niedziela, 8 września 2013

Sankt Pölten and Traismauer

Aelium Cetium in the Stadtmuseum Sankt Pölten

The pottery from the second half of the 3rd century, found during archaeological works near the City Hall Square. The depot of the tradesman contained at least 250 vessels, half of which was terra sigillata tableware, from the latest production series.
A chariot was manned by a a driver and a warrior. When the warrior jumped out of the vehicle to fight, the driver was waiting ready to retreat.
The Celtic linch pin, made of iron and bronze (decoration) which stopped the wheel on the chariot axle (La Tène culture).

On the Rathausgasse street in Sankt Pölten. Was there Spider-Man here?


The Roman gate "Römertor" in Traismauer is one of the oldest buildings in Austria. The horseshoe-shaped defense towers have about 1700 years. Later, housed the guardrooms for the gate- and night watchmen.

The porta principalis dextra of the Roman cavalry fort Augustianis.

sobota, 7 września 2013

Zeiselmauer and Tulln an der Donau

The view from the hotel in Greifenstein.

Zeiselmauer and one of the favorite objects to photograph.

Zeiselmauer, most probably the Roman Cannabiaca, was the most eastern camp of the province of Noricum and served as a garrison of a mixed auxiliary force of 500 horse and foot soldiers (cohors equitata). Originally an earth and timber structure, the camp was rebuilt in stone in the 2nd century. All preserved buildings derive from the late period in the 4th century. Cannabiaca is one the best preserved and documented roman camps at the Austrian Danube Limes.

Late Roman fortress (Burgus) at the north-western corner of the Roman camp. Second half of the 4th century. Access through the archway from the camp's side only. Originally a three-storey building with intermediate wooden ceilings. In the centre, four hook-shaped foundations surround a small inner courtyard. They bore wooden pillars supporting the roof. Unique building of that type in Austria.

Late Roman box-shaped gate replacing the previous eastern camp gate (Porta Principalis Dextra). Second half of the 4th century. The rounded edges of the building characterise the Roman architecture. Used as a granary (Körnerkasten) from the middle ages onwards and therefore well maintained. One of the largest preserved Roman buildings in Austria.

Granary / Eastern Gate Building
Just above the actual ground level one recognizes the upper part of the archway, on the left side, the link to the former camp wall.

Roman walls near the house, something that makes an impression ...
North-eastern corner tower of the Roman camp. Attached to the existing camp wall in the 1st half of the 4th century. Because of its fan-shaped layout it protruded widely from the camp's wall and thus enabled the defenders to make better use of their arms against attacking enemies. in the southern part of the building, the link to the camp's wall can still be seen. Original height of the tower: 9 meters.

The holes used for the scaffold derive from the construction time and are marked by wooden poles. The only free standing fan-shaped tower preserved in Austria.
by text: Verein Freunde von Zeiselmauer

Information boardthe with sunflower :)

The next town on the same day is Tulln an der Donau with fountains show.

The roman cavalry fort Comagenis in Tulln
Roman Tower (Römerturm), completely intact tower of a fort Commagenis at Donaulände street.

U-tower also called Salt Tower (Salzturm), architectural details, one of the doors and window.

The Roman Emperor and Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. “For the memory of the Roman history of the city of Tulln Roman cavalry camp legion Comagena (…)”

These benches are in Tulln near Roman Museum.

And again, the fountains of Tulln. 

sobota, 3 sierpnia 2013

From Vienna by Kahlenberg to Klosterneuburg - part of Polish Culture Days in Austria - event took place

Dear friends, when I was walking on the Amber Road through contemporary areas of Czech Republic, Poland, Kaliningrad Oblast, Austria and Italy I went on foot nearly 2000 kilometres, and I got to Aquileia. As the first European woman, I crossed the Europe in the footsteps of Celts and Roman merchants. And now, during Polish Culture Days in Austria I would like to propose You walking along the Danube. Please, don't be afraid, it won't be exhausted route, but only several kilometers from Vienna to Klosterneuburg. The beginning point is Michaelerplatz. In the splendour times of Vindobona it was civil city (canabae legionis) in this place. A blacksmith workshop and tavern was situated here, so buyers could stay to rest. In this point two main road crossed: the limes road and the road to the legionary fortress. In turn, there was fort of Asturis on Klosterneuburg area. Next to the Asturis was ford across Danube.
Similar river crossings were in Lentia (Linz) and Lauriacum (Enns). It was the northern border of the Roman Empire and the Barbaricum.

Danube in Linz

The comprehensive road network was one of the reasons why the Romans could keep their power in the whole Mediterranean area for a long time. To supply all people with food in Vindobona's area, active trade from near and far developed. Besides waterways, therefore, well-constructed roads were required. In border disputes or internal revolts, the quick mobility of troops was possible. Vindobona was linked to all main roads (like the one to Italy - the Amber road) and regional transport routes.
Soldiers were often tasked with the construction and maintenance of roads. The necessary funds were often donated by magistrates of a particular civil township.

Roman road in Aquileia

There, along the upper and middle Danube were: legionary fortress, watch towers, which were connected in defends system of Noricum and Pannonian limes. Apart from numerous military bases, there were custom stations on this main border road. They controlled trade with transdanubian people. From these starting points of the Roman frontier, the amber route, led merchants to the south coast of Baltic Sea. Earlier trade of amber was one activity of Celts. Celts adapted inventions to their needs. Skills of finding raw materials became opportunities to functioning trade and craft centres. Those settlement (oppida) made the trail net, where intense trade exchange took place. They guided towards to the mouth of the Odra and Vistula, and to groups of settlements on the western shore of Gdansk Bay.
Romans used some of those local trails, which adapted to their needs. Roman reached even the Sambian Peninsula for amber called "the gold of the north" or the "baltic gold".

Baltic coast on the Sambia

Trade exchange along amber roads and routes (crossings by Danube) connected communities which were located hundreds of miles apart between the Adriatic Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Wien - Klosterneuburg (photostory)

czwartek, 2 maja 2013

Vindobona once more

- the first part:

Legionary fortress
In Roman times, there were schematic architectural regulations for planning and laying out a legionary fortress. That makes it easier today to locate the most important buildings and reconstrucy the ground plans within dense built-over areas - as was also the case in Vienna. The outlines of the legionary fortress, which were enclosed by massive walls with towers and three ditches, can still be seen in the current city landscape (Tiefer Graben - Naglergasse - Graben - Rotenturmstraße). The legionary gates were connected with each other through roads laid out along the axis. Here, the main buildings were located: the command headquarters, the palace of the legion commander, the houses of the officers, and the baths. Living quarters for troops, a hospital, workshops, and stables, were set up in a right-angled grid.

Arms and Equipment
Roman legionaries received regular pay. However, 70 percent of that were deducted for provisions, festivities, equipment and a funeral expenses fund. Unlike today, soldiers themselves had to buy their equipment and weapons, or they inherited them from their fathers or relatives. Therefore, the equipment and the public appearance of the army was not uniform. Weapons and armour for man and horse changed in the course of time. Military belts and straps of the harnesses were remarkably rich in decorations. in Vienna, military equipment from Roman times was only found seldomly, because damaged pieces of equipment were melted down again and make into new items.

 Vindobona in the Roman Museum, photo:
The civil town was administered by its inhabitants. They had a council with 100 members from the local ruling class. These posts were prestigious but one also had to contribute to the development of the town with one's private property. The main officials of the administration were two magistrates (duumviri). The supreme magistrates performed their services voluntarily for one year. There were personnel available for daily work. Professional associations (collegia) of certain tradesmen also served as volunteer fire brigades. An organised waste disposal system, as we know it today, did not exist. Each homeowner was responsible far keeping his/her own front area clean.

Vindobona and its surrounding areas made their living by supplying the Roman troops. Traders settled down, especially in the urban settlement near the fortress, selling agricultural products from the surrounding estates, as well as importing exotic food. They also traded locally-produced consumer items from resident craftsmen, such as ceramic crockery, metal goods or bone carvings. On the other hand, some traded with luxury items that were delivered from distant regions. Due to major construction works and the extension of road networks, brickworks (Wien 17, Hernals) were established, quarries were developed (Wien 19, Nußberg) and the timber industry was given a boost (Wienerwald).
by text: Wien Museum Römermuseum

niedziela, 3 marca 2013

Vienna in winter and Roman Vindobona

Trip to Vienna, 
on 23 and 24 February

Ankeruhr Clock is snow-covered.
Constructed by Franz von Matsch in 1911, the Ankeruhr clock is a tribute to important figures of Vienna history.
Near the clock, at Vienna's Hohen Markt is the Roman Museum.

Vindobona - Roman Vienna 
Vienna (lat. Vindobona) housed a legion, and at the same time, a settlement with a culturally diverse population. The military centre was founded within the boundaries of today’s First District, at the legionary fortress, which was garrisoned by 6,000 soldiers, covered an area of more than 20 hectares. It had been built directly on the banks of the River Danube at the end of the 1st century A.D., thus establishing the river boundary (limes/ripa) with independent Germania. An important trading place with extensive infrastructure, as well as farming and forestry, developed within its vicinity. Urban settlements (lat. Canabae legionis) developed directly outside of the fortress, including a civilian settlement independent of military authority, in the area of Vienna’s Third District.

                                                          Baltic Sea              


                                                B A R B A R I C U M         
                     ~~   o Lentia                               ~~
                                   o Lauriacum   ~~   ~~        o Vindobona
                                                                                     ~~ Danube
                                  N O R I C U M
                                                                            P A N N O N I A
                     o Virunum

         o Aquileia


Fortress Roads
The buildings of the legionary fortress were orientated after the perpendiculary constructed main roads. The headquarters building (principia), the centre of the military base, stand at their crossing point. The approx. 9-metre wide roads were paved with large stone plates and provided with side drains. The pavements had roof covering. Therefore, the numerous taverns, workshops, granaries and small shops could also be reached in rainy weather without getting drenched.

Fortress Gates
The four gates of the fortress got their names from their location on the main roads. At the ends of the Via Principalis stood the left and  right Porta Principalis. The roads running perpendicular to the Via Principalis, led to the Porta Praetoria on the bank of the Danube and to the Porta Decumana in the south.
The double passage of the gates was flanked by two massive towers. These towers were approx. 20 metres high and were provided with half columns, battlements and a frieze. They must have made a huge impression on the local inhabitants.

Terra Sigillata Bowl, 135-170 A.D.
With the stamp of Cinnamus
a potter from Lezoux (Middle Gaul)
(pictures without the flash)

Roman tableware
For tableware, vessels made of time clay were preferred. The surfaces of these vessels had a red gloss or were decorated from time to time. A local speciality of Pannonia was tableware with a black shiny gloss that was also produced in Vindobona. It probably suited the fashion taste of the local population who had Celtic roots for the most part. Miniature vessels were likely to be children’s toys.

Many items, what we now use in daily life, were also already in use by the Romans in different form.

Underfloor heating
Large areas of the officer's house were provided with underfloor and wall heating (hypocaustum). It worked as follows: underneath the level of the level of the room, one meter high brick pillars were stacked up, and were covered with larger brick tiles to serve as a foundation for the room floor. In addition, square hollow bricks were mounted along the walls up to the bottom side of the roof. A system of cavities allowed the hot air to circulate from the hollow space underneath the floor up to the roof. The foundations were covered with a massive mortar floor and the walls were plastered so that the smoke would not escape the heating system. The fireplace (praefurnium) to heat the air was located either in one of the neighbouring rooms or in the courtyard.

Capital and Column Base
1st to the 3rd Century, A.D.
Copy and Sandstone
Both sides of the main roads of the legionary fortress were lined by pavements, whose roofing was supported by column (porticus). The stones exhibited here, are from the area of Wipplinger-straße, whose course was identical to the via principalis in the area of the Hohe Bruecke.

Sewerage and Waste
The sewage water of the legionary fortress was collected by a sophisticated canal system, that was provided for from the beginning. The Romans were well aware of the significance of hygiene to avoid diseases. The laid-out canals that were paved with brick plates, ran underneath the main roads. The downward slope of the terrain therefore, was used co cleverly, that the sewage water was drained into the fortress ditches and then further into the Danube. As the canals were over two metres deep, they could be cleared if necessary. Bulky waste was probably mostly deposited on the slope of the Danube. In civil residential quarters, waste was often disposed of using abandoned wells and pits.
In the museum, you can see the old city Vindobona (wall paintings), on the frontier of the Roman Empire (Danube limes), 

- the second part:

The Roman houses at Michaelerplatz under snow.

Building the Museum of Natural History of Vienna.

The Vienna City Hall.

Museumsplatz and snow.

The fountain on Schwarzenbergplatz.