Via Romana, Black Sea, Bulgaria
The conquest of the Balkan Peninsula by the Romans started as early as the 2nd c. B.C., but the opposition of the Thracians was crushed only in the beginning of the 2nd c. A.D. During the 1st c. B.C. – 1st c. A.D. Bulgarian territories turned into Roman provinces.
1. Roman Thaerma. Situated in the south-eastern part of the contemporary city of Varna the Roman spa was the biggest social building from the past discovered in Bulgaria till now. The church St. Atanasii is close to it. It walls comparatively well preserved outline an imposing building which area is 7000 sq. m. Built at the beginning of the 3 rd C., the Roman Spa functioned at the end of the century. The visit of the spa was a part of the citizens everyday life. They spent there many hours most frequently in the afternoon. There were also gymnastic halls, recreation halls as well as halls for meetings and conversations with a rich decorated interior. A lot of graphic drawings and inscriptions were found in the galleries. The height supposed of the walls was around 20 m; it has been preserved around 18 m. Some interesting findings have been dated from that time for example the statues of roman gods. The grandeur of the building, the brilliant archeological conception, the richness of the decoration define the spa like an remarkable monument, eloquent proof of the cultural bloom and the prosperity of Odessos during the 2 nd – 3 rd C. The Roman Spa was the biggest in the European part of the Roman Empire.
4. Silistra Tomb. The Silistra Tomb contains some of the most amazing examples of provincial Roman art. A small stone building, the tomb was built in the 4th century AD to house the remains of a wealthy Roman noble family… but it was never used. Nevertheless, the Silistra Tomb’s walls are extensively covered by colourful and detailed frescoes showing the family’s servants as well as the masters themselves. This masterpiece of Roman painting was unearthed in 1942 in the northeastern city of Silistra thanks to a complete coincidence. Unfortunately, the tomb’s secrets often remain inaccessible, as it is rarely open for visits.