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Up-close with the Dacians from the column of Trajan in the History Museum

Romanians seem to be fascinated by their ancestry, after all, they are the only modern nation to draw its name from the mighty Roman Empire. Though the historic sources are scarce and debatable, for some modern nationalists the Dacians, who were the local population, before being conquered by the Romans, are more attractive than the […]

Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, the capital of Dacia, conquered by the Romans

The same impossible to pronounce name, Sarmizegetusa, is shared by two archeological sites, found some 40 km apart. The most spectacular one is found in the Orăștie Mountains, and was used by the free Dacians as last redoubt in front of the advancing legions of Emperor Trajan. The archeological remains shown on this page are […]

Split, the place chosen by Roman Emperor Diocletian for his retirement seaside palace

Diocletian is known for his persecution against Christians, for building the largest public baths, splitting the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern (Byzantine) and for an unsuccessful attempt of stopping a giant economic crisis by reforming currency and even price controls. Diocletian is also the only Roman Emperor to have retired out of his own […]

Thermae Diocletiani (Diocletian’s Bath), antiquity museum of Rome

Three emperors contributed to this public bath, the most grandiose building of its type. Its 120.000 sq m size equaled the prior baths of Caracalla, but it included some architectural innovations especially about arcades and semi-domes that were to be used in churches and public buildings for the millenniums to come. The Roman baths were […]

Roman forum in the ancient Rome

The forum was the most important public place in ancient Rome, an open space surrounded by columns and statues of revered historic figures, in which the local elite could meet to discuss politics, raise popular support, take part in elections and make commerce. Temples and political institutions surrounded the forum. A term somewhat misleading for […]

Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine response to the Temple of Solomon

The legend has it that when he first entered his masterpiece, emperor Justinian lift his eyes towards the dome and uttered: “Oh, Solomon, I’ve surpassed you!”. To understand just how entitled this far from modest remark was, we must put our imagination to work, picturing the basilica painted, the marble floor, the precious stones, the […]

A Romanian Rushmore on the Danube Gorges honoring the king of Dacians

The narrowest passage of the Danube, the most important river of Europe, creates a fabulous natural landscape. The river breaks through high walls of stone, creating several gorges with luxurious wild vegetation, that also give water a green shade. This is the background against which a record sculpture was carved in ten years. The largest […]

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