Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Blast from the Past

Now this is something I have been waiting to see for almost 20 years now. Genuine ruins of an ancient civilization. Welcome to Aquincum, capital of Pannonia Inferior, part of the Roman Empire.

Although not quite the fulfilment of what I was hoping to see this still is the best so far. I have seen some medieval ruins but nothing from the ancient times. So this, what we, my wife and I, saw as our first glimpse of the ancient Roman Ruins was pretty exciting. It funnily enough looks like the ruins are at some backyard but I am pretty sure that it is the backyard of a museum. Not much of a ruins of a city but impressive enough.

Further down the road I peeked through a gate and saw more of the ruins. Now this started to look more like something big. I don’t have a clue of what that might have been. It was a big building some 2000 years ago (boy that sounds like a lot!), that much I can tell from the size of what remains. The guide book says that here in the ruins of Aquincum are ruins of villas, workshops and all sorts of public places. Here once lived 40 000 people who came with the roman legions. The legions themselves resided further away from the town of Aquincum.

Even further down the road we found out that there was a lower fence which allowed us to see more of the ruins. Now this does look like something really big. Those two ruins earlier apparently were of smaller buildings. But this one here, this is of something bigger. It seemed to have at least six rooms where as the two earlier had three or four, although they are not completely in the pictures. Not that a building of six or so rooms would have been quite that big, I recon, but who knows how many story high it was. And for being a building in a town six rooms on a ground floor is pretty big if you ask me.

And finally we did see more of the Aquincum that just a ruins of a house or two. Now we were able to see what the town plan had looked like. There was even one lone wall still standing and one Corinthian style column too. This is more like it! I still am waiting to see more of the genuine, real, buildings of ancient times that I do know to be there. I mean Colosseum, Forum Romanum and such in Rome and Parthenon in Athens and so on.

The guide book mentions ruins of a roman spa under some motorway, about a dozen lone columns in the middle of apartment buildings built in the 60s, part of an aqueduct near a supermarket (which I did see from the window of the local train when returning to the hotel)… There is much more to see. The town of Aquincum did spread over a large area and there are ruins here and there in the Óbuda region which is just about built over the roman ruins. When I do go back there to do some exploring be sure to have another photo coverage.

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