Roman Heritage at the Black Sea. Romanian part.
The tour starts in Constanta (due to airport access) and can continue either in Bulgaria or in Ukraine (Varna or Odessa Airports).
|Day 1||Arrival at Constanta Airport and travel to Constanta (39 km)|
|Day 2||Travel to Tropaeum Traiani and return to Constanta (63 km), visit Constanta – Archaeological Museum in Constanta (Roman relics)|
|Day 3||Travel from Constanta to the Roman fortresses along the Danube (Axiopolis – Capidava – Carsium – Halmyris), spend the night in Murighiol (236 km)|
|Day 4||Travel from Murighiol to Constanta Airport (134 km)|
DAY 2 : Travel to Tropaeum Traiani and return to Constanta (63 km), visit Constanta – Archaeological Museum in Constanta (Roman relics)
On the monument there were 54 metopes depicting Roman legions fighting against enemies; most of these metopes are preserved in the museum nearby. The monument was supposed to be a warning to the tribes outside this newly conquered province. By the 20th century, the monument was reduced to a mound of stone and mortar, with a large number of the original bas-reliefs scattered around. The present edifice is a reconstruction dating from 1977. The nearby museum contains many archaeological objects, including parts of the original Roman monument. Of the original 54 metopes, 48 are in the museum and 1 is in Istanbul.
From a political and military point of view, the period from the 5th – 7th century A.D. has had serious implications upon the life of Tomis as well as upon the whole region. The invasions of the migratory people had started: the Huns, the Slavs, and the Protobulgarians. During the Byzantine period (8th-12th century) Tomis has been known as Constantiana or Constantis, named supposedly after a district of Tomis. This district got its name after some members of the imperial family in the 4th century A.D. The present name of Constanta derives from Constantiana or Constantia as Byzantine and medieval Italian records state.The most important sightseeing edifices of the old Tomis from north to south as follows: the Inner Wall of Tomis situated along the Ferdinand Boulevard, the Roman Mosaic Edifice situated in the Ovid’s Square, the Thermae situated on the western cliff near the first harbor entrance, the Ancient District in the Cathedral’s Park with 12 archeological levels that cover a period of almost a millennium in the history of the Tomis citadel thus proving an material existence of Tomis in the 6th century B.C.
The construction lies on three of the four terraces where the harbor cliff has been in ancient times. The first terrace is located on the present level of Ovid’s Square offering a connection to one of the public markets of the ancient citadel. The other two terraces correspond to the main part of the edifice shaped as a long trapezium on two levels. The superior level represents the mosaic-paved hall, while the inferior level consists of 11 archer rooms that have been used as merchandise storage rooms.
The whole edifice has had a strong connection to the harbor activity.
The most important destroying occurred during the earthquake (probably the 5th or 6th century) that permanently demolished the pavement and the arches. The visiting itinerary includes first of all the main hall with the mosaic carpet, where a series of recuperated archeological materials are exhibited (amphorae, anchors, sculptural and architectonic pieces, marble plate etc.).
DAY 3 : Travel from Constanta to the Roman fortresses along the Danube (Axiopolis – Capidava – Carsium – Halmyris), spend the night in Murighiol (236 km)
At the same time, they uncovered the foundations of a cemetery basilica with an annex chapel close to the north gate of the earlier fortress, as well as inscriptions, sculptural fragments, Hellenistic, Roman and Early Mediaeval pottery. Very interesting is the discovery in 1947 of some inscriptions in the Greek language among the ruins of the cemetery basilica mentioning three martyrs: Kiril, Kindeas and Fastos (Dasiius). In the end we remind that from south of the city of Axiopolis to Tomis runs the stone wave.
2. Capidava. Situated on the road that connects Harsova of Cernavoda, at the midway between the two towns, the Capidava Fortress is part of a series of castles built during the time of Trajan in the early second century AD. The Gaetic toponym (Capidava meaning “fortress of turning”) confirms a pre-Roman habitation, necessary for the communication between Dobrogea and those in the Plain of Muntenia. The camp was built by detachments from the legions: V Macedonia Claudia IX. For almost five centuries the Capidava Fortress had a military status, there were a number of troops quartered here: cohors I Ubiorum, cohors I Germanorum (sec .I III ); vexilatio Capidavensium, cuneus equitum Scutariotum (sec IV-VI).
The fortified city of Carsium played and important role in the Roman history of the region. It was covered with buildings of which we still find architectural details. The discovery of a ceramic fragment with a painted Chi-Rho amid the Episcopal centers mentioned in Notitia Episcopatum illustrates the christianization of the city, which dates back to the fifth and sixth centuries. A relief inscribed with a dedication to the god Mithra also found in the city, reveals the presence and practice of the Persian cult.
4. Halmyris. The Roman Fortress of Halmyris is currently located within the territory of Murighiol, Tulcea, 2 km SE of the village and 200 m north of the road Murighiol – Dunavăţ. The area has evidence of habitation since the pre-Roman period, near the Roman city being identified and investigated a cemetery and other relics. Major archaeological research began in 1981 and still continues today. Starting from this period the fortress became an important stop for the Danube fleet, Classis Flavia Moesica, a thing certified also by the name borne by the civil settlement around the fortifications – vicus classicorum (the village of the sailors), found in five inscriptions discovered at the northern gate. The form of the Roman-Byzantine fortress is trapezoidal, with an area of about 2 hectares, with 15 towers, three gates and three waves of defense. The main monuments uncovered and partly restored are: building no. 1, North Gate, North Gate – West Gate West, Thermae baths, the paleo-Christian Basilica crypt which sheltered the bones of the Martyrs Epictetus and Astion, Christians martyred in the city during the rule of Diocletian (290).
DAY 4 : Travel from Murighiol to Constanta Airport (134 km). End of the tour.