Category Archives: World Heritage Sites

Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Belgium as we head to  to check out the La Grand-Place.

It’s been awhile, but today we’re traveling back to Portugal as we explore Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores!

Situated on one of the islands in the Azores archipelago, this was an obligatory port of call from the 15th Century until the advent of the steamship in the 19th Century. The 400-year-old San Sebastião and San João Baptista fortifications are unique examples of military architecture.

Damaged by an earthquake in 1980, Angra is now being restored.

How This Relates to Rome:

Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC. The Carthaginians, Rome’s adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies. During the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula was annexed to the Res Publica Romana (Roman Republic).

Roman Legions battling in Lusitania.

The Roman conquest of what is now part of Portugal took almost 200 years and took many lives of young soldiers and the lives of those who were sentenced to the slavery mines, when not sold as slaves to other parts of the Imperium Rōmānum (Roman Empire). It suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when the Lusitanians and other native tribes, under the leadership of Viriathus, wrested control of all of western Iberia.

Rome sent numerous Legions and its best Generals to Lusitania to quell the rebellion, but to no avail since the Lusitanians kept conquering territory. The Roman leaders changed their strategy and bribed Viriathus’s allies to kill him.

In 139 BC, Viriathus was assassinated, and Tautalus became leader. Rome installed a colonial regime, and the complete Romanization of Lusitania only took place in the Visigothic era.

In 27 BC, Lusitania gained the status of Roman province. Later, a northern province of Lusitania was formed, known as Gallaecia, with capital in Bracara Augusta (today’s Braga).

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

La Grand-Place, Brussels

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Classical Anatolia (or modern Turkey) as we head to  to check out the Archaeological Site of Ani.

It’s been awhile, but today we’re traveling back into Belgium as we explore La Grand-Place!

Around a cobbled rectangular market square, La Grand-Place in Brussels, the earliest written reference to which dates back to the 12th Century, features buildings emblematic of municipal and ducal powers, and the old houses of corporations. An architectural jewel, it stands as an exceptional and highly successful example of an eclectic blending of architectural and artistic styles of Western culture, which illustrates the vitality of this important political and commercial center.

The Grand-Place testifies in particular to the success of Brussels, mercantile city of Northern Europe that, at the height of its prosperity, rose from the terrible bombardment inflicted by the troops of Louis XIV in 1695. Destroyed in 3 days, the heart of the medieval city underwent a rebuilding campaign conducted under the supervision of the City Magistrate, which was spectacular not only by the speed of its implementation, but also by its ornamental wealth and architectural coherence.

Today the Grand-Place remains the faithful reflection of the square destroyed by the French artillery. It testifies to the symbolic intentions of the power and pride of the Brussels bourgeois who chose to restore their city to its former glory rather than rebuild in a contemporary style, a trend commonly observed elsewhere.

A pinnacle of Brabant Gothic, the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), accentuated by its bell tower, is the most famous landmark of the Grand-Place. The King’s House has been occupied for decades by the City Museum.

Each house has a name and specific attributes, heightened with gold, reminiscent of the status of its occupants. It is interesting to note that this is a rare example of a square without a church or any other place of worship, which emphasizes its mercantile and administrative nature.

How This Relates to Rome:

During Antiquity, the region now known as Brussels was already home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the center. The origin of the settlement that was to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus‘ construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around AD 580.

Provincia Belgica within the Roman Empire (22 BC–5th Century).

The name Belgium is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Archaeological Site of Ani

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in the Switzerland to uncover the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch.

Today we’re traveling back into Classical Anatolia (or modern Turkey) as we check out the Archaeological Site of Ani!

Ani (known in Latin as Abnicum) is a ruined medieval Armenian city now situated in Turkey‘s province of Kars, next to the closed border with Armenia. Ani stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world.

This site is located on a secluded plateau of northeast Turkey overlooking a ravine that forms a natural border with Armenia. This medieval city combines residential, religious and military structures, characteristic of a medieval urbanism built up over the centuries by Christian and then Muslim dynasties.

The city flourished in the 10th and 11th Centuries AD when it became the capital of the medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides and profited from control of one branch of the Silk Road. Later, under Byzantine, Seljuk and Georgian sovereignty, it maintained its status as an important crossroads for merchant caravans.

The Mongol invasion and a devastating earthquake in 1319 marked the beginning of the city’s decline. The site presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of medieval architecture through examples of almost all the different architectural innovations of the region between the 7th and 13th Centuries AD.

How This Relates to Rome:

The Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or simply Greater Armenia (Armenia Maior), was a monarchy in the Ancient Near East which existed from 321 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into successive reigns by 3 royal dynasties: Orontid (321 BC–200 BC), Artaxiad (189 BC–12 AD) and Arsacid (52–428).

Roman-Parthian Wars Campaign Map (AD 58-60).

During the Roman–Parthian Wars, the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia was founded when Tiridates I, a member of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty, was proclaimed King of Armenia in AD 52. Throughout most of its history during this period, Armenia was heavily contested between Rome and Parthia, and the Armenian nobility was divided among pro-Roman, pro-Parthian or neutrals.

Statue of Trajan (2nd Century AD) from Ostia Antica.

From AD 114 to 118, Armenia briefly became a province of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan. The Kingdom of Armenia often served as a client state or vassal at the frontier of the two large empires and their successors, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. In 301, Tiridates III proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, making the Armenian kingdom the first state to embrace Christianity officially.

During the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, Armenia was ultimately partitioned into Byzantine Armenia in 387 and Persian Armenia in 428.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in the Tunisia to uncover the Amphitheatre of El Jem.

Today we’re traveling back into Europe as we head to Switzerland to check out the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch!

The extension of the natural World Heritage property of Jungfrau – Aletsch – Bietschhorn (first inscribed in 2001), expands the site to the east and west, bringing its surface area up to 203,615 acres (up from 133,190). The site provides an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia.

 

It features a wide diversity of ecosystems, including successional stages due particularly to the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The site is of outstanding universal value both for its beauty and for the wealth of information it contains about the formation of mountains and glaciers, as well as ongoing climate change.

It is also invaluable in terms of the ecological and biological processes it illustrates, notably through plan succession. Its impressive landscape has played an important role in European art, literature, mountaineering and alpine tourism.

How This Relates to Rome:

Julius Caesar and Divico parley after the battle at the Saône (Karl Jauslin, 19th Century).

One of the most important tribal groups in the Swiss region was the Helvetii. Steadily harassed by the Germanic tribes, in 58 BC the Helvetii decided to abandon the Swiss plateau and migrate to western Gallia, but Julius Caesar‘s forces pursued and defeated them at the Battle of Bibracte, in today’s eastern France, forcing the tribe to move back to its original homeland.

In 15 BC, Tiberius, who was destined to be the 2nd Roman Emperor and his brother, Drusus, conquered the Alps, integrating them into the Roman Empire. The area occupied by the Helvetii—the namesakes of the later Confoederatio Helvetica—first became part of Rome’s Gallia Belgica province and then of its Germania Superior province, while the eastern portion of modern Switzerland was integrated into the Roman province of Raetia.

Remains of the Roman Theatre of Vindonissa.

Sometime around the start of the Common Era, the Romans maintained a large Legionary Camp called Vindonissa. Now a ruin at the confluence of the Aare and Reuss rivers, the Roman camp was near the modern town of Windisch.

The 1st and 2nd Century AD were an age of prosperity for the population living on the Swiss plateau. Several towns, like Aventicum, Iulia Equestris and Augusta Raurica, reached a remarkable size. Also, hundreds of agricultural estates (Villae rusticae) were founded in the countryside.

The Roman Empire in AD 120 and Germania.

Around 260 AD, the fall of the Agri Decumates territory north of the Rhine transformed today’s Switzerland into a frontier land of the Empire. Repeated raids by the Alamanni tribes provoked the ruin of the Roman towns and economy, forcing the population to find shelter near Roman fortresses, like the Castrum Rauracense.

The Empire built another line of defense at the north border (the so-called Donau-Iller-Rhine-Limes), but at the end of the 4th Century the increased Germanic pressure forced the Romans to abandon the linear defense concept, and the Swiss plateau was finally open to the settlement of Germanic tribes.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Amphitheatre of El Jem

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in the Ukraine to uncover the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora.

Today we’re traveling out of Europe, but still within the Imperium Rōmānum, to Tunisia as we check out the Amphitheatre of El Jem!

The Amphitheatre of El Jem bears outstanding witness to Roman architecture, notably monuments built for spectator events, in Africa. Located in a plain in the center of Tunisia, this amphitheatre is built entirely of stone blocks, with no foundations and free-standing.

In this respect it is modeled on the Colosseum of Rome without being an exact copy of the Flavian construction. Its size (big axis of 162 yards and small axis 133 yards) and its capacity (judged to be 35,000 spectators) make it without a doubt among the largest amphitheatres in the world.

Its facade comprises 3 levels of arcades of Corinthian or composite style. Inside, the monument has conserved most of the supporting infrastructure for the tiered seating.

The wall of the podium, the arena and the underground passages are practically intact. This architectural and artistic creation built around 238 AD, constitutes an important milestone in the comprehension of the history of Roman Africa.

The Amphitheatre of El Jem also bears witness to the prosperity of the small city of Thysdrus (current El Jem) at the time of the Roman Empire.

How This Relates to Rome:

The toponym Thysdrus has Berber roots, and the city was founded by the Romans on the site of an ancient, small Berber Punic village. Thysdrus probably received Julius Caesar‘s veterans as settlers in 45 BC.

Thysdrus did not become a Municipium (settlement with partial rights of citizenship) until the reign of Septimius Severus. In 244 AD it was declared Colonia by Emperor Gordian III.

Thysdrus grew to be the main center of olive oil production in Roman Africa thanks to the Romano-Berber Emperor Septimius Severus and his successors. So, by the early 3rd Century AD, when the huge amphitheater was built, Thysdrus rivaled Hadrumetum (modern Sousse) as the 2nd City of Roman North Africa, after Carthage.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Greece to uncover the Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika.

Today we’re traveling all the way to the Ukraine as we check out the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora!

Remains of the theatre from the ancient city of Tauric Chersonese.

Tauric Chersonese and its chora are the remains of an ancient city, founded in the 5th Century BC as a colonial settlement of the Dorian Greeks, located on the Heraclean Peninsula in south-west Crimea. The polis and extended chora of Tauric Chersonese form an outstanding example of an ancient cultural landscape, consisting of a Greek polis and its agricultural hinterland established as part of colonist activities in the 4th and 3rd Century BC.

The significant archaeological ruins of the city retain physical remains constructed between the 5th Century BC and the 13th Century AD laid out on an orthogonal grid system. The basic orientation of this orthogonal grid continues into the wider landscape where fragments of a vast land demarcation system of 400 equal allotments in an area of 24,710 acres have been preserved.

The Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its chora is an exceptional example of a peripheral center of movement of people which acted as an important gateway to the north-eastern parts of the Greek trade influence, including the Crimea and the Scythian state. The city maintained its strategic role over almost 2 millennia and provides a unique example for the continuity and longevity of a mercantile outpost connecting the different Black Sea trade routes.

The site features several public building complexes and residential neighborhoods, as well as early Christian monuments alongside remains from Stone and Bronze Age settlements; Roman and Medieval tower fortifications and water supply systems; and exceptionally well-preserved examples of vineyard planting and dividing walls.

How This Relates to Rome:

Beginning in the 6th Century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras, Olbia and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea. These colonies thrived well into the 6th Century AD being known as the most productive wine center of the Black Sea and remained a hub of exchange between populations north of the Black Sea.

The 1935 Basilica, named as such since the true name has never been discovered.

Chersonesus was subject to Rome from the middle of the 1st Century BC until the 370s AD, when it was captured by the Huns.

It became a Byzantine possession during the Early Middle Ages and withstood a siege by the Göktürks in 581. Byzantine rule was slight, and there was a small imperial garrison more for the town’s protection than for its control.

Its isolation made it a popular place of exile for those who angered the Roman and later Byzantine governments. Among its more famous “inmates” were Pope Clement IPope Martin I, and the deposed Byzantine Emperor Justinian II.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Croatia to uncover the Cathedral of St James in Šibenik.

Today we’re traveling all the way to Greece as we check out the  Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika!

Rotunda of St George

Founded in 315 BC, the provincial capital and sea port of Thessalonika was one of the initial bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are fine churches, some built on the Greek cross plan and others on the 3-aisled basilica plan.

Constructed over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th Century, they constitute a diachronic typological series, which had considerable influence in the Byzantine world. The mosaics of Thessalonika’s monuments (such as the Rotunda, Saint Demetrius and Hosios David [Latomou Monastery]) are among the great masterpieces of Early Christian art.

The monuments of Thessalonika inscribed on the World Heritage List are public edifices of various functions, religious, secular, military, including the 2.5 mi long city walls. Because of their outstanding design and major artistic value these monuments are included among the most significant of the Byzantine period.

Walls of Thessaloniki

Throughout the Byzantine era, the city constituted a cultural center that determined the developments not only in immediately surrounding but also in neighboring areas. It played an active or even competitive role in artistic trends originating in Constantinople.

The monuments of Thessalonika reveal a continuous artistic exchange with the greatest cultural centers of each era (Rome, Constantinople). The city itself was an important artistic center, from its foundation and throughout the Byzantine period.

Wall painting ensembles, mosaics and frescoes, preserved in Thessalonika’s monuments, represent some of the major artistic trends, that have been developed in Byzantine monumental painting from its beginnings (the Rotunda, Saint Demetrius, Hosios David), through the first period after iconoclasm (Saint Sophia) and the Comnenian period (Hosios David frescoes) to its culmination known as the Palaeologan Renaissance (late Byzantine period).

To this last period belong significant monuments such as the Holy Apostles, the chapel of Saint Euthymios in the Church of Saint Demetrius, Saint Nikolaos Orphanos, Saint Panteleimon, the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Saint Aikaterini, Prophitis Ilias, the Katholikon (main church) of the Vlatadon Monastery which reflect all the tendencies of the Palaeologan Renaissance.

How This Relates to Rome:

The city of Thessaloniki in Macedonia, Greece, for several centuries the second-most important city of the Byzantine Empire, played an important role for Christianity during the Middle Ages and was decorated by impressive buildings.

The Battle of Corinth (146 BC) was a battle fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek city-state of Corinth and its allies.

Roman Greece as described here is the period of Greek history affecting its subsequent constituent Roman provinces that followed the Roman victory over the Corinthians, at the Battle of Corinth (146 BC), until the adoption of the city of Byzantium by the Emperor Constantine the Great as the capital of the Roman Empire (as Nova Roma, later Constantinople) in AD 330.

During the 2nd and 3rd Centuries, Greece was divided into provinces including Achaea, Macedonia, Epirus vetus and Thracia. During the reign of Diocletian in the late 3rd Century, the western Balkans were organized as a Roman diocese, and was ruled by Galerius.

Arch of Galerius and Rotunda, Thessaloniki.

Under Constantine I Greece was part of the dioceses of Macedonia and Thrace. The eastern and southern Aegean islands formed the province of Insulae in the Diocese of Asia.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Britannia to uncover the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

Today we’re traveling all the way to Croatia as we check out the Cathedral of St James in Šibenik!

 

The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik (1431-1535), on the Dalmatian coast, bears witness to the considerable exchanges in the field of monumental arts between Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th Centuries.

The Cathedral of St. James is a triple-nave basilica with 3 apses and a dome (105 ft high inside) in the city of Šibenik. It is the church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the see of the Šibenik diocese.

It is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country. The 3 architects who succeeded one another in the construction of the Cathedral – Francesco di Giacomo, Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino – developed a structure built entirely from stone and using unique construction techniques for the vaulting and the dome of the Cathedral.

It is often mistakenly known as “St Jacob’s”, because Croatian, like many other languages, uses the same name for both “James” and “Jacob”. Dedicated to Saint James the Greater, the Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.

The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art.

 

How This Relates to Rome:

In 9 AD the territory of today’s Croatia became part of the Imperium Rōmānum (Roman Empire). Emperor Diocletian built a large palace in Split when he retired in AD 305.

During the 5th Century, one of the last Emperors of the Western Roman Empire, Julius Nepos, ruled his small empire from the palace. The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the earlier half of the 7th Century and destruction of almost all Roman towns.

Roman survivors retreated to more favorable sites on the coast, islands and mountains. The city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Britannia to uncover the Ironbridge Gorge.

Today we’re staying in Britannia as we check out the Heart of Neolithic Orkney!

The Standing Stones of Stenness

The Orkney Islands lie 9.3 miles north of the coast of Scotland. The monuments are in 2 areas, some 4.1 miles apart on the island of Mainland, the largest in the archipelago.

The group of monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney consists of a remarkably well-preserved settlement, a large chambered tomb, and 2 stone circles with surrounding henges, together with a number of associated burial and ceremonial sites. The group constitutes a major relict cultural landscape graphically depicting life five thousand years ago in this remote archipelago.

The 4 main monuments, consisting of the 4 substantial surviving elliptical stones of the Standing Stones of Stenness and the surrounding ditch and bank of the henge, the 36 surviving stones of the circular Ring of Brodgar with the 13 Neolithic and Bronze Age mounds that are found around it and the stone setting known as the Comet Stone, the large stone chambered tomb of Maeshowe, whose passage points close to midwinter sunset, and the sophisticated settlement of Skara Brae with its stone built houses connected by narrow roofed passages, together with the Barnhouse Stone and the Watch Stone, serve as a paradigm of the megalithic culture of north-western Europe that is  unparalleled.

Excavated dwellings at Skara Brae, Europe’s most complete Neolithic village.

The property is characteristic of the farming culture prevalent from before 4000 BC in northwest Europe. It provides exceptional evidence of, and demonstrates with exceptional completeness, the domestic, ceremonial, and burial practices of a now vanished 5000-year-old culture and illustrates the material standards, social structures and ways of life of this dynamic period of prehistory, which gave rise to Avebury and Stonehenge (England), Bend of the Boyne (Ireland) and Carnac (France).

How This Relates to Rome:

Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels. The Late Latin word Scotia (Land of the Gaels) was initially used to refer to Ireland.

By the 11th Century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to (Gaelic-speaking) Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, both derived from the Gaelic Alba. The use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.

The written protohistory of Scotland began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in southern and central Great Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a province called Britannia. Roman invasions and occupations of southern Scotland were a series of brief interludes.

Tablet found at Bo’ness (ca. AD 142) depicting Roman Cavalryman trampling Picts.

According to the Roman historian Tacitus, the Caledonians attacked Roman forts and skirmished with their Legions. In a surprise night-attack, the Caledonians very nearly wiped out the whole 9th Legion until it was saved by General Gnaeus Julius Agricola‘s Cavalry.

The Romans erected Hadrian’s Wall to control tribes on both sides of the wall so the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. Although the Roman Army held the Antonine Wall in the Central Lowlands for 2 short periods, the last during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus from 208 until 210, Rome would never control the land known today as Scotland.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Ironbridge Gorge

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in France to uncover the Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne.

Today we’re crossing the Chanel from France as we head to Britannia to check out the Ironbridge Gorge!

The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge, containing the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth, at the end of the last ice age.

The deep exposure of the rocks cut through by the gorge exposed commercial deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay, which enabled the rapid economic development of the area during the early Industrial Revolution.

Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from its famous Iron Bridge, the first iron bridge of its kind in the world, and a monument to the industry that began there. The bridge was built in 1779 to link the industrial town of Broseley with the smaller mining town of Madeley and the growing industrial center of Coalbrookdale.

The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage property covers an area of 550 ha and is located in Telford, Shropshire, approximately 31 mi north-west of Birmingham. The Industrial Revolution had its 18th Century roots in the Ironbridge Gorge and spread worldwide leading to some of the most far-reaching changes in human history.

The site incorporates a 3 mi length of the steep-sided, mineral-rich Severn Valley from a point immediately west of Ironbridge downstream to Coalport, together with 2 smaller river valleys extending northwards to Coalbrookdale and Madeley.

How This Relates to Rome:

The area around Telford was an early settlement in the area thought to be on the land that sloped up from the Weald Moors (an area north of the town center) towards the line along which the Roman Watling Street was built.

The greater area of  Shropshire was listed in Ptolemy‘s 2nd Century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th Century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys.

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!