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Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Felix Romuliana
State Party  Serbia
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, iv
Reference 1253
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2007  (31st Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Gamzigrad (Serbian Cyrillic: Гамзиград) is an archaeological site and spa resort in Serbia, located south of the Danube river, near Zaječar.

Contents

History

The complex

In the vicinity of Gamzigrad lie the ruins of a huge Roman complex called Felix Romuliana, one of the most important late Roman sites in Europe. Early explorers believed the ancient ruins to have been a Roman military camp, because of their size and numerous towers. Systematic archaeological excavations conducted since 1953 revealed that the site was, in fact, an Imperial palace. It was conceived and built by one of the Tetrarchs, Emperor Galerius, the adopted son and son-in-law of the great Emperor Diocletian. Galerius started construction in 298 (after a victory over the Persians that brought him admiration and glory) to mark the place of his birth. The name Felix Romuliana was given in memory of his mother Romula, who was also a priestess of a pagan cult. The complex of temples and palaces served three main purposes - a place of worship of his mother’s divine personality, a monument to his deeds as emperor, and a luxurious villa for Galerius. Romuliana survived until it was plundered by the Huns in the mid 5th century. Later the site became a humble settlement of farmers and craftsmen, finally to be abandoned at the beginning of the 7th century with the arrival of the Slavs.

Archaeological excavation within the fortress have unearthed the remains of a palace compound with exceptionally fine mosaics, baths and impressive gates. Several valuable hoards of Roman gold coins have been unearthed at the site, which continues to yield important Roman treasures and artifacts.

Mosaic

Among the most important finds from the site are portraits of Roman emperors made from the Egyptian purple stone called porphyry and coins that help to accurately date the complex.

During the 31st Session of the Unesco World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand from the 23rd of June to the second of July, The World Heritage Committee decided to place Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius on the World Heritage List.[1]

Felix Romuliana is a popular tourist stop on the Roman Emperors' trail which links the birthplaces of over 17 Roman Emperors born on the territory of modern Serbia.

Roman Emperors

Head of Galerius, found on the site

Three Roman Emperors were born in this municipality (modern Zaječar, Serbia)

See also

External links

Coordinates: 43°53′57″N 22°11′06″E / 43.89917°N 22.185°E / 43.89917; 22.185

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