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
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.
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).
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.
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
We spent there about 20 min and drove (about 10 min) to the third and the last site.
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.
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:
We spent around an hour and a half in the museum and it was time to start driving to our next POI.
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!