Recently we (my wife and I) returned from 11 days trip in Austria. This is the first post from the series that will tell about our trip. As you probably guessed, most of our first day was dedicated to Carnuntum Archaeological Park. But, let’s start with several general things.

This trip was made during the Passover vacation. Our plan was to rent a car for a week and during that week to visit both human made constructions (castles, villages and cities) and nature. And at the end of the week to return to Vienna for 3.5 days.

Since we traveled during April (Passover vacation), most nature related attractions were still closed. Our plan included Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave, largest ice cave in the world, Grossglockner High Alpine Road and several waterfalls. Unfortunately, most nature related attractions open only in May. Thus we had to replace them with other attractions. But the following map includes the nature attractions as well (zoom out/pan to see other POI).

Map of the area:

Carnuntum Archaeological Park

We landed around 10am at the Vienna international airport took the rental car and headed to our first POI. Carnuntum Archaeological Park is located about a half hour drive from the airport.Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Carnuntum once ranked among the most important cities of the Roman province Pannonia. Built as a stronghold against the Barbaricum on the other side of the Danube Limes, it also was a crossover point of the Amber Road and occupied a major strategic, political and economic role.

Source: official site

When we bought tickets we were told that these tickets are valid for three main sites (it kinda obvious since Carnuntum was quite a big city expanding over more than 10 square km). And if we visit all three of them within some period of time (I think it was a week, but maybe a month) then we will get a small gift.

Let’s start with the first one.

Roman City Quarter

There is a small museum within the modern grey-white building (you can see the photo above).

In the first part of the museum you are being told about the Burial Road. It’s more than 3km long necropolis which was established beside the main road. The road that led from Carnuntum’s military camp to Italy.

Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Here is a reconstruction of circular grave. It was made from quarry-stones and mortar with an urn inside.Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

In the second part we saw a short movie about this site:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

We exited the building and headed towards the Roman City Quarter. One thing that stood our through our whole Austria trip is flowers. There are many flowers, locals love then and nourish them. And as we later found out, they are quite cheap (compared to Israel).Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

The back side of the building:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Model of the city:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

In the city quarter you can find mostly reconstructed buildings. But in house #1 they wanted to show what the original finding were:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Carnuntum Archaeological Park is a good example of Experimental Archaeology. For example: the wanted to create pottery, so they build ovens:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Inside one of the reconstructed buildings:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Public Baths

Exterior of the public baths complex:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

When we entered the building we felt that it was much warmer inside. Though we saw they were burning wood at the public baths building, it took me a moment to understand. We touched the floor and it was warm. In my opinion, this is the most impressive Experimental Archaeology on site. They recreated Roman Baths and operate them in the same way they run almost 2,000 years ago.

Inside the public baths:
Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

One of the baths with hot water:
Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

In one of the rooms they left the floor unfinished so that you could see how hot water runs under floor:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

There were many chimneys and most of them had different forms. Here is the “house chimney”:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

On the back side of public baths you can find and alley with a recreated market:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

The facade:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Inside a kitchen:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

We spend probably around two hours in the Roman City Quarter and then drove (about 5 min drive) to the next site.

Military City’s Amphitheatre

The smaller and older of Carnuntum’s two amphitheaters built first of wood and later of stone lies halfway between the Roman City Quarter and the Museum Carnuntinum.

Source: official site

This site is quite small and basically you can see everything in this photo:
Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

We spent there about 20 min and drove (about 10 min) to the third and the last site.

Museum Carnuntinum

Museum exterior:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Central hall:
Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

As you can see in the following diagram, archaeologists found items not only from Europe, but also from Middle East and Africa.Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

The cult of Jupiter Dolichenus is based on the adaptation of ancient oriental Hadad to the Roman state god Jupiter. This cult was brought by soldiers to all parts of the Roman Empire. This “oriental god” is an indication of culture and religion adaptation & mixture.Jupiter Dolichenus at Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Warrior:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Helmets:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

The halls on the second floor:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

In Carnuntum, many evidence to long distance trade were found. For example: olive oil, wine, dates and figs were brought from Mediterranean area.Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Remember the gift I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Since we visited all three sites were were given an opportunity to create memorable coins. Museum worker held upper die and I was given a 5 kg hammer. And here I’m holding the result:Visit to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

We spent around an hour and a half in the museum and it was time to start driving to our next POI.

But, as we exited the museum we saw this beautiful Magnolia tree and I had to photograph it 😉Magnolia tree next to Carnuntum Archaeological Park, Austria

Another view of the Museum Carnuntinum and we head on.Visit to Museum Carnuntinum Archaeological Park, Austria

Where did we head after visiting Carnuntum Archaeological Park? Stay tuned and you will find out.

Note: all posts from the trip to Austria can be found at: 11 Days in Austria.

 

That’s all for today and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

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