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Remains of Roman gate uncovered in downtown Vienna


Archaeological finds from the time when the Roman legionary camp Vindobona still stood here have come to light in the area of Graben / Tuchlauben in the inner city of Vienna.

Remains of Roman gate uncovered in downtown Vienna
According to Viennese city archaeology, the city gate once looked like this
[Credit: APA/City Archaeology Vienna]
According to Constance Litschauer and Martin Mosser of the Vienna City Archaeology, pipes were installed here about a hundred years ago that passed by the site. However, the significance of the find was apparently not recognized at that time.


According to the archaeologists, the stone blocks, which now reappeared due to construction work after a gas defect, belonged to the foundation of a gate at the end of the street. In Roman times the Via Decumana is said to have ended here in a city gate, the Porta Decumana.

Remains of Roman gate uncovered in downtown Vienna
The foundation stones can be seen next to the pipeline
[Credit: APA/City Archaeology Vienna]
The Via Decumana led directly from the outskirts to the Vindobona camp. The remains of the surrounding settlement can be seen on the neighbouring Michaelerplatz.


In front of the walls bordering on both sides, there was the usual ditch with various defensive installations. The gate itself existed until the 12th century, when it was rebuilt on the foundations of the Roman remains.

Remains of Roman gate uncovered in downtown Vienna
Unearthed foundation block of the Roman gateway 
[Credit: APA/City Archaeology Vienna]
In the place of the Porta Decumana, the so-called Peiler or Bairertor was erected, which stood there until 1731. Thanks to the chance discovery that has now been made, the south-western main entrance to the former fort can now be located quite precisely.


A few metres away, another block was uncovered that could have marked the middle of the road or the division of the gate. Also gravel remains were sighted. According to the archaeologists, the road surface used by the technically relatively advanced Romans was of higher quality than that used later in the Middle Ages.

Remains of Roman gate uncovered in downtown Vienna
Plan of the Roman military camp Vindobona
[Credit: APA/City Archaeology Vienna]
The now excavated remains, however, will soon vanish again under the pavement, and there will be no further archaeological excavations. But there are hopes for further discoveries elsewhere: The neighbouring Rotenturmstraße also follows the old camp boundary, and construction work is currently taking place there as well.

Source: Der Standard [May 19, 2019]

TANN

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