient Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, led by professor Marcel Gorenc. Then in the spa park, discovered complex of Roman architecture from the 1st - 4th century CE, in area of 6000 m2.
This circuit consisted of spa parts, which make up the building with swimming pools and the basilica, the Forum with porches located around the main thermal sources, and Capitol with the temples of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The excavations at the site uncovered numerous remains: parts of swords, shields, knives, razors, imperial coins (which were thrown into the pool for good luck), lots of statues of nymphs (nymfus salutaris, the goddess of healing) and the well preserved marble pavement of the 2nd century.
The most valuable finding is the statue of the goddess Minerva with a pedestal, was found in 1967 at the entrance to the temple. Minerva wears a legionary helmet, wields a copper spear and shield, and instead of hair has snakes (the pharmacy). This statue was built in the 2nd century in Poetovio, and had him make a councilor as a votive gift of healing.
More recent research in the Forum has discovered the ancient spring-fed Roman pool. This pool has the dimensions of 8x13.5 meters and the depth is 2.6 meters. The natural source of the baths' thermal water, was fenced in by large stone blocks. So far, the only similar example of such a pool is known in the Roman settlement of Aquae Sulis (Bath) in England.
Specific conditions of soil around the springs of water, and travertine deposits, have given rise to good preservation of Roman architecture, so that this complex is one of the best preserved Roman sites in Croatia.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.