Cleaning and exposure of the architectural monuments discovered by the former excavations

Presumable plan of Colonia Ratiaria according to 1991 survey
Click the numbers on the map to see details

For the twenty years during which in Ratiaria have been conducted regular archaeological excavations were discovered parts of the fortification wall and some buildings. Today, the locations of these studies are undetectable even for the experts. Association "Ratiaria", together with the Bulgarian Archaeological Association undertook actions for exploring, cleaning and re-exposure of the remains of buildings discovered by the time of the previous excavations. The main goals of the association are three sites located in the city:

1. The Western wall and the Western Gate of the city.
2. So called "Building with the treasure".
3. The Residence of the Governor of the Province Dacia Ripensis.

Residence of the Governor of the Province Dacia Ripensis


Known by the locals as "The Arch"', this building by a miracle going through the times when Ratiaria was illegally excavated by more than 20 tractors. Actually, so called "Arch" are remains of the lodging of the military governor of the Roman province Dacia Ripensis. Under his control were the troops situated throughout whole modern Northwestern Bulgaria. The building is with impressive size and today the visitor can enjoy the architectural skills of the ancient builders.

The path which led to the residence in early 2011

The residence of the governor of the province Dacia Ripensis is studied in the eighties by G. Kuzmanov from Archaeological Institute of Sofia. It is a large building which central room has dimensions 16 x 16 m. It was built in the early 4th and survived until the end of the 6th century. The central room of the building ends with a large apse at the west and possessed a beautiful mosaic floor, presenting the myth of Orpheus playing lyre surrounded by animals.

Access to the ruins of residence after leveling the treasure-hunter's trenches.

In the late 5th century the complex was renovated and turned into an impressive monumental building. In the central hall and rooms around were built cruciform columns which are connected in height with arches and vaults. Over them was evolved a significant upper floor.

After completion of the excavations the discovered remains have been restored and preserved. The past twenty years, during which Ratiaria is sunk into oblivion, put a lasting imprint on those remains. The conserved walls slowly sink into the heavy vegetation, and on the place where was situated the exquisite mosaic appeared treasure-hunter's pits.

Modern view of the ruins of residence.

Although the residence is located only 200 meters from the modern road, the access to it was limited by the soil dug up by the treasure-hunters. In the beginning of 2011, to this impressive monument was leading only a narrow path paved by the diggers. The outside visitor was unable to find this monument himself.

In the summer of 2011, thanks to the voluntary donations, the access to the residence was open again. The remains of the walls were cleaned and treasure-hunter's holes were overwhelmed.