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.

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