Gamzigrad

Native town of Roman emperor Galerius

Felix Romuliana was an imperial palace built on the orders of Galerius Maximianus on the spacious plateau of Gamzigrad, near the city of Zaječar. Galerius, who was born in this area, raised the palace in the 3rd and 4th centuries in honour of himself and his mother Romula, after whom he named it. It belongs to a special category of Roman court architecture associated only with the period of the Tetrarchy and is the best-preserved example of this style.

The palace is surrounded by imposing walls which protected the town itself from barbarian attacks. The remains have been discovered of both an older and a more recent fortification, built over a period of some ten years. The thoroughfare which connected the east to the west gate divides the area within the walls into two parts of differing function. The northern half includes the imperial palace complex, with its small temple and monumental altar. In the southern half are buildings for public use (a large temple with two crypts on a rectangular floor-plan and public baths) and buildings used to service the palace (a horeum and a single-nave structure with portico). The structures are richly decorated with frescoes, stucco and floor mosaics depicting figures and geometric motifs.

From the first decade of the 4th to the middle of the 6th century, its name changed several times, along with its appearance and primary function. By the second half of the 4th century Romuliana was an abandoned palace, and after invasions by the Goths and the Huns became a small Byzantine settlement, mentioned by the name of Romuliana in a list of towns restored during the reign of Justinian. The palace at Gamzigrad had its last lease of life as a fortified Slavic settlement in the 11th century.

Since 2007, the archeological site Felix Romuliana has been listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Opening hours at the site are from 8am to 7pm, from April to November. Visits can be organized at any time upon previous announcement to the National Museum of Zajecar. Expert guide: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (from 1 April to 31 November). Site address: by Gamzigrad Spa www.gamzigrad.com

INFORMATION

National Museum of Zaječar
Telephone: +381 (0)19 422 930
Е-mail: muzejz19@nadlanu.com
www.muzejzajecar.org

Visiting hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Saturday, and  from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Tuesday to Friday.  Museum is closed on Sunday.