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Sea Girt, New Jersey
January 9, 2002
Aquincum’s rich history is fascinating. According to the pamphlet distributed by the Archeological Park, the city was founded by Romans who reached the banks of the Danube (the frontier of the Roman Empire) around the time of Christ’s birth. Aquincum’s location made the town strategically important to the Empire, and it became the capital of the Lower Pannonian province in the 2nd century. To city encompassed most of what is now Obuda, and was home to approximately 60,000. The Archeological Park exists today on what was once the sight of the ancient city’s "downtown" area. The inhabitants of this Roman outpost built homes with central heating systems, enjoyed public thermal baths and had a water supply and drainage system complete with decorative marble drain covers. All of these innovations are in evidence in the carefully excavated ruins and in the museum exhibits. Intriguing remnants of Aquincum’s advanced road system, covered market, public bath house, basilica, Shrine of Fortuna, and several grand peristyle homes are visible.
We only wish that guided tours were readily available at Aquincum (tours are available only with advance reservations – call 368-8241 or 250-1650). We had to make due with the small map provided with the price of admission to the park, and a guide book we had brought from the States which provided only minimal information. The ruins are so fascinating that we really wished we had a better idea of exactly what we were looking at. Essentially only portions the foundations of Aquincum’s buildings have survived, so you have to use your imagination to conjure up what the city must have looked like in its heyday. The park does have several exhibits on costume, religion, and other facets of daily life in ancient Aquincum, but most of the accompanying information was in Hungarian, with little or no explanation in other languages. The Museum within the park also has very little explanation in other languages. Even so, the exhibits, park and museum are extremely interesting and a must-see.
Aquincum is open May-August 9am-6pm; April, September-October 9-5, Tuesday through Sunday. The Museum within the park opens April through October at 10 am. There is a minimal entry fee – about 200 ft for the park and an additional 200 ft to enter the museum.
From journal Romantic Budapest
July 29, 2001
From journal Buda+Pest+Me=Love
by Diane P
July 8, 2001
There will be signs for Anquincum and these will point you in the general direction of ruins that pepper Obuda. Many are covered with graffiti and trash. There is an excavation of ruins under the highway and along the walls of the underpass. Columns rise out of the grass along the streets. Also in the area is the Anquincum Museum. It was closed on the day we were there but contains artifacts and sculptures. Three stops north of the Arpad-hid are the military baths and remains of a temple.
Though a little difficult to locate, Anquincum is off the beaten track in Budapest and you will not have to go elbow to elbow with other tourists.
From journal Two Days in Budapest