Archaeological park Emona in managed by Museum and galleries of Ljubljana.

Slovenia Archeological park and Roman town Emona

Archaeological park Emona in managed by Museum and galleries of Ljubljana.

A special place in Ljubljana's history is reserved for Roman Emona, the traces of which have been preserved in the very centre of the city. Archaeological park Emona is an urban park consisting of several locations, connected with a circular, well-marked trail.

Emona (Colonia Iulia Aemona) was a Roman settlement in the centre of today's Ljubljana. Its name is probably of Celtic, pre-Roman origin. The Ljubljana basin had already been populated before Roman times and already during prehistory important trade routes from the Apennine Peninsula, the Baltic Sea and the Balkans ran through it.

Sozomen, a Byzantine ecclesiastical historian, attributed the founding of the first settlement in the area of Emona to Jason and the Argonauts in the 13th century BCE. They sailed and navigated up the Sava River to a place where they wintered and then made their way to the land of Italics on the Ljubljanica River and on foot. After the Roman conquest in the second half of 1st century BCE a military camp was constructed under Castle Hill. By the year 15 CE the Romans then constructed a rectangular town, protected by mighty stone walls and a three-sided double trench, which had all the characteristics of a Roman castrum. This town was founded with the intention of reinforcing the hinterlands after the Illyrian revolts. Its first settlers were colonizers from Italy and Gaul, their slaves and Roman army veterans.

Emona held an important role in the defence of Italy between the 2nd and 4th century. During the 2nd century the city suffered due to Marcomannic Wars and plague, while in 238 its own citizens burned it down and abandoned it to prevent the army of the usurper Maximinus Thrax to make camp there. In 408 Emona was visited by Alaric I, king of the Visigoths. As the Byzantine magister militium he was on a mission to retake Italy for the Byzantine Empire and it is likely that bribes saved the skins of Emonans.

In 452 the city was ravaged and partially destroyed by the Huns. Emona was impoverished but lived on. At the end of the 5th and start of the 6th century the city was ruled by the Visigoths, who left only a few tracks behind. During the restless times of Late Antiquity and the Migration Period in the 6th century people started taking refuge in remote and inaccessible locations (Sveti Lovrenc on the Polhograjska gora hill, Molnik, Moreček, Golo) and migrating to coastal cities, especially Koper, Piran and Novigrad.


Archaeological park Emona in managed by Museum and  galleries of Ljubljana.

The institution Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana was established in 2009 and comprises the City Museum of Ljubljana (including Archaeological park Emona), the Jakopič Gallery, the Vžigalica Gallery, the City Art Gallery of Ljubljana, the Bežigrad Gallery 1, the Bežigrad Gallery 2, Galerija 001 and the Tobacco Museum situated in the Tobačna 001 Cultural Centre as well as Plečnik House in Trnovo.

The Institute’s mission is to record, collect, document, valuate, preserve, interpret, study and present tangible and intangible heritage relating to the history of the City of Ljubljana and its wider surroundings from the Prehistoric Period until the present day, to conduct pedagogic, andragogic and promotional activities concerning the Institute’s operations, and related vocational training.

By holding exhibitions and compiling collections of museum objects, of archive and library materials and of other documentary materials, modern and contemporary works of art as well as contemporary art practices, the Institute provides access to public cultural goods and engages in international exchange


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