czwartek, 12 września 2013


The small castle in Klein-Pöchlarn :)

The exhibition in the Stadtmuseum Arelape-Bechelaren-Pöchlarn

At the beginning of the 1st century, the Austrian section of the Danube became the northern border of the Roman Empire. In the same century, the Romans established a the camp, named Arelape. First built in wood-earth construction. Later, the legionary barracks were fortified by building the stone defensive wall. The fort was rebuilt several times. In late antiquity, the older fortifications were strengthened by the construction the second camp wall and new towers: U-shaped and fan-shaped.

Three-dimensional reconstruction of the walls of the fort Arelape. This Roman camp was about 155 x 155 m, which corresponds to the area of 2.4 ha.

Model of the Roman warship (liburna), the fast, maneuverable galley with the sail and ram on the bow. In late antiquity, Pöchlarn was the seat of a commander of the Danube-flotilla.

The civilian settlement near the fort.

The Arelape fort, was one of the auxiliary camps on the Roman Danubian limes in the province of Noricum. The cohors I Flavia Brittonum and cavalry formation (equites Dalmatae) were stationed here.

The museum is located in this massive tower.

River transport on the Danube, just like in the Roman times.

wtorek, 10 września 2013

Mautern an der Donau

The frontier system in Austria consisted of a chain of fortifications – fortresses, forts and watchtowers – running along the south bank of the river Danube  connected  by  the  limes  road  and using the river as an additional obstacle and as a communication, supply and trade route. This fortification system was outer borderline of the Roman Empire and protected it from the Germanic tribes to the North. The Limes road connected the individual forts and main military installations, including fort named Favianis. In here were stationed: the part of the legion legio I Noricorum and a prefect of the Danubian fleet of Noricum.

The buildings of the first fort were made from mud brick. Then it was built of stone and modernized in several phases. In the second and third century garrisoned by the cohors Aelia I Brittonum Milliaria, a unit of thousand auxiliary soldiers and a replacement for the former cohors II Batavorum.

Fort Favianis in Mautern on the Danube

Photos: the late Roman fan-shaped tower of the fort at Mautern.

In the fourth century the fortifications were adapted for defense under siege. The rebuilding measures included the massive reinforcement of the curtain walls and the building of fan-shaped corner towers, where a part of the legio I Noricorum was stationed.  The internal buildings are constructed in a way to accommodate civilians too.

A last building phase can be recognized in the huge U-shaped stone tower on the west-front of the fortification wall.

Prominent example of the Roman military architecture, U-shaped tower, which the upper window openings on the west side, survived in the original form.

The still partly preserved curtain wall at the west side of the former fort Favianis.

Römerhalle, from the Danube side
Mautern is one of the many municipalities, which integrated the Roman heritage into their tourism profil: they offer a Roman Hall for events, a Roman playground and a cultural route "Favianis-Mutaren", which includes a visit to the Roman museum.

text from:
Frontiers of the Roman Empire (...)

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 board 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 Arrianis on Klosterneuburg area. Next to the Arrianis 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