|Danube Limes Brand celebrates the International Danube Limes Day 2014
All the Danube Limes Brand SEE project partners launched and celebrated a newly created International Danube Limes Day in June and beginning of July 2014, including various events in each partner country in the frame of the Joint Limes Tourism Action Plan. This initiative was designed to inform about the Danube Limes UNESCO nomination process and the main outcomes and benefits of the project and to integrate local communities into it, and also to address and mobilise various other target groups – teachers and pupils, families with children, scholars and a wider public.
The campaign started with a shipping cruise on the Danube from Krems to Spitz on June 5th, in between passing the fort of Favianis-Mautern. This event was organized by the Danube University Krems, who informed about the strategic role of the Roman army and the daily life at the Danube Limes sites in the famous Wachau Valley and entertained 6 teachers and 60 pupils from 3 school classes on this day. The Rimini Ancient World Festival, organised by the City Museum and the Province of Rimini on 20-22 June, brought the Danube Limes closer to the homeland of the Roman soldiers.It emphasized the common history in various lectures and commemorated Ariminum-Rimini as a starting point for the conquest of the Danube area. The organizers entertained the locals and their visitors with performances of ancient authors and spectacular battle scenes between Roman soldiers and barbarian tribes much acclaimed by hundreds of spectators.
The National Museum of Slavonia Osijek organised a full week of activities in the City and University Library from 23 to 29 June. Activities included theatrical performances on Roman authors, films, reading of Roman literature on scientific as well as popular books and the presentation of Roman clothing. In those actions attended by several hundreds of visitors, the museum staff in Mursa-Osijek involved a network of local and regional institutions such as the Jesuit Classical Gymnasium in Osijek, the City and University Library and the Tourist Boards of Osijek, Bilje and Osijek Baranja County.
On 27-28 June the Lead Partner, Institute for History, Vienna University initiated an inter-disciplinary scientific conference “Danube – Limes, Landscapes, Life Spheres” in Vindobona-Vienna bringing together scholars from various Eastern and Western European countries. The Danube programme presented a wide range of topics from the transformation of a socio-natural site and the history of its people including the reconstruction of Roman ships, trade of commodities and the flow of people and cultural influences along the river from Roman to Modern times. A special highlight of the event was a visit of all participants to the National Library to see one of its most prominent heirlooms, the ancient Roman map “Tabula Peutingeriana”.
About 200 local inhabitants and visitors enjoyed the family programme celebrated in the village of Roman fort site Azaum-Almásfüzitő in Hungary on 28 June. This Roman event was organised by the Károly Róbert College Gyöngyös together with colleagues from the Archaeological Museum of Komárom and the Etvös-Loránt University in Budapest. The Roman army show and the scenes of the battle between the Roman soldiers and the Barbarian tribes were so successful that they had to be repeated five(!) times to satisfy the audience. Kids had the chance to join the troops of their choice, and, of course, they preferred climbing the walls and shouting together with the wild attackers. This seemed to be more fun than incorporating men of honour, protecting the glory of the Great Roman Empire.
Two of the partners decided to schedule their activities on the 29 June together with the celebration of the International Danube Day. Coordinated by the Monument Preservation Authority Bratislava, approximately 120 participants from Bratislava and Roman fort site Gerulata-Rusovce in Slovakia paid a visit to the neighbouring capital of the Roman province of Pannonia Superior, preserved and partly rebuilt in the Archaeological Park Carnuntum-Petronell. After the extensive visit of their neighbours they returned to Gerulata the same way they had arrived, by bike, bus and even on the Danube by canoe. The party – reinforced by 200 more actors and audience – continued in Gerulata-Rusovce, where Roman military skills, camp life and leisure activities were shown to the public. Monuments in exceptionally good preservation and the history of the Danube Limes in Bulgaria could be visited on 29 June in the museums of the Roman fort sites Dimum-Belene, Transmarisca-Tutrakan, Sexaginta Prista-Ruse, Durostorum-Silistra and Bononia-Vidin in an event organised and coordinated by the National Archaeological Institute and Museum in Sofia.
The 5th July saw a great spectaculum at the legionary fortress site Viminacium-Kostolac in Serbia at the fabulous Archaeological Park. Local kids and more than hundred guests, among them representatives of tourist organizations from cities along the Danube, local authorities and local and international media were involved in Roman games and demonstrations of Roman army life in a frontier community. The newly conserved and partly reconstructed amphitheatre provided the setting for a training act of Roman soldiers performed by an initiative group from Archeon Archaeological Park in The Netherlands (cooperating with the local organisers in the OpenArch EU project). They were joined in this by very engaged volunteers – mostly children from the hockey team Partizan Belgrade. Afterwards the organising partner, the Serbian Archaeological Institute provided a degustation of Roman food and wine inside the Domus, served in replicas of Roman dishes and beakers found at Viminacium. This was followed by a final concert of the excellent Brothers Teofilović performing old Serbian and Macedonian songs à capella.
Our Romanian partner, the National Institute of Heritage, chose the municipality of Carsium-Harsova, Constanța County and its City Hall as the location for their Danube Limes Day event show. A temporary exhibition on the Danube Limes in Romania opened there on July 5th. Many representatives of the local municipality attended the event. The exhibition demonstrated once more the very impressive richness of the nearly untouched and spectacularly located Limes fort sites along this Lower Danube section. The National Institute of Heritage also emphasized the broad vision of such a joint multinational UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the various opportunities and benefits cultural tourism could bring into the area. Local inhabitants followed the performance of a Roman re-enactment group and participated in the following joint visit of the Carsium Roman fort at the edge of the village and the museum exhibition.
This international Limes Day celebration 2014 turned into a great success. It united regions in partner countries and involved a series of bigger and smaller municipalities and several thousand participants along the Danube frontier and in the Roman heartland Italy in the commemoration of their common Roman past. It created a lot of enthusiasm and engagement in actors, audiences and organisers in and outside the local communities. This will hopefully carry this initiative into the following years to support a sustainable cultural tourism development inside a future UNESCO site and to the benefit of local communities.
List of sites and partners involved
5 June 2014: Krems/Stein – Spitz (AT)
Ship Cruise, On the Danube with the Romans
- Danube limes Day Krems AT Participants. Presentation: DANUNI Krems
22 June 2014: Rimini (IT)
Ancient World Festival, Ariminum and Danube Limes: a common history
- Danube Limes Day Rimini Photo: Prov Rimini
23–29 June 2014: Osijek (HR)
Events and Exhibition, The Danube Limes in Croatia
Annoncement of Danube Limes Day in Croatia
27–28 June 2014: Vienna (AT)
Conference, The Danube Area, Limes, Landscapes, Life spheres
- Danube Limes Day Vienna. Photo W.Kusché
28 June 2014: Almásfüzitő – Azaum Roman fort (HU)
Event, Carpe Diem, Live like a Roman for a Day
29 June 2014: Rusovce – Gerulata Roman fort (SK) & Archaeological Park Carnuntum (AT)
Event, On the Limes Road between Gerulata and Carnuntum
29 June 2014: Silistra, Tutrakan, Ruse, Belene, Vidin (BG)
Event The Danube Limes in Bulgaria
5 July 2014: Kostolac Viminacium Archaeological Park (SRB)
Event and Concert, Journey to the Past
5 July 2014: Harsova – Carsium Roman fort (RO)
Event opening temporary Exhibition, The Danube Limes in Romania
10 Poster (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- Danube Limes Day Romania. Photo: National Institute for Heritage (INP)