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Roman settlement - Villae rusticae

Maribor, 2000 Maribor
Visit a piece of Roman heritage that has defied time in this locality for more than 1700 years!

The Roman provincial villa (because it is a rustic villa, there is no doubt that this part of the Maribor field (Mariborsko polje) was earmarked above all for agriculture) is a special type of property of a rich Roman settler, who with considered cultivation shaped the land for his needs, status and taste. Villas were mainly comfortable and contemporarily furnished and the position beside the road rendered possible communication with near and distant places.

Our rustic villa also lies on an archaeologically proven colonization axis (Hoče, Bohova, Betnava, Radvanje), along an important road by the Drava river, which testifies to the course of Roman colonization in the Podravje region. On studying the history of the building three phases of construction were exposed that were differently preserved. Because of later reconstructions the oldest construction phase was scantily retained on the south- western and north-western side of the building lot.

The building that we see today unites the elements of construction of the second and
the third phases, in other words the middle and its youngest period. The entire complex
was bordered by a peripheral wall measuring 98,10 x 90,20 m
, which at the same time
was a supporting wall for the outbuildings on the south-eastern side and for the
residential premises in the north-western part of the villa. Two methods of construction
can be discerned in the flat surface: bigger quarry stones and gravel-stones at the
sides, the middle was filled with small pebble-stones and gravel with strong binding
mortar or the stones were placed in the technique of a fish bone (opus spicatum). River
stone was placed in different ways in four layers with up to 5 cm thick layers of gravel
and river sand in between, which formed an isolation tampon.

There were at least three bigger outbuildings and two or three wooden houses standing
independently on the southern side of the villa.
Because the remains of this part had
been heavily ruined it is not possible to precisely determine the intended function; it is
however probable that they served as a granary and other kind of depositories, stables,
pens, haylofts and for similar purposes. Largeness and functionalism were an indivisible
conception in Roman architecture. In this area the residential house certainly
dominated, which together with the other dwelling house was separated from the
outhouses by a spacious yard.

The highly developed contemporary housing culture was carried into effect also in the
Roman countryside. There were even five large rooms in the first dwelling house that
were equipped with central heating system (hypocaustum). From the hearth in the first
room warm air passed under the brick vaults and through clay pipes under the wall
roughcast. Preserved from the tooth of time are individual impressions of brick for the
small arch columns on a white hard floor foundation.

Rarely preserved materials are also the remains of wall paintings, flower and geometric
motives in Pompeii red, restful ochre and green colours.
Yet the adjoining residential
house was built according to the principle of a native Pannonian house. Next to the 13
m long passageway there were residential premises of larger areas. By building
materials and technique we reckon them among the youngest, which is the third
architectoral period. Two smaller towers in the midst of the south-eastern and southwestern
line of the circumferential wall enabled a broader view and so increased safety.
The layers of the ruins prove that the buildings were built of stone and plastered,
covered with roofing tiles (tegulae) that were bound by edging stones (imbrices).
Although the villa was located beside a clear stream, they used a well for their needs.

Burial ground, iron latchkey, glass bracelet, bronze coins...

Within the precincts of villa rustica some objects were found, among which were
prevalent ceramics, various tools, an iron latchkey, a glass bracelet, two bronze coins
(one represents the emperor Galieno, 253,268 AD). A special discovery is certainly a
burial place inside of the villa’s walls, between the ruins of both residential buildings. 28
graves, which were buried in the sandy soil in no special order, in three cases they were
partially laden with Roman brick ashlars. The skeletons were poorly preserved, lying in
the stretched position; they were in single graves except for one, in which a mother and
child were buried.
Viewed upon from the ethnic perspective the burial place belongs to the Slavs or to one
of their groups that settled on the already cultivated antique area in the 10th and 11th
century. The significance of the burial ground is even greater because it so clearly
supplements historical sources and contributes to the expertise of this place of

Tourist Information Center Maribor 
Partizanska cesta 6a 
Tel. : ++386 2 234 66 11 
Fax : ++386 2 234 66 13 
E-mail :  
Web site : 

GPS Northing (N) : 46,5421 
GPS Easting (E) : 15,6199 
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Administrator : Zavod za turizem Maribor - Pohorje | ++386 2 234 66 11 |
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