Via Principalis

October 23, 2017
October 23, 2017


Rectangular in shape, with a gate placed on each side and with main roads that connected the gates placed on opposite sides. This is how the Apulum Roman castrum was planned by the engineers and the architects of the Roman Empire, almost two millennia ago.

If you wonder how did the roads cutting the ancient Apulum looked like, we can tell you that in Alba Iulia we have a section of Via Principalis. It was the road that connected the main gates of the castrum, the southern and the northern ones. Via Principalis was passing in front of the „Principia” of the Roman castrum, that is to say the headquarters of the 13th Legion Gemina.

Here, a part of the 1800 years old building is visible inside the Principia Museum. Every day, carts with salt, oil, wine or even military equipment necessary for the inhabitants of the castrum were passing on the road paved with stone slabs.

The vestiges of the road, on which the Roman soldiers used to walk, came out during the restoration process of the Alba Carolina Citadel. After the archaeological campaign, the area nearby the Michael the Brave street, the main road of the citadel, was chosen to be preserved and to be made visible. Those who come here may see road slabs preserved in situ but also the brick channel underneath the longitudinal axis of the road that was meant to ensure its drainage.

The central part of the road was flanked by two rows of stone slabs with carved edges that were meant to prevent the sideslip of the carts that ensured the food and equipment supplies of the military camp.

The restoration team highlighted segments of the side channels placed by the Romans in order to ensure the drainage of the rainwater but also some of the columns of the porticus, the covered gallery that guarded the road on each side. The traces of the Apulum Roman castrum, archaeologically researched and touristically highlighted, are part of the „European Cultural Route of the Roman emperors and wine along the Danube”.