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:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.