Discover the Roman Emperors route in eastern Serbia

December 6, 2020

The Roman Emperors Route have been included in the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, which aim to demonstrate how the heritages of different cultures contribute to Europe’s shared cultural heritage.
The Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route includes visits to archaeological sites of the ancient Roman period and a tour of the regions where wine has been produced in continuity from the times of classical antiquity to the present day. Contemporary Serbia comprises the classical Roman regions of Moesia, Pannonia, parts of Dalmatia, Dacia and Macedonia. 18 Roman Emperors were born in present-day Serbia.

Eastern Serbia is home of amazing cultural heritage from Roman period. From ancient city of Timacum Minus near modern day Knjaževac to Viminacium – open air museum near modern Kostolac.

Viminacium, a former military camp, still has its aqueduct and sarcophagi, which tell the tale of Romans’ bravery and the special status enjoyed by the city in those times. The status of a colony, which was granted to it in the 3rd century, enabled the city to mint its own coins. Modern-day tourists who visit its remains can discover the essentials of this unique Roman minting technique.

Diana Fort was constructed on the coast of the Danube, on hill located near the village Sip. Construction of the oldest earthen and wooden fort is linked to the arrival of the first military formations to the Danube, at the beginning of the first century. The stone fort of bigger dimensions was constructed during the construction activities of Trajan the Emperor. During the period of six centuries, Diana had a significant economic centre with a port and a harbour. A building with an apse, military barracks and other structures were discoveredinside of the fort, while the principia with a portico was discovered in the central area of the fort. Outside of the walls, a sanctuary has been identified, the explored remains of martyrium and one part of necropolis, as well as the part of the settlement located West of the military camp. The first sonic excavations started in 1964 and they have been conducted, with some pauses, up to today. Diana is one of the best preserved Roman forts in the region, and the explored structures have been conserved.

Felix Romuliana – Emperor Galerius Valerius Maximianus demonstrated that a son’s love for his mother has no limits by building the lavish palace Felix Romuliana, which he dedicated to his mother Romula. Standing face to face with the tall classical columns built in the 3rd and 4th centuries, you will understand why the remains of this palace have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your way back from the site in Gamzigrad, be sure to visit the nearby city of Zaječar, where the most beautiful frescoes and mosaics from Felix Romuliana are kept at the National Museum.

Trajan’s board– As part of the operation against the Dacians (the territory of present-day Romania), Roman emperor Trajan constructed a road from Belgrade through the Iron Gate gorge, up to the point where he constructed a bridge over the Danube (Trajan’s Bridge). He finished the road in 103, and the whole construction period was perpetuated with a name board. The board is now known as Trajan’s board (Tabula Triana) The board has the following words in Latin engraved:


The remains of Trajan’s Bridge and the Pontes Fort are located near the village Kostol, 5 km downstream from Kladovo. The bridge, constructed between 103 and 105, in only two years, was the work of the Syrian architect Apollodorus from Damascus, and it represents one of the most remarkable ancient construction works. The length of the bridge, together with the portals, was 1133,90 m, while the part across the riverbed had the length of 1071 m. Auxiliary camps, Pontes on the right and Dobreta (Romania) on the left coast of the Danube, were constructed simultaneously with the bridge. The remains of the 16 columns of Trajan’s Bridge were discovered in 1932. Half a century later, archeologists managed to discover 12 of them, and the remaining four had probably been swept away by the water. The remains of the first columns on the both sides can even today be seen on the coasts of the Danube.

The Archeological museum in Kladovo was founded and opened in 1996, as a branch-museum within the National Museum in Belgrade, with the task to collect and preserve expert and scientific documentation, presentations, publishing, i.e. interpret the cultural heritage of the Danube region-Đerdap. The rich and diverse archeological Đerdap Collection was collected for more than 50 years, as part of the archeological excavations and exploration of prehistoric, Roman, Medieval sites, within the actions taken under the multidisciplinary Project Đerdap – Project Diana / Zanes.
The museum exhibition is being innovated and improved on the yearly basis, depending on the theme chosen for that season, by adding new finds, exhibits, presentation manners. The most important finds are permanently exhibited, since they represent, in the best way, the millennial past and importance of these ancient coasts of the Danube.

All exhibitions, presentations and events organized in the museum are always connected by the same title (headline), free translation of the sentence by Pliny the Younger, which was firstly promoted to the public in 1998: … It is magnificent to stand on the coast of the Danube…/… Magnum est stare in Danuviiripa…

You can discover more about Roman heritage route in eastern Serbia and Kladovo in free online book ,,Secrets of Kladovo,,