Aquileia

unescoAquileia is an ancient Roman city in Italy at the head of the Adriatic. Nowadays the city is small (about 3,500 inhabitants) but in antiquity it was the fourth Roman town in Italy and the ninth in the whole Empire. Aquileia is one of the main archeological sites of Northern Italy and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998 for its well preserved remnants from the early Roman Empire and its Patriarchal Basilica.

Coordinates: 45° 46′ 11.01″ N, 13° 22′ 16.29″ E

Aquileia

Aquileia was founded as a colony by the Romans in 181 BC along the Natiso River. The town provided protection for the territories that bordered areas subject to the influence of the Veneti (faithful allies of Rome) to the west, tribes of the Alpine Gauls to the north and the Histri to the east. In 90 BC Aquileia obtained Roman citizenship and was used as a base for the military campaigns of Julius Caesar in Gaul and in Illyia. With the administrative reform of Augustus, Aquileia became the capital of the tenth region “Venetia et Histria”. The town underwent a period of prosperity and soon became a centre of important trade exchanges thanks to the navigable river that crossed it and to the efficient network of roads that linked the town to the Po Valley and to Central Europe.

The Roman column in Piazza Capitolino, with the Capitoline She-Wolf donated by the city of Rome in 1919, twenty-one centuries since the foundation of Aquileia.
The Roman column in Piazza Capitolino, with the Capitoline She-Wolf donated by the city of Rome in 1919 to mark the twentieth centenary of the the foundation of Aquileia. The She-Wolf stands on a section of architrave, a column shaft and a base (all ancient).
Destroyed by Attila in the mid 5th century, Aquileia rose again in the 6th century AD to became a powerful Episcopal seat with one of the most beautiful basilica complexes of the Christianity. The Patriarchal Basilican Complex played a decisive role in the spread of Christianity into central Europe in the early Middle Ages.

The site of Aquileia is believed to be the largest Roman city yet to be excavated. Excavations, however, have revealed some of the layout of the Roman town such as the remains of the forum, a segment of the decumanus, some impressive funerary monuments, two luxurious residential complexes, baths as well as the former locations of an amphitheatre and of a circus.The most striking remains of the Roman city are those of the river port installations, a long row of warehouses and wharfs that stretched a long distance along the bank of the river. But the dominant feature of Aquileia is the Basilica with its magnificent 4th century mosaics. The National Archaeological Museum and its lapidary galleries contain over 2,000 inscriptions, statues and other antiquities, mosaics, as well as glasses of local production and a numismatics collection.

PORtFOLIO

The imperial Forum of Aquileia, the colonnade of the eastern portico of the Forum was restored and partially reconstructed in 1936-1937, Aquileia, Italy
The imperial Forum of Aquileia, the colonnade of the eastern portico of the Forum was restored and partially reconstructed in 1936-1937.
In the first half of the 1st centuy AD the forum was a large rectangular pedestrian area covered in Aurisina limestone and lined by porticoes that led to shops (tabernae) and the Civilian Basilica.
Plinth supporting a protome of Jupiter Ammon, it decorated attic of the Forum's portico.
Plinth supporting a protome of Jupiter Ammon, it decorated the attic of the Forum’s portico.
Stretch of the decumanus, the street going in an east-west direction south of the Forum, Aquileia, Italy
Stretch of the decumanus, the street going in an east-west direction south of the Forum.
The western-side remains of the fluvial port of Aquileia, built in the Julio-Claudian age along the right side of the Natiso River along the Via Sacra (the Sacred Way), Italy
The western-side remains of the fluvial port of Aquileia, one of the best-preserved surviving Roman ports. It was completely re-built in the Julio-Claudian age over Republican foundations with a new complex of wharfs and a long warehouse behind that opened on to the river.
The western wharf of the river port with ramp leading up to the storerooms. The wharfs had three ramps that lead to port facilities and a long portico. Three paved roads stretched towards the market areas and were used to transport
The western wharf of the river port with ramp leading up to the storerooms. The wharfs had three ramps that lead to port facilities and a long portico. Three paved roads stretched towards the market areas and were used for the transport of goods.
The western-side remains of the fluvial port of Aquileia, built in the Julio-Claudian age along the right side of the Natiso River along the Via Sacra (the Sacred Way), Italy
Along the so-called Via Sacra set up in 1934 and which follows the ancient water course, remarkable architectural elements and decorations are on display, they belonged to various monuments in the town.
The so-called Grand Mausoleum dating back to the Augustan era, it was found on the edge of the town at the end of the 1800s and rebuilt in 1955 along Via Giulia.
The so-called Grand Mausoleum dating back to the Augustan era. It was found on the edge of the town at the end of the 1800s and rebuilt in 1955 (inappropriately) along Via Giulia. It comprises an enclosure protected by two lions, with a high base with relief decorations, surmounted by a circular, temple-like structure that guards the statue of the toga-clad deceased.
The Roman necropolis dating between the 1st and the 3rd century AD, it comprises of five burial enclosures containing numerous cremation and inhumation burials.
The Roman necropolis dating to between the 1st and the 3rd century AD. It comprises of five burial enclosures of different lengths but equal depth containing numerous cremation and inhumation burials. They belonged to different Aquileian families (Stazius, anonymous, Julius, Trebius and Cestius).
A small sculpture (original at the Archaeological Museum) portrays a (dead) woman being comforted by Psyche, a very young girl with wings who accompanied the dead to the underworld.
In the burial ground own by the Trebii, a small sculpture (original in the Archaeological Museum) portrays a deceased woman being comforted by Psyche, a very young girl with wings who accompanied the dead to the underworld.
The archeological ruins of the Fondo Cal, one of Aquileia’s residential district.
The archeological ruins of the Fondo Cal, one of Aquileia’s residential district.
Inside view of the Basilica with the mosaic floor that was uncovered at the beginning of the 20th century, the mosaic dates back to the first stage of Christian construction of the basilica which started soon after the Edict of Toleration in 313 AD.
Inside view of the Basilica with the mosaic floor that was uncovered at the beginning of the 20th century. The mosaic dates back to the first stage of Christian construction of the basilica which started soon after the Edict of Milan in 313 AD. Extending over 760 square metres, the Bishop Theodore’s mosaic is the largest mosaic floor in the western Roman Empire.
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia
The lapidarium of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia
The lapidarium of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia
The lapidarium of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia
The lapidarium of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia

See more images of Aquileia on Flickr

See more images of Archaeological Museum of Aquileia on Flickr

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