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„The Flamboyant City of Trayans”

glavnaulica2 „The flamboyant city of Trayans” - this text can be read on a number of official inscriptions in the antique city. Augusta Trayana was one of the most beautiful and largest Thracian cities in 2nd-3rd century.  It was founded around 106 – 107 by Marcus Ulpius Traianus.

Temples, basilicas, a forum, thermal baths, markets, straight streets covered with massive stone plates… The antique remains of the"flamboyant city" can be seen today in the very centre of Stara Zagora, in the open or “embedded" in modern buildings. To see it by yourself, just go out for a walk and look around:

 

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  • forum1The Augusta Trayana Forum is located in the heart of the modern Stara Zagora. It was built in the southwestern part of the ancient city, right next to the fortress walls and western city gate. The uncovered part has an area of a little less than a hectare. In the centre of the stone square, a pedestal is preserved, on which an emperor’s equestrian statue once stood. Nine rows of stone seats situated on tiers face the square. The theatre could accommodate over 1300 sitting spectators. The south city bath facade which had more than 10 spacious halls, was uncovered behind it.
    Address: 33 Mitropolit M. Kusev blvd
    Admission: free 
  • forum1The main antique street (decumanus maximus) starts from the Western gate and continues in the eastern direction almost to the Historical Museum entrance. The foundations of a number of trade and manufacturing buildings can be seen alongside. It crosses the other main street leading to the southern gate and one can walk down it in the museum.
    Address: east of the Antique Forum, between the Drama Theatre and the Opera House.
    Admission: free

 

  • forum1The main street of the ancient city (cardo maximus) leading to the southern gate is located on the first level of the Regional and fits naturally in the museum expositions.Here visitors can see the richest collection of coins minted in Augusta Tryana; the lapidarium in the east yard of the Museum; archaelogical remains of an antique pool, as well as various artefacts of the ancient city heritage.
    Address: Regional Historical Museum, Ruski 42
    Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00 
    Closed: Monday.
    Admission fees: adults – 5.00 BGN; students and undergraduates – 1.00 BGN; childred under 7 – free; group tours of 10 or more persons – 4.00 BGN.

 

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  • In the basement of the Post Office, the representative hall of a public building from 4th – 6th century can be seen. Its floor is covered with multi-colored mosaics rich in geometric forms, interlacings, pagan and christian symbols. The main pattern of the images consists of the four seasons and the eternal circle of life. The building was located in the southeast area of Augusta Trayana, right next to the fortress wall
    Address: 81 Sv. Knyaz Boris I st., Central Post Office basement 
    Open: Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 18:00. Closed: Sunday
    Admission: free
     

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  • Under one of the main streets of Stara Zagora, a parlor room of a wealthy Roman home is preserved in a special protective building. The mosaic resembles a colorful carpet of geometric ornaments, fruits and animals. Marine animals and swimming women figures are depicted around the small decorative pool. The mosaic is one of the best examples of the Roman provincial art from the 4th century within Bulgaria.
    Address: 17 Gen. Stoletov St. 
    Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00. Closed: Monday.
    Opens only upon a preliminary request at the Museum of History.
    Admission fee: adults – 3.00 BGN; students, undergraduates and retirees – 1.00 BGN; childred under 7 years of age – free; group tours of 10 or more persons – 2.00.00 BGN.

 

To learn all about the history of Augusta Trayana you may request a tour guide at the Museum of History, tel.: 042 919 214. Lecture in Bulgarian is 10.00 BGN and in a foreign language - 20.00 BGN.

With free access to visit, but with an option to request a guide are the ancient street that starts from the western city gate and the Forum of Augusta Trayana, as well as the mosaic in the Central Post Office.

Many other remains of the Roman cities located once on our lands have been discovered. There are also many museums which preserve beautiful artefacts of the Roman art. However, there are only a few locations where in the heart of the modern city one can see in one place the remains of fortress walls and gates, squares and antique streets, residential and public buildings.  The sites included in the tour are located in close proximity to each other and only 2 hours and 30 minutes will be enough for you to dive into the atmosphere of an ancient city – "the flamboyant city of Trayans". At the same time you will feel the spirit of the modern Stara Zagora in the Opera and Drama theatre, the Library, galleries, museum located around, where something special and interesting that is worth visiting takes place every day.