The Verige Roman Villa is a villa rustica located in the bay of Verige off the coast of Istria, within Croatia’s Brijuni National Park. The Brijuni archipelago includes 14 small islands famous for their scenic beauty. In Roman times, numerous villae rusticae adorned the coast of these islands, referred to by Pliny the Elder as Insulae Pullariae. The villa’s construction began in the 1st century BC, reaching its heyday in the 1st century AD. Some parts of the estate were used until the 6th century.
Coordinates: 44°54’35.5″N 13°46’25.9″E
The fall of the Illyrian capital of Nesactium in 177 BC marked the onset of a long period of Roman rule, which brought considerable economic, social and cultural changes to the entire Istrian peninsula, including the Brijuni Islands. The Roman navy found on the Brijuni Islands a safe and natural shelter. The Romans built many luxurious summer residences and palaces where they could relax and live from the products they produced.
The senatorial Laecanii family owned the villa and probably came under imperial ownership in the 2nd half of the 1st century AD. It is said to be among the three most luxurious villas in the Roman Empire, alongside a Villa in Pompeii and another one on the island of Capri. The villa consisted of several buildings of residential and economic character situated in different parts of the bay. The villa also had a library, three-level terraces and huge gardens. The whole complex covered an area of over six hectares.
Along with the luxurious villa, constituent parts of the complex also included three temples (to the sea god Neptune, the Capitoline Triad and the goddess Venus) and a palaestra. All these buildings were connected by colonnaded promenades stretching one kilometre along the sea, in harmony with the landscape. The other areas dedicated to production activities and the thermae were on the other side of the bay.
This villa was lavishly decorated with mosaic floors, frescoes, stucco decorations, and precious marble.
Carole, please feel free to stay with us when you next visit Zagreb. While there is little to show you here, we would be delighted to help make your visit as comfortable and rewarding as possible. Thanks for your tireless post and engrossing observations, Nicolaas and Ellen
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