Felix Romuliana is a late Roman imperial palace built for the Roman Emperor Maximillian Gallery, on a large plateau of Gamzigrad, near town of Zajecar. Galleries, was born in this area and his ritual funeral took place 1 km away from the Palace. According to the results of research, the palace was erected in the 3rd century for himself and his mother Romula, after which the palace got a name. It belongs to a special category of monuments of Roman palatial architecture related only to the period of the Tetrarchy and is the best preserved example of this architecture.
The palace is located far away from the major roads, in the former province of Upper Moesia (Moesia Superior). Before the archaeologists had started to research the ancient remnants, only reptiles inhabited the ruins of ancient Romuliana. Within the ramparts, the archaeologists discovered temples with high podiums, thermae, private imperial chambers … The buildings were decorated with frescoes, plastering and floor mosaics with figural and geometric motives.
The first person who described Palace was Felix Kanitz, who did so on two occasions in the 19th century. He also published sketches he made during these visits. The site was interpreted as a military camp. But this interpretation was altered with the start of explorations in 1953.
In 1972, the remains of a massive emperor’s sculpture made of porphyry were found. In 1984, during the excavations led by Dragoslav Srejović, an archivolt containing the inscribed words FELIX ROMULIANA was unearthed. In the vicinity of the Palace, on a hill called Magura, were found two demolished mausoleums where were buried the mortal remains of the Emperor and his mother. On this Sacred Hill (Mons Sacer) Galerius and Romula were consecrated as gods according to ancient pagan rituals.
Its remoteness from roads resulted in the palace’s degradation and its rapid ruin. In the 5th century Felix Romuliana was heavily damaged and was burned, probably by the Huns.
In 2007, the remains of Emperor’s complex Gamzigrad – Felix Romuliana was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
Highway Belgrade-Nis, exit Paracin and by road to Zajecar