Visiting ghosts of past - Viminacium, Eastern Serbia [My Travel Blog]

dejan.vuckovic
Dejan Vuckovic @dejan.vuckovicMay 2018 · 7 min read

You never know when something ordinary will end up with amazing discoveries. When at the beginning of 20th centuries big mine was founded in Eastern Serbia, all they wanted was coal and other ores from that area. Even though there were some stories about the old town in the vicinity, no one expected to find one of the oldest and biggest settlements of the greatest civilizations in modern history - Roman Empire



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I can only imagine how surprised miners was when they discover first remains. Not that deep, as you will see. Just a few meters below the corn fields and modern farms, there was another world. World of the old era, the world of once biggest town in Roman province Moesia. The small province which was covering an area of today modern Serbia, the northern part of Macedonia, northern Bulgaria and a part of Romania... Small area, yeah...



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Only unsurprised in the whole story of discovering Viminacium was local farmers. For years, it was normal to find strange remains after plowing the field. Remains of old dishes, jars with strange decorations, old ornaments, stones with amazing engravings... there was a ton of signs that something astonishing is beneath those green fields.



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There was a story that lucky ones found a couple of jars full of old Roman coins, just to discover that they are not that lucky... Some strange Serbian low claims that private ground is spread only 0.5 meters into the deep. The rest beneath that is not private and anything found below is, actually, owned by the government... So lucky explorers who found those jars full of coins, donated them (totally voluntary) to the museum, without any compensation. Even more, they could count on the expedition of strange people which will dig their field, just in case that there are couple more jars in that area.



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As a result, lucky finders lost buried treasure they found, and they could sit whole summer watching some strange guys dig in their field but not growing any crops. For years...
Amazingly, after few such discoveries, they mysteriously stopped, and up to today no one found a single Roman coin in that area... Amazing isn't?!??
(unofficially, if you are into some areas of the black market, you know this part of Serbia very well)



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Stories say that even miners were unwilling to report their findings. Usual outcome was that they must stop digging in that area until strange science guys check what in the name of Zeus is there. Strange science guys used very slow techniques of digging and produced no ore at all. Miners knew that if they report anything, they can pack their expensive gear and go somewhere else. So they were amazingly blind for most of the discoveries until, one day, they found something they must report - human bones.



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Viminacium was a huge town. Even though less than 4% of it was discovered, it is estimated that town had around 40.000 people lived there during his glory days. That's a lot of bones to find, and slowly, archeology guys become aware that this area is their Holy Grail. Today, miners can count on couple archeologists sitting behind them with the itchy fingers on stop switch, ready to ruin their day. Luckily for us who like old times, it seems that archaeologists have amazingly good reflexes.



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Did I mention that Viminacium was a provincial capital and one of largest military camps? It was located on the perfect place on crossroads between east and west and south and north. It was rich, glorious, shiny town. Temples, wide streets, luxurious villas, large terraces, amphitheater... That's just a part of the remains that are discovered so far. They are scattered on the wide area, and to be honest, no one knows what is between that spots which are explored. But you can bet there is something amazing beneath those green fields.



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The town was once located on confluences of rivers Mlava and Danube. Today, most discovered parts of Viminacium are some 2 miles from river Mlava and 4 miles from river Danube... Area of almost 10 square miles is unexplored. Having in mind that most of the old towns were built on the rivers banks - can you imagine what we do not know and what we didn't discover in that area? I cannot...



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Discovered parts are amazing. The large amphitheater is being rebuilt on remains of old one is the amazing view on green corn fields. Near to it, mausoleum and tombs of the old town are waiting for your visit to pay respect to oldest inhabitants of the Viminacium.



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You can even go underground and look how Roman thumb look from the inside. I know, it sounds scary, but actually, it is an amazing and thrilling experience. Best and most beautiful engravings on Roman thumbs are inside?!! They believed that dead will enjoy its thumbs for eternity and that they need something beautiful inside. So, inside of Roman thumbs, you will find some amazing work of the best artist of those ancient times. Do not worry, permanent residents are absent at the moment, they had some job to discuss with Roman Council (12 major Gods of Roman mythology) as I am informed. However, do not take it for granted, it could be just a good sense of humor from my guide.



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A little bit further, amazingly preserved thermae are located. When you see with your own eyes installations and amazing solutions those Romans built in distant times, your own bathroom will look very simple and old-fashioned - for sure simpler than Romans bathrooms.



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A museum is a place you simply must visit. There you may see how glorious and huge Viminacium was in ancient times. A list of Roman emperors who lived or visited this amazing town will leave you speechless.



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At this point, I must boast excellent guides through museum exhibits. Those young people really like their job and they are more than well educated and informed about the history of this amazing city. Do not hesitate to engage in relaxed conversation with them, they are going to blow your mind with amazing stories about Viminacium history.



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In the center of the dig site, Domus Scientiarum Viminacium is a place to enjoy the glory of Roman times. Beautiful replica of the Roman villa is the place to refresh and enjoy after a long day spent in the area.



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Even more, it is a place where you can stay for a couple of days, enjoying in five stars apartments, treated like a true Roman nobility.



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For the very end, there are even older ghosts waiting for you in Viminacium. We should not ask a lady for her age, but this one is more than proud that she is there for 5.000.000 years. More about Vika and her last residence in next part of this travel blog.



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Until then - Ave from glorious Viminacium.



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Camera: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
I hope you will enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

This blog entry is part of My Travel Blog series.



I have many more travel stories in my bag, so stay tuned.
All my posts are !originalworks and all my photos are @originalworks

To see all entries featured on @SteemitWorldMap, click here to visit my author link





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Comments

Great place and beautiful photos! Consider using #travelfeed tag, I think they would vote and resteem a great post like this one :)


14

Thank you so much @danielapetk for reminding me, completely forgot... again :)


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Hello dejan.vuckovic!

Congratulations! This post has been randomly Resteemed! For a chance to get more of your content resteemed join the Steem Engine Team


10

Wow excellent photos and subject! Thank you for sharing with us all! 👍🏻🙏🏼


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Thank you very much, I am glad that you like it!


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Absolutely 🙏🏼


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Hai frends how are you, post brilian.


0

Thank you :)


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Fantastična promocija Viminacijuma @dejan.vuckovic! Lepo si nas izreklamirao. :)


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Hvala @ladysnowhite, nadam se da ce pomoci da se taj kraj malo popularizuje. Na zapadu placam 40-50 eur da vidim takvo nesto ;)


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Naravno, ovo naše je istog kvaliteta, ali je malo nevidljvije.


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Пун погодак, @dejan.vuckovic, изванредна репортажа која заслужује превод и на српски језик.


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Haha... znaci krajnje je vreme da pocnem da pisem na Srpskom :) Samo zbog toga sto si definitivno zasluzio, ovaj post sutra dobija srpsku verizju :)


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Крајње време, @dejan.vuckovic, чисто да не заборавиш како изгледа ;)

https://steemit.com/photography/@lighteye/fudzinon-objektivi-je-li-fudzi-zaista-nova-lajka

Имаћеш 100% глас кад га поставиш ћирилицом :)


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Wow, I do not know that serbia also has places like this
thank nice pics, bro


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Thank you, hope one day you will visit Serbia and enjoy in places like this one :)


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