Been on a sightseeing/educational trip around eastern Serbia last weekend.
Our first stop: Viminacium, Roman city from 1st century CE, the capital of the Province of Upper Moesia aka PMS (Provincia Moesia Superior). Kinda funny.
Starting from Belgrade, first 60 km are smoothly done on the E75 highway. The exit you want to take is Požarevac, but take note that it comes supershortly after the (third) exit for Smederevo. The following 40 km are mostly on a good paved road that goes around Požarevac and then toward Kostolac or Maljurevac.
Last several kilometers are awkward because it’s a local road with no signs pointing to Viminacium, but just sporadic small, brown signs saying The road of Roman emperors or something. You generally want to get to the Kostolac power plant and then take a left just in front of its gates. And locals seem glad to help you.
Guided tours start at every full hour, tickets are 500 dinars (≈4 €) but they weirdly never get validated!? Strange.
The first thing you get to see is the remains of the mausoleum of Roman emperors that also has some catacombs so if you’re claustrophobic or afraid of the dark, don’t go into them because it’s really tight and dark down there. Here it’s interesting to see skeletons of people buried in paganic and Christian fashion in 3rd century, just before Christianity was to be proclaimed the official religion.
The second thing is a 2-minute drive away (with your own car!?) and it’s the remains of the thermae with five pools, four of which with warm water and one with cold water. Used water would go to the corner of the building, straight into the toilet room for the plebs. Those Romans were some pragmatic folks.
Across the street are the remains of the oval amphitheater which is now being reconstructed in wood. Once finished, it will be able to host 12,000 spectators, just like it did back in the olden times.
The tour continues with the villa built on top of foundations of the Roman emperors’ residence, with a small wannabe museum featuring models of the ancient town and busts of emperors. Nowadays this villa also has cute little rooms for rent.
The final thing is the skeleton of a mammoth!
This 65-year old cow died some 800,000 years ago in the then-swamp just meters away from the Roman town. She was found in 2009 and is perfectly preserved, and in the exact position in which she died.
If you like Roman culture and/or mammoths, Viminacium is very much worth a visit. It is not that impressive but I still liked it.
My personal favorite
Funky souvenir t-shirt that says I dig mammoth in Serbia 🙂
In the vicinity don’t miss
Srebrno Lake and Ram fortress which we visited immediately afterwards.