ANCIENT ROMAN EMPIRE IN SERBIA
The territory of today's Serbia, an intersection of ancient roads connecting the cultures of the West and the East, was a significant frontier zone of the Roman Empire. Where the roads intersected, large and rich cities emerged, became capitals of the Empire's provinces and they developed into cultural centers. Many Serbian towns and cities guard rich and diverse ancient artefacts dating back to when territory of presently Serbia was part of the powerful Roman Empire. These artefacts attest to the fact that 16 Roman emperors were born and lived in towns that are now part of modern Serbia which is the highest number of Roman rulers born in a single province outside Italy.
The most well-known and important of the Roman emperors was Constantine the Great, who was born in present day Niš, a city in the south of Serbia, around 240 km from Belgrade. Constantine the Great was also one of the signatories of the famed Edict of Milan that gave Christianity equal status with other religions in the empire. Today’s Serbia, known back then as the Roman province of Moesia Superior, was also home to the imperial city of Sirmium, present-day Sremska Mitrovica in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. In addition, the Roman provincial capital of Viminacium, a number of imperial residences and villas – Felix Romuliana, Sarkamen, Mediana and Justiniana Prima, along with several forts and fortified frontiers were also built in Serbia. The magnificent Felix Romuliana is enlisted by the UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site.
The richness of Serbia’s Roman heritage has led the county’s Institute of Archaeology to draw up a route connecting all the key sites in one 600-km historical route called The Road of Roman Emperors in Serbia – Itinerarium Romanum Serbiae. We invite you to discover Serbia's unique Roman legacy - a part of the world's cultural heritage, by getting to know the paths of the Roman emperors, the empire's cities and palaces...
Gamzigrad - Romuliana
Felix Romuliana in Gamzigrad is the only site of classical antiquity in Serbia to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The imperial palace built by the Roman Emperor Galerius in the 3rd and 4th Centuries to honour his mother Romula is flanked by massive walls, which used to protect the city from barbarians in ancient times.
Visitors find the northern part of the palace with a small temple particularly attractive because of its well-reserved ancient altar and the strong pillars around it. In the southern part of the palace, you can see the ruins of a large temple with two crypts, a horreum and a Roman thermae – a luxury bath for Roman emperors.
Owing to its well-preserved buildings, which are among the finest examples of tetrarchic imperial architecture in these parts, as well as its beautiful frescoes and floor mosaics with geometric and figurative patterns, Felix Romuliana is a classical antiquity site of immense international importance.