Monday, September 19, 2016

Carnuntum (Roman Legionary Fortress) and Györ

Away from Bratislava, we took a little detour into Austria to the Roman Legionary fortress of Carnuntum, active between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. It was built in the reign of Augustus and was the base of operations for Tiberius. It was destroyed in 374 by Germanic invaders. It wasn't buried very deep, so much of it was hauled away for building materials, which makes reconstruction impossible. I've crawled dozens of ruins in my time, but I've never seen what's been done here: essentially, they've reconstructed three of the ruined buildings, decorated and furnished them the way they would have been. You need a lot of imagination to see what most ruins might have looked like in their heyday, but you don't need much at Carnuntum. It's really quite dramatic.

Here's the House of Lucius, owing to an inscription found in the ruins of the name Lucius Maticeius Clemens, who was very probably a former owner of the house.

 The bath house is meticulously reconstructed, right down to the furnishings and the fact that a fire burns constantly to supply hot water to the baths and warm the floors.

A locker for changing your clothes and shoes...

A friendly game while you wait?

Little shops on the exterior in case you're peckish after the bath...

There's a museum on site for some of the things that have been excavated at Carnuntum's cemetery:

Next stop: the town of Györ for lunch. Like so much of this area, it's been occupied by the Romans, Slavs, Franks, Magyars, Mongols - the Ottomans tried, but the town's commander burned it to the ground to stop that. Anyway, still a charming place:

No comments: