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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Amber Road

The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber. As one of the waterways and ancient highways, for centuries the road led from Europe to Asia and back, and from northern Africa to the Mediterranean Sea.

An important raw material, amber was transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, and Egypt thousands of years ago, and long after.

In Roman times, a main route ran south from the Baltic coast in Prussia through the land of the Boii (modern Czech Republic and Slovakia) to the head of the Adriatic Sea. The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun or 'Tut' had Baltic amber among his burial goods, and amber was sent from the North Sea to the temple of Apollo at Delphi as an offering. From the Black Sea, trade could continue to Asia along the Silk Road, another ancient trade route.

The Old Prussian towns of Kaup and Truso on the Baltic were the starting points of the route to the south. In Scandinavia the amber road probably gave rise to the thriving Nordic Bronze Age culture, bringing influences from the Mediterranean Sea to the northernmost countries of Europe.

Sometimes the Kaliningrad Oblast is called the Янтарный край, which means the Amber area.



Overview of known amber finding places in Europe

Amber roads connect amber finding locations to customer sites in Europe, in the Middle East regions and in the Far East.

Amber finding locations in Europe

Overview of known amber roads by country


Central Europe

The shortest (and possibly oldest) road avoids alpine areas and led from the Baltic coastline (Estonia) through Poland, Silesia, passed the Moravian Gate, followed the river Morava to Slovakia, where it crossed the Danube to Austria near Carnuntum, heading southwards down to Aquileia at the Adriatic coast. One of the oldest directions of the last stage of the Amber Road to the south of Danube, noted in the myth about the Argonauts, used Sava and Kupa rivers in Croatia ending with short continental road from Nauportus (Brod na Kupi) to Tarsatica (Trsat, Rijeka) at the coast of Adriatic.[1]


Amber Roads in Germany

Several roads connected the North Sea and Baltic Seas, especially the city of Hamburg to the Brenner Pass, proceeding southwards to Brindisi in Italy and Ambracia (Greece). (See map at right)


The Swiss region indicates a number of alpine roads, concentrating around the capital city Bern and probably originating from the borders of the Rhône River and the Rhine.

The Netherlands

A small section, including Baarn, Barneveld, Amersfoort and Amerongen, connected the North Sea with the Lower Rhine.


A small section, led southwards from Antwerp and Bruges to the towns Braine-l’Alleud and Braine-le-Comte, both originally named "Brennia-Brenna". The route continued by following the Meuse River towards Bern in Switzerland.


Three routes may be identified leading from an amber finding region or delta at the mouth of River Openia towards Bresse and Bern, crossing the Alps to Switzerland and Italy.

Southern France and Spain

Routes connecting amber finding locations at Ambares (near Bordeaux), leading to Béarn and the Pyrenees. Routes connecting the amber finding locations in northern Spain and in the Pyrenees were a trading route to the Mediterranean Sea.

External links


  1. ^ Edith Hamilton, Mythology, 1999

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


This article is an itinerary.

The Amber Road connects for millennia the Baltic with the Adriatic sea
The Amber Road connects for millennia the Baltic with the Adriatic sea

The Amber Road (German: Bernsteinstrasse, Italian: Via dell Ambra) is an ancient trade route which connects the Baltic Sea with the Adriatic Sea. The Amber Road leads from Aquileia near Venice to Saint Petersburg and passes through Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia.


One of the largest amber deposits is in the Baltic region. Accordingly, amber trade prospered and a number of trade routes emerged. We don't exactly know when the "Amber Road" was established, but findings from prehistoric times prove that trade along this corridor existed long before Roman times. Near the mouth of the Morava River, the Amber Road traversed the Danube.

At this meeting point of the trans-European North-South route and the old East-West route along the Danube, the Romans erected the Legionary camp of Carnuntum. There, after about 2,000 kilometers of paths and unpaved trails which led south from the Baltic Sea, the Amber Road joined the huge network of Roman roads connecting all parts of the Empire. Huge and wealthy cities like Scarbantia (Sopron) and Savaria (Szombathely), Poetovium (Ptuj), Celeia (Celje) and Emona (Ljubljana) prospered along this road.

The last section of the road was the Via Gemina which connected Emona with Aquileia, the Roman capital of the Venetians and most important Adriatic port of the Roman Empire. Sections of the Roman Amber Road can still be seen in the Austrian province of Burgenland, in Hungary and Slovenia - and of course in Aquileia/Italy.

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