Gamzigrad-Romuliana, entrance gate
Official name as proposed by the State Party: Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace
Location: Eastern Serbia, 60km from Soko Banja
The archaeological site of Gamzigrad is a Late Roman fortified palace compound with a memorial complex on the adjoining hill. It was built in the late 3rd and early 4th century. The construction was commissioned by the Emperor Galerius Maximianus (the successor of Diocletian). The complex was named Felix Romuliana after his mother, who was Dacian by birth.
Category of property:
In terms of the categories of cultural property set out in Article 1 of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, this is a site.
1. BASIC DATA
Included in the Tentative List: 18 March 2002
International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund for preparing the Nomination: No
Date received by the
World Heritage Centre: 26 January 2006
Background: This is a new nomination.
Consultations: ICOMOS has consulted its International Scientific Committees on Fortifications and Military Heritage and on Archaeological Heritage Management.
Literature consulted (selection):
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, W. L. Mac Donald, R. Stillwell, M. H. Macallister, eds, Princeton university press, 1976.
The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, N. Lenski, ed., 2006.
Technical Evaluation Mission: 22-26 August 2006
Additional information requested and received from the State Party: None
Date of ICOMOS approval of this report: 21 January 2007
2. THE PROPERTY
Gamzigrad is a Late Roman fortified palace compound with a memorial complex on the adjoining hill. It was built in the late 3rd and early 4th century CE. On the basis of archaeological findings and written sources it has been established that the complex was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Caius Valerius Galerius Maximianus and was known as Felix Romuliana.
The nominated property consists of the following:
• The Fortified Imperial Palace Complex, itself consisting of:
- The palace in the north-western part of the complex
• The memorial complex
These are considered in turn:
• The Fortified Imperial Palace Complex
During archaeological exploration of the site the remains of two fortifications were found. Within their walls a palace was located on the north-western side, along with two temples, baths and numerous other structures. Both the fortifications and the buildings associated with them were constructed in about ten years, from 297 to 311.
The area inside the ramparts is divided by a road that was probably the main thoroughfare (decumanus) connecting the eastern and the western gates. The northern part of the area is occupied by the imperial palace complex, with its public and private rooms and a small temple with a sacrificial altar. In the southern part there are public rooms (a large temple, thermae) and service areas (a horreum and a single-aisled building with a portico).
From the first half of the 4th century to the middle of the 6th century the appearance and function of the fortified palace underwent substantial changes. As early as the second half of the 4th century the palace fell into disrepair, and after the invasion of the Goths and the Huns into the Balkan Peninsula it became a small Byzantine settlement, which appeared under the same name in the list of settlements restored by Justinian in the 6th century. Gamzigrad was revived for the last time as a fortified Slav settlement in the 11th century.
Systematic archaeological excavation at the property has been carried out since 1953, with associated conservation and restoration of the architecture, mosaics, and architectural sculpture.
The Gamzigrad fortress covers a rhomboid shaped area of about 4ha with visible remains of ramparts and towers in places up to 15m high. Archaeological excavation has uncovered two parallel fortification systems.
The inner fortification is the older of the two. It consists of 16 towers connected with ramparts. In the east and the west of the fortress, octagonal towers flank gateways while rectangular towers are lined between them. The older fortifications are mostly brick-built; the state of preservation is uneven.
The outer, later fortification comprises twenty towers connected by ramparts. The fortifications were constructed using opus mixtum (several courses of stone alternating with three rows in brick). The later fortifications are in a better state of repair than the earlier.
Two monumental gates give access into the fortress. The lower part of the western gate is built from sandstone blocks, followed with moulding in worked sandstone and facing in opus mixtum. Examination of the eastern gate found it to be in a somewhat worse condition than the western but similar to it in building technique and decorative elements. A number of smaller gates and posterns have also been discovered.
- The palace in the north-western part of the complex
Systematic research has uncovered the remains of an edifice with many rooms, halls, and atriums. The spatial plan of the building and the rich floor and wall decorations have revealed that this must have been a large palace.
The main entrance is on the eastern side and leads into the first entrance hall, the floor of which was covered by a mosaic with abstract motifs and a central representation of a labyrinth. From here a wide, horizontal hallway led to a hall with a raised apse on the south side, most probably the throne room. This also had a mosaic floor with geometrical and hunting motifs.
The throne room led to the atrium, where numerous fragments of a fountain were recovered. The hall with the apse to the north of the atrium was identified as a triclinium. The central part of the room was raised and covered in marble slabs of various colours in opus sectile technique.
In addition to these and other public rooms, numerous smaller accompanying rooms of unknown purpose have been revealed. All the palace buildings were constructed in brick and marlstone and were most likely plastered.
Two basilicas were built in this area in the 4th and 6th centuries, one above the other, and were partially destroyed at that time. For the outer load-bearing walls the first basilica used the walls of the throne hall. The later one is far larger and was probably constructed at the time of Justinian’s restoration of Gamzigrad. It is a three-aisled building with a four-leaf font room on the southern side.
Within the palace complex are to be found the remains of a small temple with a sacrificial altar facing the entrance. It has been determined that the temple belonged to the tetrastyle prostylos type, with four pillars at the entrance.
Around the middle of the 19th century, excavations revealed the remains of a much larger structure in the central part of the southern segment of the fortress. These were identified as parts of the podium and the staircase of a monumental temple.
This building is a classical Roman baths with characteristic elements – changing room, cold bath, warm bath, and hot bath.
• The memorial complex
About 1km to the east of the main gate of the palace, on the Magura hill, stands a complex of memorial buildings. Archaeological investigations have uncovered on the levelled top of the hill two mausoleums devoted to Galerius and his mother Romula, as well as two circular tumuli for consecration purposes. To the north-east, alongside the road leading to the fortress, the remains of a monumental tetrapylon were found.
The first building to be discovered was the mausoleum devoted to Romula, erected in 305. It is in a damaged condition, but sufficient survived for its impressive size and form to be recognised. A giant circular tumulus adjoins this mausoleum. It is a monument for consecration purposes, put up at the same time as the mausoleum.
The nearby mausoleum of Galerius, erected in 311, is better preserved, and it has been possible to discern its original size and form. Like that of his mother, the tomb of Galerius is accompanied by a consecration monument, erected at the same time as the mausoleum. It is a masonry ring 39m in diameter filled with earth in the shape of a cone.
Found a short distance to the north-east of the memorial complex were the lower parts of four pillars identified as belonging to a monumental tetrapylon.
The relation between the two spatial ensembles is stressed by the location of the tetrapylon on the crossroads between the worldly fortification with the palace and the other-worldly mausoleums and consecration monuments.
History and development
The Gamzigrad fortified palace was built by the Roman Emperor Caius Valerius Galerius Maximianus, the successor of Diocletian in the Second Tetrarchy, at the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th century CE. This was substantiated by the discovery of a sculpted head in the Emperor’s likeness during excavation of the baths.
The tetrarchy form of governance required the Emperor to abdicate after twenty years of rule and, having celebrated the vicennallia, to retire. Galerius followed the model of his ideological father, Diocletian, and made plans for the construction of a palace, surrounded by ramparts, in the area of his origin where he intended to spend the rest of his life.
Galerius was not able to devote himself to the construction of the fortress-palace until after his victory over the Persian king Narses in 297. With the title of Caesar and as the adopted son and heir of Diocletian, he began the work in his place of origin in Dacia Ripensis, today Eastern Serbia. He named the fortress Romuliana after his Dacian mother Romula. A fragment of an archivolt found in the excavations bears the inscription Felix Romuliana circled with a laurel wreath. The inner fortifications of the compound, the palace in the north-western part, and the small temple were erected in this first stage.
After the death of Constantius Chlorus in 306, Galerius became the most powerful man in the Roman Empire. Viewed from that lofty position, the fortress appeared to be too humble. Work then under way was abandoned to concentrate on a more monumental fortress encompassing the buildings already erected. A huge temple dedicated to Jupiter was erected in the south part of the compound. The new phase is characterised by even greater lavishness of decoration full of symbolic meaning, executed in various materials.
On the hill to the east of the fortified palace, Galerius built mausoleums for himself and for his mother flanked by consecrational monuments in the shape of tumuli. The latter are connected with the apotheosis – the symbolic elevation to the status of god.
As Caesar, Galerius was identified with Hercules and later, when he had been raised to the status of Augustus, with Jupiter. Connecting rulers with the divine hierarchy was one of the characteristics of tetrarchy. As a divine personification Galerius wanted to provide for his mother a place among the gods, and through the act of apotheosis he secured divine immortality for Romula.
The tetrapylon which marked a crossroads was erected above the intersection of the Roman road leading to Romuliana and the road to the memorial complex to mark the intersection of earthly and heavenly roads.
The main role in the construction of all the buildings was played by the V Macedonian Legion which followed Galerius in the battles he fought in the East and which served as construction labour in periods of peace.
After the Emperor’s death in 311 life in the palace went on, but without royal ceremonies. The palace and other buildings were redecorated and put to other uses. This quiet decline continued until the end of the 5th century when the throne hall was converted into a three-aisle Christian basilica. At the time, along the eastern facade of the palace, another building was put up with an atrium in the centre and an apse with a small marble basin, probably a font. Several towers of the defensive bulwark were turned into craft shops manufacturing items needed by the new inhabitants.
At this time Romuliana was an important village community where a court official might have resided. Around the mid 5th century the compound sustained heavy damage and was burned, probably following the invasion of the Huns. In the second half of the 5th and the 6th century Romuliana was reconstructed, but it never regained its former splendour. The new buildings were inferior both in size and in the manner of construction.
During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian some extensive construction was undertaken. In this period considerable architectural and spatial changes were carried out. A monumental three-aisle basilica with a four-leaf font was erected in the palace compound, overshadowing the existing building with its exceptionally beautiful mosaics. The east gateway was abandoned and the west gate became the main entrance. Architectural decorative sculptural elements from the palace and temples of Galerius were reused as building material.
At the beginning of the 7th century, owing to frequent raids by the Avars and the Slavs, the site was abandoned. The remains of the former palace were reoccupied, as late as the beginning of the 9th century, when a small medieval settlement developed in the eastern part of the compound.
3. OUTSTANDING UNIVERSAL VALUE, INTEGRITY AND AUTHENTICITY
Integrity and Authenticity
The fortified palace of Galerius is representative of the Late Roman concept of Imperial symbolism. The all-embracing ideological programme of rule, created in the era of the Tetrarchy, connected the manner of construction with Imperial rituals during the period of rule as well as the period after the abdication. The glorification of the Emperor as the all-powerful master and a god underlies this concept of construction.
The connection with divine rituals is especially clear in the construction of buildings intended for the Emperor’s residence after abdication. All construction symbolises Roman gods and the preparation of the Emperor to become a divinity himself upon death. This ideological programme reached the peak of its materialisation in Galerius’s unique fortified palace and the memorial complex.
The integrity and authenticity of Gamzigrad-Romuliana are clearly demonstrated. Relatively few excavations have been carried out to date and there has been no attempt to reconstruct the much degraded remains. There are no plans for reconstruction beyond what is needed for conservation and can be substantiated through research, as these would diminish the level of authenticity.
The major threat to the integrity of the property is constituted by archaeological excavation because, even when needed, this is by nature destructive. Before any further excavation is conducted, ICOMOS considers that it would be advisable to carry out a detailed analysis of all the data from previous excavations and to continue with an intensive programme of exploration by geophysical and other non-destructive means. Subsequently, excavation could be limited to ‘surgical incisions’ at precisely targeted places in order to solve specific research questions and to avoid creating conservation problems.
ICOMOS considers that the conditions of integrity and authenticity are met. It recommends that priority be given to the analysis of the data from previous excavations and that new investigations be conducted using preferably non-destructive means and targeted surgical incisions.
The fortified palace of Galerius and its decoration can be directly compared with other constructions of the period.
The remains of Galerius’s imperial residence in Thessaloniki lie for the most part underneath the contemporary city and detailed examination of the buildings is not possible.
More suitable elements for comparative analysis are to be found in Diocletian’s Palace in Split (which is already on the World Heritage List). The context of the construction of both palaces gives rise to comparison, since both were commissioned by Tetrarchy Emperors as parts of the ideological programme of rule, relating specifically to the period after their abdication. Both palaces were designed to be representative Imperial residences housing Emperors who renounced power but retained its symbols. Within magnificent ramparts with watchtowers and gates, they possessed palaces, temples and ancillary buildings.
However, the differences between the two palaces stem from the practical realisation of the same ideological scheme. The fortification of Diocletian’s palace complex is of regular, almost quadrangular shape. Polygonal towers emphasise the entrances into the compound while quadrangular towers stand at the corners and along the ramparts. A similar design can be identified in the earlier fortification of Galerius’s construction. However, owing to the terrain, the fortification ended up of irregular shape. The later fortification, which embraced and incorporated the older one, also had to follow the lie of the land.
Although, like Diocletian, Galerius rose from the military ranks to the status of Emperor, the concept of an army stronghold, which was strictly followed for Diocletian’s palace, was rejected here.
The later fortification, constructed after Galerius had become Emperor, greatly surpasses that of Diocletian’s palace in grandeur and decoration. All its towers are polygonal, protrude from the ramparts, and take up much space. The gates and the ramparts above them are decorated by decorative niches in several levels with distinctly symbolical architectural decoration connected to the Emperor’s person and the Tetrarchy system of rule.
Substantial differences can also be found in the interior layout of the two palaces. In Diocletian’s palace, two thoroughfares set at right angles divide the space into four segments, reminiscent of Roman army camps. In Galerius’s palace, however, a single thoroughfare connects the western and the eastern gates, dividing the space into southern and northern parts; the division seeks to emphasise the duality of the space.
There are numerous other ways in which the two palaces are significantly different. The architecture and layouts highlight the often contrasting aspirations and achievements of the two Tetrarch Emperors.
There is another Imperial palace of the same period in Sicily, the Villa Romana del Casale at Piazza Armerina, which is also on the World Heritage List. This differs strikingly from either of the Balkan examples. The design principles are fundamentally similar, but the Sicilian palace vividly demonstrates the cultural differences that had evolved between the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire.
The individual characteristics of the palace of Galerius are of sufficient intrinsic quality and significantly distinct from the other two Roman Imperial palaces that are already on the World Heritage List. ICOMOS therefore considers that the comparative analysis justifies consideration of this property for inscription on the World Heritage List.
Justification of the Outstanding Universal Value
The State Party considers that the property is of Outstanding Universal Value for the following:
Gamzigrad is a single architectural and spatial ensemble constructed according to a complex ideological and cult programme which resulted from a specific concept of the Imperial rule embodied in the person of an Emperor and his connection with the Roman gods. The programme was given material form through the construction of an imposing fortification comprising an ensemble of buildings with various purposes. The constructions within the ramparts are grouped spatially and thematically in relation to the Emperor Galerius and his mother Romula. Such a composition of the fortifications and the buildings with residential and cult purposes is a unique example of Roman architecture. The memorial complex on the nearby hill, although spatially set apart, is an indivisible part of the fortified palace.
This cultural property is also exceptional in so far as it is the only example of a construction of this kind from the Second Tetrarchy. It is fundamentally different from a comparable construction dating back to the First Tetrarchy, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, or the example from the western part of the Empire at Piazza Armerina. By virtue of the artistic merit of its mosaics and decorative architectural elements, it ranks among the supreme works of the Late Roman period. The complex is distinguished for its strong symbolism, carried out consistently through architectural design and decoration.
The position of the Palace on the territory of former Dacia Ripensis demonstrates the importance once attached to this area within the Roman Empire. In the Late Roman period, the centres of power shifted from west to east; this area was under both western and eastern creative influences, which is reflected in the architectural freedom in general as well as in the design of particular constructions.
Criteria under which inscription is proposed
The property is nominated on the basis of criteria i, ii, iii, iv, and vi.
Criterion i: The State Party justifies this criterion on the basis that Caius Valerius Galerius Maximianus commissioned this architectural complex for his residence after his abdication from the Imperial throne; it is the only one built for such a purpose for the needs of an Emperor of the Second Tetrarchy. The realisation of a complex ideological programme here was enriched with the idea of the spatial separation of the fortified palace and the memorial area.
All the architectural objects of the complex are deeply symbolic of the ruling programme of the Tetrarchy and the relationship between the Emperor and the divinities of the Roman pantheon.
The sheer size of the fortification by far surpasses the functional requirements of protection. The ideological programme of the Tetrarchy, enriched with the emphasised symbolism concerning Roman gods and their connection with the Emperors was carried out in the construction of the fortified palace and the memorial complex. The idea and its material realisation present the apex of the spiritual and material creativity of the late Roman period and by the end of the age of Roman civilisation.
ICOMOS does not consider that this property sufficiently represents a masterpiece of human creative genius. The Palace of Diocletian in Split is not inscribed on the basis of this criterion and there is no case to be made for Gamzigrad being superior in this regard. The Villa Romana del Casale was inscribed on the basis of this criterion due to the exceptional quality of its mosaics.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been justified.
Criterion ii: The State Party justifies this criterion on the basis that this complex represents the highest point of the idea of glorification of an Emperor in the Late Roman period.
The V Macedonian Legion, the military unit at whose head Galerius had won a great victory over the Persians, was the main labour force in the construction of the complex. Galerius and his army had learnt about the architecture of the Near East and Asia Minor when fighting there. This is reflected primarily in the form of the Temple of Jupiter, which is atypical of the rest of the Roman Empire.
The mixture of eastern and western influences, acquired all over the Roman Empire, gives spontaneity and freedom to the architecture of the fortification, the palace, and the other buildings. The complex also indicates how much importance was attached to the province of Dacia Ripensis in Late Roman times as well as its unity with the cultural area of the rest of the Empire.
Although the property is of unquestionable cultural value, ICOMOS does not consider that the property exhibits an important interchange of human values in an exceptional way.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been justified.
Criterion iii: According to the State Party, the fortified palace of Galerius indicates the development of the Imperial rule programme of the Second Tetrarchy. The idea underpinning the programme was that the Emperor abandoned the throne after twenty years of rule. He would build himself a suitable residential palace where he could retire in his birthplace.
The idea that the palace should be fortified comes from the fact that the Tetrarchy Emperors were all senior military leaders and so the residences were to allude to military strongholds. However, the magnitude and the decoration of Gamzigrad surpass those of a military fortress.
The fortification, the palace, and the memorial complex are unique testimony of the Roman construction tradition penetrated by the ideological programme of the Second Tetrarchy and Galerius himself as their builder.
ICOMOS is in full agreement with this analysis of the historical significance of the site.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion is justified.
Criterion iv: According to the State Party, the group of buildings comprising the architectural complex of the Emperor Galerius is unique in the way that it interweaves the ceremonial and the memorial programme. This idea is reflected in the spatial and visual correlation of the fortified palace and the memorial complex. The palace and all the buildings within the compound are oriented towards the hill where the mausoleums of the Emperor and his mother are located, as well as the tumuli for the apotheosis.
ICOMOS is in full agreement with this analysis of the architectural and structural significance of the site.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion is justified.
Criterion vi: According to the State Party, Galerius’s fortified palace is the only example of a specific manner of construction from the Second Tetrarchy period. It is also unusual that during the archaeological exploration supporting evidence was found for the name of the complex as well as the name of the person who had commissioned it.
However, Gamzigrad-Romuliana cannot be judged to be superior in any way to the Split Imperial villa, which is not inscribed on the List on the basis of criterion (vi), and so ICOMOS considers that it would be invidious and illogical to apply this criterion in the present case.
ICOMOS considers that this criterion has not been justified.
ICOMOS considers that the Outstanding Universal Value has been demonstrated and the nominated property meets criteria iii and iv.
4. FACTORS AFFECTING THE PROPERTY
The nomination dossier includes an identification of the following factors:
The immediate surroundings of the property are agricultural in character. The use of farming machinery such as tractors, which move on the existing roads, but also make new routes, can compromise the presentation of the archaeological site by damaging its visual setting and causing noises and vibrations. About 30km to the north of the property lies the Bor copper mining and metalworking complex, but this is sufficiently remote to minimise the threat to the property.
A constant though infrequent threat is posed by unofficial diggers using metal detectors and other instruments in the hope of finding valuable movable artefacts. This illegal exploration is fuelled by popular legends about underground halls and tunnels with buried treasure.
The archaeological and architectural remains are constantly exposed to precipitation, with the mosaics at special risk. Under certain weather conditions, fumes from the Bor plant can reach the property, and acid rain is also possible.
Natural disasters and risk preparedness
The property does not lie in an earthquake zone and threats of this kind are not expected. Even at the highest recorded water level, the watercourse along the eastern rampart of the fortification offers no threat to the property.
Visitors to the property can be divided into two categories. The first, smaller category comprises individual visitors, about 6,800 a year, who, weather permitting, visit all year round. Most come from the surrounding towns, but there are others from further afield, even from abroad. These visitors do not constitute a threat.
Tourist groups coming by coach form the second category. They mostly come in spring and autumn. Older visitors do not present a problem to the preservation of the property, but school visitors (some 23,000 annually) do pose certain problems, since they move around the property without restraint, causing damage. For this reason, only one busload (c 50 people) is allowed on the property at a time. Tourism has increased in recent years – c 30,000 at the property itself and c 8,000 at the museum).
ICOMOS considers that there are no serious threats to the property, although serious consideration must be given by the State Party to the potential impact of increased visitor numbers.
5. PROTECTION, CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
Boundaries of the nominated property and buffer zone
The exact definition of the boundaries of the nominated property is to some extent arbitrary because the precise area that was used in the past has not yet been explored in detail, but this does not imply they are unfounded or that they need any correction.
The proposed boundaries make sense from a landscape perspective and from archaeological experience. They probably encompass the most important features of the ensemble constituted by the palace/fortress and its surrounding elements.
The buffer zone encompasses an area that from a landscape point of view is part of the nominated territory. It ensures that no development takes place within the valley and that views from and to the centrally located palace remain intact. The valley as such is a valuable cultural landscape – a virtually untouched rural area.
ICOMOS considers that the boundaries of the core and buffer zone are adequate.
The Gamzigrad–Romuliana archaeological site is state property. The land on which it lies is the property of the National Museum in Zaječar.
The property is protected by:
• The Decision by the Institute for the Preservation and Scientific Examination of the Cultural Goods of the PR of Serbia No 407/48, 19 March 1948.
• The Decision on the Identification of Immovable Cultural Goods of Outstanding and of Great Importance (Official Gazette 14/79): the remains of the Roman city of Gamzigrad were awarded the status of a cultural monument of outstanding importance.
• The Cultural Properties Law, The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 71/94 (the law in force governing the preservation of cultural properties).
Legal regulations are binding for the Institution for the Protection of Cultural Property, which is required to plan, specify, and carry out technical protection of the monument, to issue decisions on protective measures, to collect and retain the required documentation concerning the monument, to monitor its protection and use, to prevent unplanned demolition, reconstruction, and rebuilding of a cultural property and its protected surroundings. Penalties for breaches of regulations are provided for by:
• the Cultural Properties Law;
• the Law on Building Construction;
• the Penal Law of the Republic of Serbia.
A third level of protection is provided by the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose Area of the Archaeological Site Gamzigrad-Romuliana, developed at the initiative of the Municipality of Zaječar and officially adopted in 2004. The regulations in this plan are adequate and allow further development outside the nominated property and its buffer zone and in a controlled way.
ICOMOS considers that the protective measures for the property are adequate.
History and Current State of Conservation
Of the older fortifications, work is in progress on clearing and conserving three towers, but a considerable part is awaiting clearance on archaeological examination. Work is needed urgently on some facades, which are deteriorating rapidly. The situation on the later fortifications is similar.
The palace and the basilicas have been well conserved, and work is in progress on the temples and the baths. No conservation work has been carried out on the two mausoleums, awaiting a decision regarding the construction of cover structures, but the two consecration buildings are in the process of restoration.
On the whole, it can be said that the conservation of the remains is satisfactory, though it could be much improved by sufficient finances. The available expert staff is well qualified and fully capable, qualified workmen are hired locally, and technical solutions are available. All that is missing is sufficient funding, and this has recently been increased.
ICOMOS considers that the state of conservation is adequate, although could be much improved through increased financial resources.
Active Conservation measures
Great care is taken to improve general conservation conditions. Recent additional funding by the Ministry of Culture (a grant of 600,000 euros) has helped to improve the presentation and conservation.
The condition of the built structures is carefully monitored, but although every effort is made to stabilise walls and floors, the available means are just barely sufficient to keep up with the ongoing degradation processes, mainly caused by winter conditions. Protection of the floors with mosaics in situ is effective.
Some parts of the property, such as the west gate, have been restored in an appropriate manner, and great care has been taken to limit restoration to parts for which solid archaeological evidence is available.
ICOMOS considers that the state of conservation of the remains is adequate, although it would benefit greatly from increased funding.
Management structures and processes, including traditional management processes
The property is managed at the level of the Republic of Serbia by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia. The Institute has produced a Plan for the Management, Exploration, Protection and Presentation of the Archaeological Site Gamzigrad (June 2005) defining necessary legal and technical protection measures and listing activities for the conservation, restoration and presentation of the site.
The National Museum in Zaječar is in charge of the maintenance and the promotion of the site. Its obligations are set out in an annual plan.
According to the Law on the Activities of Public Interest in the Area of Culture and the Law on Cultural Goods, funds for preservation are provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia through the Ministry of Culture.
An effort is being put forward to secure donations from international funds dealing with the preservation of cultural properties.
Management plans and arrangements, including visitor management and presentation
There is as yet no complete management plan for the property, although there is a management system in place.
On-site management is responsibility of the branch of the National Museum in Zaječar, which has a professional director and an archaeologist on the site. Decisions that may have an impact on the site or its buffer zone are taken by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Belgrade, which is the management authority for all conservation issues relating to the immovable heritage. Decisions relating to the conservation of movable heritage on the site are taken by a commission at the Ministry of Culture, on which the National Museum and the Archaeological Institute in Belgrade are represented.
Involvement of local communities
The Municipality of Zaječar as a local government authority takes an interest in the maintenance of the property and co-finances preservation work through the National Museum in Zaječar. The Museum has a close and effective relationship with the Municipality and with the local population.
ICOMOS considers that the present management structure for the property is minimal and recommends that it be further developed and formalised within the minimum delay, and backed by adequate financial resources.
The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia is in charge of the monitoring of the conservation condition of the architecture and the mosaics of the site. It submits an annual condition report to the Ministry of Culture. An effective system of key indicators is in place and there is a five-year review.
The Ministry monitors the archaeological investigations, the conservation of buildings and mosaics, the development of the site, and its presentation and popularisation.
ICOMOS considers that the monitoring measures for the property are adequate.
Gamzigrad-Romuliana, the Palace of the Roman Emperor Galerius, possesses outstanding universal value in terms of political and cultural history in classical antiquity. ICOMOS is satisfied with the authenticity and integrity of the nominated property. The core zone proposed by the State Party includes the essential elements of this remarkable monumental complex and the buffer zone encompasses an area which ensures that no development takes place within the valley and that views from and to the centrally located palace remain intact. The valley as such is a valuable cultural landscape – a virtually untouched rural area.
Recommendations with respect to inscription
ICOMOS recommends that Gamzigrad–Romuliana, the Palace of Galerius, Serbia, be inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria iii and iv.
Recommended Statement of Outstanding Universal Value
Gamzigrad-Romuliana is a Late Roman palace and memorial complex built in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries, commissioned by the Emperor Galerius Maximianus. The strong fortifications of the palace are an allusion to the fact that the Tetrarchy Emperors were all senior military leaders. The spatial and visual relationships between the palace and the memorial complex, where the mausoleums of the Emperor and his mother Romula are located, are a unique one.
Criterion iii: The fortifications, the palace, and the memorial complex are a unique testimony of the Roman construction tradition pervaded by the ideological programme of the Second Tetrachy and Galerius himself as their builder.
Criterion iv: The group of buildings comprising the architectural complex of the Emperor Galerius is unique in the fashion that it intertwines the ceremonial and the memorial programme. The relation between two spatial ensembles is stressed by placing the Tetrapylon on the crossroads between the worldly fortification with the palace and the other-worldly mausoleums and consecration monuments.
ICOMOS recommends that the State Party be requested to further develop its management system and allocate sufficient resources to its implementation.
ICOMOS further recommends that the State Party immediately give consideration to the following:
• Give priority to the analysis of the data from previous excavations and conduct any new investigations using non-destructive means and targeted surgical incisions.
• Adopt measures to avoid any negative impact of increased visitor numbers on the property.
Photo: Serbia Virtual panorama
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Brief DescriptionThe Late Roman fortified palace compound and memorial complex of Gamzigrad-Romuliana...
In the vicinity of Gamzigrad lie the ruins of a huge Roman complex called Felix Romuliana, one of the...
Grad Zaječar se nalazi u centralnom delu Timočke krajine i obuhvata Zaječarsku kotlinu, istočni deo C...
City of Zaječar is located 70km east from Sokobanja spa
Grad Zaječar se nalazi u centralnom delu Timočke krajine i obuhvata Zaječarsku kotlinu, istočni deo C...
Istorija ZaječaraIskopavanja vršena u Lepenskom Viru pokazala su postojanje predneolitske kulture u I...
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.