Centuries ago, European Continent was governed by powerful Roman Empire. Although crippled by political intrigues and corruption, this state is still regarded as one of humanity’s largest achievements, being literally the cultural backbone of modern western society. Romans have also ruled over Dalmatia, with City of Salona being their regional capital. Abandoned since the old times, this locality is a prime archeological destination. Here are three ancient sites to visit in Solin, the Croatian city neighboring the remains of once glorious Dalmatian capital.
A part of Salona’s defensive structure grid, city amphitheater was capable of hosting up to 15 000 viewers in its peaking era. It served as a center of settlement’s cultural life, featuring some architectural solutions which are still in practice today. Unfortunately, it has been badly damaged in 17th century by Venetian soldiers, who were afraid that invading Turkish armies could scrap it to pieces and use its stones to build military fortifications. As most Roman amphitheaters, this one was also used as a battleground of gladiators, proven by their graveyard in the vicinity.
The precise time of building the initial fortifications is not known, but experts generally agree that oldest ramparts were formed in 2nd century. At this time, Romans were fighting local Illyrian tribes, so additional protection was quite needed. As time passed, new fortifications were constructed, leaving us with even more traces of Roman ingenuity and dedication to hold their ground in Dalmatia. At one point in history, Salona had over 500 hectares in size, as can be proven by ramparts of its protective grid.
In order to satisfy sanitation requirements, bodies of deceased Roman citizens were buried outside of city walls. And since soil suitable for agriculture was always put by, cemeteries were usually formed next to roads and pathways. Such is the case with Salona as well, which had three separate ancient graveyards on its ground. The archeological findings in these areas were quite astonishing, providing the historians with much information about life in the settlement. From soldiers to nobles, every person fundamentally had to end up in the grave, and their stories are now ours to understand and learn from.
These were three ancient sites to visit in Solin, but such fantastic historical site has many more. Consider visiting this Croatian city soon- and don’t forget to send us your photos on our Facebook Wall.