Antique Military Camp Nove, SvishtovCod 2569

3 km east from Svishtov are the remains of the Roman legion Nove – the best studied military camp in the border area of the former Roman Empire. Nove was founded on the banks of the Danube River as a military camp of the VIII August Legion about 45 AD. Troops were accommodated in the camp and thats why there were watchtowers and fortresses.

Nove was an extremely important part of the Roman Empire defence line because the legion located here watched over the territories conquered in Thrace and Macedonia against the attacks of the northern tribes.

Initially the camp covered a surface of 17 ha but it gradually expanded with another 10 ha. The camp had a rectangular shape and a gate in each wall. Inside were the headquarters of the Legion, home of the commander and officers homes, a military hospital, the legion bath, soldiers` barracks and premises for auxiliary troops. The civilian population lived outside the fortress.

Gradually Nove changed its appearance and new churches and workshops were built. In the 5th – 6th century Novae was also a headquarters of a bishop.

Today only the remains of the former fortifications and buildings can be visited. Computer restoration of the military camp and the buildings around it can be seen on information boards amidst the remains. Novae was mentioned for the last time in the beginning of the 7th century.
The “Principality” or the headquarters of the legion was the largest construction found in Novae. Many statues and treasures were found in this place. They can be seen in the visitors’ center, built next to the excavations. The remains of the military hospital (valetudinarium) are also interesting to see. An information board shows what the building where up to 300 legionnaires had been healed simultaneously, had looked like. There was also a small sanctuary in the hospital yard, dedicated to the Gods of Health – Asclepius and Hygeia.

Outside the Legion’s bastion, near the west gate were found the remains of a building with unknown designation. For a long time, it was considered a residence of the legion chief. The recently found inscriptions state that this had probably been a residence of high-ranking persons who had temporarily resided here.

In the 5th – 6th century the Legion’s fortress turned into an early byzantine town. The remains of the Bishop’s complex date back to those times. It consisted of a large and a small basilica, residential premises with an impressive bath, and a building impressive in size, which was designated for receiving the pilgrims to the local martyr St. Lupus.

A baptistery impressive with its architecture was found west from the basilica entrance. It was an extension to the church in which Christianization was performed.

Novae was declared an architectural and constructional monument of national significance in 1968.

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