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Bulgarian archaeologists discovered luxurious Roman road station in 2014

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Hypocaustum system in the road station near Sostra
Hypocaustum system in the road station near Sostra

In Bulgaria, in the vicinity of the Roman fort Sostra (near the present city of Troyan, central Bulgaria), in 2014, archaeologists found traces of a Roman luxurious road station (mansio).

The road station was located on Via Traiana – the main ancient artery that allowed the Romans to lead the conquest of Dacia under Trajan (101-102 and 105- 106 CE). The road connected the ancient city of Philippopolis (present Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria) with two Roman outposts on the Danube River: Ulpia Oescus and Novae, which guarded the northeastern limes.

The latest excavations show that the road station covered 500 square meters. The walls of the building have survived to our times; up to 2 meters high. Interestingly, the building had a floor heating system – hypocaustum, a large swimming pool, pipes and thermal baths. Other swimming pools of this type were found in the vicinity of the road station, which can be said to be a large bath complex. It could have been a stopover, an inn and a spa in one.

Scientists emphasize that these types of ancient road stations were similar in nature to today’s gas stations and motels.

As researchers emphasized a few years ago, it was planned to apply for consent and funding for the partial reconstruction of the road station and the creation of a tourist attraction from this place. However, I have no more information about the current work at this site.

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