Verige Roman Villa

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 which are famous for their scenic beauty. In Roman times, numerous Roman villae rusticae adorned the coast of these islands referred to by Pliny the Elder as Insulae Pullariae. The construction of the villa began in the 1st century BC, reaching its heyday in the 1st century AD. Some parts of the villa 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 the year 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 villa was owned by the senatorial Laecanii family 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 whole complex covered an area of over six hectares. The villa also had a library, three level terraces and huge gardens.

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 a system of collonaded promenades stretching one kilometre along the sea, in harmony with the landscape. On the opposite side of the bay were the other areas dedicated to production activities as well as the thermae.

This villa was lavishly decorated with mosaic floors and frescoes, stucco decoration and precious marble.

PORTFOLIO

1924 artistic reconstruction of the Roman Villa in the Bay of Verige.
1924 artistic reconstruction of the Verige Roman Villa.
Roman Villa in the Bay of Verige
The foundations of the Verige Roman Villa.

Brijuni coastal villa and residential area reconstruction (BEGOVIĆ DVORŽAK, 1990).
Brijuni coastal villa and residential area reconstruction
(BEGOVIĆ DVORŽAK, 1990).
The Temple of Venus.
The Temple of Venus.

The ruins of the Temple of Venus.

The Temple of Venus.
The Temple of Venus.
The columns of the Temple of Venus.
The columns of the Temple of Venus.
The ruins of one of the monumental porticoes facing the bay.
The ruins of one of the monumental porticoes facing the bay.
The production part of the Villa.
The production part of the Villa.
The Thermae.
The Thermae.
The Thermae.
The Thermae.

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Pula

Located at the Southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, Pula sits at a location highly appreciated by ancient civilizations. It is a town of extraordinary beauty and culture with a three-thousand-year long history. This important Istrian port boasts a rich and varied cultural heritage that has attracted visitors for centuries.

Coordinates: 44° 52′ 0″ N, 13° 51′ 0″ E

Pula was originally founded as a fortified settlement of the Histri, the pre-Roman inhabitants of Istria after whom the peninsula is named. In the Illyrian period, until the arrival of the Romans in 177 BC, Pula was no more than the surroundings of nearby Nesactium, the political, administrative, military and religious centre and capital of the Histri. As a result of intensive colonization, trade routes as well as the importance of its military position, Pula took over the leading position. Numerous trades developed in that period: agriculture, viticulture, olive-growing, fishing and pottery for the transport of olive-oil, wine, wheat and fish.

Pula was elevated to colonial rank between 46–45 BC under Julius Caesar as the tenth region of the Roman Empire. During that time the town grew and peaked at about a population of about 30,000. During the civil war that followed Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, Pula took the side of Cassius, since the town had been founded by Cassius Longinus, brother of Cassius. After Octavian’s victory, the town was demolished. It was soon rebuilt at the request of Augustus’ daughter Iulia and was then named Colonia Pietas Iulia Pola Pollentia Herculanea. Pula was transformed into an imperial city where some of the best examples of Roman architecture were built.

Pula is well known for its many surviving ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is its 1st-century amphitheatre, one of the best preserved from antiquity. Two other notable and well-preserved ancient Roman structures are the 1st-century AD Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Rome and Augustus.

PORTFOLIO

The Pula Arena, one of the best preserved amphitheatres of the Roman world. It was completed during the reign of Vespasian and could hold about 20,000 spectators.
The amphitheatre of Pula was built outside the city walls along the Via Flavia, the road from Pula to Aquileia and Rome.
The amphitheatre at Pula is unique as it features four rectangular towers that had been included into the outer wall mantle. Each of them held a wooden staircase leading to the top rows and to a water reservoir. The reservoirs were filled with rainwater that feed a fountain used to refresh the spectators.
The amphitheatre at Pula is unique as it features four rectangular towers that had been included into the outer wall mantle. Each of them held a wooden staircase leading to the top rows and to a water reservoir. The reservoirs were filled with rainwater that feed a fountain used to refresh the spectators in the heat.
The Temple of Augustus, situated in the Forum, was dedicated to the goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus. It was constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14
The Temple of Augustus, situated in the Forum, was dedicated to the goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus. It was constructed between the year 2 BC and AD 14.
The temple of Augustus was built on a podium with a tetrastyle portico of Corinthian columns. It is 17.65 m long, 8.5 m wide and 13.17 high.
The temple of Augustus was built on a podium with a tetrastyle portico of Corinthian columns. It is one of the most beautiful examples of early Roman imperial temple architecture.
The back of the Temple of Augustus.
The back of the Temple of Augustus.
The temple of Augustus was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple, and the similar temple of the goddess Diana stood on the other side of the main temple.
The temple of Augustus was part of a triad consisting of three temples. The Temple of Augustus stood at the left side of the central temple whilst the similar Temple of Diana stood on the other side.
The Gate of Hercules, the oldest surviving Roman structure in Pula. A carving of the head of Hercules and his club is clearly visible at the top of the arch.
The Gate of Hercules, the oldest surviving Roman structure in Pula. A carving of the head of Hercules and his club is clearly visible at the top of the arch.
The Gate of Hercules with head of Hercules and his club.
The Gate of Hercules with head of Hercules and his club.
The Arch of the Sergii, a famous patrician family in ancient Rome. It was built at the end of the 1st century BC (around 29 and 27 BC) by Salvia Postuma Sergii with her own money, in honour of the three members of her family who took part in the battle of Actium.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Standing 8 meters high, the arch was constructed in Corinthian style with strong Hellenistic influences. It is richly adorned with relief decorations of grapevines while its centre depicts a scene of an eagle fighting a snake. Two winged victories stand between the inner half columns.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Standing 8 meters high, the arch was constructed in Corinthian style with strong Hellenistic influences. It is richly adorned with relief decorations of grapevines. Two winged victories stand between the inner half columns.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Central arch relief depicting a scene of an eagle fighting a snake.
Detail of the Arch of the Sergii. Central arch relief depicting a scene of an eagle fighting a snake.
The Porta Gemina, built between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. was once the entrance to the city. Its road led to the Arena and further to Nesactium.
The Porta Gemina built between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. It was once the entrance to the city.
The Roman Theatre
The Roman Theatre built in the 2nd century AD. The remains of the scene, semicircular orchestra and cavea have been partly reconstructed.
The Roman Theatre.
The Roman Theatre.
The Punishment of Dirce mosaic discovered after the bombing of World War II. It is preserved in-situ.
The Punishment of Dirce mosaic discovered after the bombing of World War II. It is preserved in-situ.
The mosaic covered the floor of a central room of a Roman house, probably from the 3rd century.
Central panel of the mosaic of Dirce. The mosaic covered the floor of a central room of a Roman house, probably from the 3rd century.

See more images of Pula on Flickr

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