THE PRINCIPIA MUSEUM

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNION
October 23, 2017
FORMER MILITARY HOSPITAL
October 23, 2017

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Located in the Citadel Square, the Principia Museum is the place where a part of the Principia building of the Roman castrum in Apulum is touristically highlighted. The headquarters of the 13th Legion Gemina was here, the 13th being the only legion that remained in Dacia province during the entire period of Roman occupation. The museum is one of the places where you can find the story of the castrum built by the Romans in Apulum. Principia was only partially researched and highlighted because a large part of the ensemble is under the street near the „December 1st, 1918” University.

The exhibition in the museum courtyard presents artifacts discovered during the archaeological research campaign in the area or from the older collections of the History Museum in Alba Iulia, that is to say some statues and altars. The bronze statue at the entrance of the museum shows us how the Roman soldier was equipped 1900 years ago, the times when Dacia became one of the last territories included within the borders of the Roman Empire.

The inner area preserves in situ important traces of the Principia. The visitors can see the rooms where the treasure and the standards were kept or the place where the briefing of the officers and of the soldiers was performed. Also inside the original pavement of some rooms is highlighted or the hypocaustum, the well-known heating system of the Romans.

You are probably wondering what were the reasons for choosing the five emperors whose bronze statues are placed inside and outside the museum? All had an important role in the evolution of the ancient Apulum but also for the history of the Roman empire in general. Traian was the one who conquered Dacia. Under Hadrian the primary stages for the construction of the Apulum stone castrum were initiated. Under Marcus Aurelius the first urban center in Apulum received the status of municipium and Septimius Severus gave the same status to the second urban center in Apulum, the one developed around the castrum.

The sources tell us about Caracalla that he arrived in Apulum accompanied by his mother (Iulia Domna) around 213. Some medieval interpretations regarding the name „Alba Iulia” connect the name with the name of this empress.

Inside the museum you can live a few moments from the life of a  Roman soldier by being equipped with the complex reconstruction replica of a military gear. Even more, the atmosphere of the ancient world with its Roman legionnaires, Dacian warriors, gladiators and dancers is revived by the reenactment group from Alba Iulia which has had a very intense public presence during the touristic season.

The museum was opened for public in 2015 and it is a place where more and more events and temporary exhibitions take place.

The traces of the Principia and other Roman objectives researched and highlighted in Alba Carolina Citadel is part of the „European Cultural Route of the Roman emperors and wine along the Danube”.

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