Apulum, most important Roman site to be included in World Heritage List, in Frontiers of Roman-Dacian Empire dossier

Apulum is the most important Roman site included for nomination in the World Heritage List in the dossier of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire – Dacia, being the largest conurbation in the province of Dacia and one of the largest in the Roman Empire, archaeological expert Anca Timofan, member of the National Limes Commission informs in a press release sent to AGERPRES on Friday.

“Under the framework of the dossier Frontiers of the Roman Empire – Dacia, the following sites have been nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List in Alba County, organized in two sectors: Sector 2 (Western Limes): Apulum site (cluster): the castrum of the 13th Gemina Legion, the Palace of the Roman governors, Domus I (Traian street); the Auxiliary Castrum (ala I milliaria Batavorum, a cavalry unit of about 1,000 men, the soldiers being recruited from the Germanic tribe of the Batavians) and the civilian settlement at Razboieni-Cetate; the Castrum (fortlet) at Ighiu (Dealul Magulici); the Burgus (Roman tower) at Trampoiele (Grohasu Mic). Sector 8 (March Castles in the Sureanu Mountains): Varful lui Patru, Cugir-Batrana, Muncelu-Lautoarea (Pianu de Jos), Comarnicel I, II, III, on the border between Alba and Hunedoara counties,” says Anca Timofan, scientific coordinator of Sector 2 in the nomination file for the World Heritage List.

According to her, the inscription of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire on the UNESCO World Heritage List is a “historic moment” for Alba Iulia, for the Apulum site and for the Roman heritage of Alba Iulia.

“The Apulum Cluster nominated by UNESCO comprises several component parts reflecting its military, political and civil aspects and dimensions: The Roman castrum of the 13th Gemina Legion, the Palace of the Roman governors and Domus I (a private Roman domus residence),” says Anca Timofan.

She said that the visible and visitable vestiges belong to the castrum of the 13th Gemina legion, located inside the Vauban bastion fortification (18th century). Other portions of the southern enclosure of the castrum have been preserved and are highlighted in the wall of the southern body of the Palace of the Princes of Transylvania and in the wall of the Bishop’s Palace.

The Via principalis (the road linking the gates of the castrum in a N-S direction) is now preserved and restored and is on display for the general public.

Located in the Citadel Square, the Principia Museum, managed by the Museum of the Palace of the Princes of Transylvania, is the place that preserves in situ and makes available to the public the castle command building.

The western wall is highlighted in the Museikon building, and a segment of the spillway canal on this side of the castle is preserved inside the museum.

“The Palace of the Governors (praetorium consularis) at Apulum was the official seat of the administration. Being a unique monument in the province of Dacia and one of the few preserved in the Roman Empire, its archaeological and tourist valorisation is extremely necessary. Domus I, the largest private Roman residence ever excavated in an urban environment in Dacia, is also in the same situation,” points out Anca Timofan.

The Roman sites of Alba Iulia are the most important archaeological remains of the former Roman province of Dacia, forming part of the western Roman frontier system, located on the imperial road that crossed the province from south to north.

Of the more than 7,000 kilometres of borders of the Roman Empire, the Roman frontier in Dacia (Dacian Limes) is the longest land border of any province, stretching for more than 1,500 kilometres. The Roman frontier in Dacia is made up of archaeological sites: a network of watchtowers, smaller or larger forts and artificial earthen ramparts or stone walls.