AQUINCUM MUSEUM IN BUDAPEST
Aquincum is the place where the history of Hungary begins. Ruins of an ancient Celts’ settlementthat later on turned into a huge at that time old Roman city remained on the territory of Hungary. Nowadays, Aquincum is the archeological museum, the biggest one in Hungary, which is a park-museum as main exhibits are located in the open air as well as indoors.
Aquincum Museum is situated in Obuda that is close to Budapest. That’s why there in no difficulty in getting to the museum. It will take only several stops by train.
At the beginning of A.D. successful Romans came to the plains of Danube, having conquered one of Celts’ settlements bearing the name of Ak Ink. Later new hosts of the settlement changed its name for Aquincum. Romans transformed the city completely up to their taste and divided the city into two parts – a civil and a military one. There was a garrison situated on the territory of the military part that included up to 6000 people, and about 2000 people lived at that time on the territory on the civil part. Mainly, these were settlers who accompanied the garrison and who Celts-Evarisks joint rather soon. Aquincum became a part of the defense system protecting the territory of Roman State. Gradually, the city was increasing its territory and population, and in the year 127AD Celts already were rightful citizens of the Roman Empire, and Aquincum became municipium – autonomic community.
Since 106 and to the end of the 4th century AD Aquincum had been the capital of Pannonia – a new province of the Roman Empire. The city was actively developing in all areas, and by the end of the II century AD about 30-40 people lived there. In the III century Aquincum became a rich resort city where all blessings of civilization were created, including luxurious villas of patricians, amphitheaters, public baths, and central residential buildings.
At the beginning of the IV century Aquincum started suffering from constant invasions of barbarians, and in the year 441 it was fully plundered and destroyed by the Huns who were led by Attila.
The first museum on the ruins territory of the ancient city of Aquincum was opened in 1894. Due to increasing number of archeological findings, the museum territory is periodically rising. In the year 1902 a lapidary was created outside the museum walls.
There are two amphitheaters left in the Aquincum park-museum, which are the small Civil and the big Military (Amphitheater of Legions) amphitheaters. An interesting fact is that the arena of the Amphitheater of Legions significantly exceeded in size the arena of the famous Roman Coliseum, it could accommodate about 12000 spectators at a time. Furthermore, till nowadays ruins of this ancient city can be found in other parts of Budapest, for instance, ruins of Contra-Aquinca are situated in Pest.
Nowadays, archeological investigations on the territory of ancient city of Aquincum are not finished, vice versa, they are actively unfolding. Outdoors of the museum construction, visitors are offered plenty of sculptures and sarcophaguses, made of stone. In the neoclassical museum built at the end of the XIX century in perfect harmony with surrounding and scenery,you can see various coins, ornaments, utensils, jewelry and pottery that are saved from Roman times.
In the year 2002 Aquincum museum was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.