Carska palata - Gamzigrad
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Panoramic photo by Saša Stojanović EXPERT Taken 11:32, 21/05/2011 - Views loading...


Carska palata - Gamzigrad

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In the vicinity of Gamzigrad lie the ruins of a huge Roman complex called Felix Romuliana, one of the most important late Roman sites in Europe. Early explorers believed the ancient ruins to have been a Roman military camp, because of their size and numerous towers. Systematic archaeological excavations conducted since 1953 revealed that the site was, in fact, an Imperial palace. It was conceived and built by one of the Tetrarchs, Emperor Galerius, the adopted son and son-in-law of the great Emperor Diocletian. Galerius started construction in 298 (after a victory over the Persians that brought him admiration and glory) to mark the place of his birth. The name Felix Romuliana was given in memory of his mother Romula, who was also a priestess of a pagan cult. The complex of temples and palaces served three main purposes – a place of worship of his mother’s divine personality, a monument to his deeds as emperor, and a luxurious villa for Galerius. Romuliana survived until it was plundered by the Huns in the mid 5th century. Later the site became a humble settlement of farmers and craftsmen, finally to be abandoned at the beginning of the 7th century with the arrival of the Slavs.

The structures were first evaluated in 1835 by Baron von Herder, a Saxon mine entrepreneur, in the “Bergmänische Reise in Serbie im Jahre 1835″. Later the German mineralogist August Breithaupt also wrote an article about the constructions. The Austro-Hungarian naturalist, geographer, ethnographer and archaeologist Felix Philipp Kanitz (who has earned great respect in Serbia and Bulgaria through his works on the South Slavs) was especially interested in Gamzigrad and visited the ruins on two occasions, in 1860 and in 1864 when he drew the then condition of the ramparts and towers, included in his works on Serbia, printed in Vienna and Leipzig.

The enthusiasm for Gamzigrad disappeared by the end of the 19th century. The real history of the complex was yet to be researched. The interest was revived in the 1950s during the period of “Neo-romanticism of Serbian archaeology”. Vekoslav Popovic, Director of the Town Museum of Zajecar initiated the systematic archaeological research in 1953. The academic professor Dr. Dragoslav Srejovic was in charge of the research in 1970, he is the one regarded as positioning the monument among world archaeology.

The complex was demystified in 1984, when in the south-west a archivolt with the inscription of FELIX ROMULIANA was discovered.

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VR Photo: Virtuelne panorame Srbije

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This panorama was taken in Serbia, Europe

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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