Tag Archives: Carnuntum

Roman Cavalry displace their skills at Carnuntum – A day amongst the Romans (Part 2)


The four riders wonderfully brought Roman Cavalry history to life, providing the crowd with an excellent display during the recent Roman Fest at Carnuntum Archaeological Park.

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Carnuntum which is situated next to the Danube River, about 30mins drive from central Vienna, was a Roman Provincial Capital and today visitors can experience the feel of Roman life by spending time exploring a set of wonderfully reconstructed buildings. Images of the site on a normal visitor day can be seen here and here.

A few images from the Cavalry display:

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Filed under Activities for kids, Austrian History, Festivals, History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Uncategorized, Vienna Life

The Physician, religions, work and fun – A day amongst the Romans (Part 1)


Carnuntum Roman Fest – Part 1

It’s not every day that you learn how to take an arrow head out of someone’s skull, sit in a Roman Villa with soldiers and citizens milling about, or find out about the latest cosmetics and fashions in (Ancient) Rome.

Carnuntum Archaeological Park is always worth a visit but yesterday was somewhat different as my family  joined hundreds of other visitors attending the Roman Fest.  Carnuntum which is situated next to the Danube River, about 30mins drive from central Vienna, was a Roman Provincial Capital and today visitors can experience the feel of Roman life by spending time exploring a set of wonderfully reconstructed buildings. Images of the site on a normal visitor day can be seen here and here.

My daughter is a bit of a history fanatic, something I’d like to claim comes from me but in reality it’s more a result to exposure to places like Carnuntum where you can touch and feel the past, alongside watching and reading everything connected to Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories. So for her history is something real, alive, accurate, and fun. As for me, my interested in history unfortunately makes me one of those sad people who mumbles loudly in cinema’s at ‘historical movies’ or around tour guides whose historical presentations are full of inaccuracies. My daughter and I are therefore a rather tough audience to impress and it was, I suspected, something of a relief to my wife that the Roman Fest lived up to the high expectations we have of the Carnuntum site.

A few images of the day:

Tools of the trade for a Roman Physician…..

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Luckily the Romans had a good command of German as I don’t think most of us could manage the Latin…..

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All the instruments where made by the Physician himself and based upon original Roman descriptions. His talk enthralled H, especially the bits about cutting open the skull…..

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The main Villa was full of visitors listen to the talk by the Physician or exploring the building, but also some of the City’s military……

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Outside the main Villa near the shops order was being maintained by the local auxiliary…..

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I wonder if this chap was in need of the Physician or had already been to see him?……………..

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I was outvoted as we passed this cosmetics stall on the main street and some time was spent chatting about (and buying) some Roman creams etc……

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As the discussion of perfumes and creams continued, I was distracted by the public announcements on the new status of the Sect known as the Christians……..

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Not to be distracted by this talk of the Christians, I wandered further down the road to watch the priest perform a more traditional ceremony……

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The Roman Fest had plenty for the kids to get their hands dirty and minds active. From designing mosaics…….

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….or ceramic painting……

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While other children painted shields and swords, H decided to practice her catapult (sling shot) skills….

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Then on to exercising the brain with a Roman board game…..

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While wandering around you had to keep an eye out for the traffic……

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…..but wandering was the thing to do as there were so many sights to see, people to talk to and things to do. Other distractions meant that we missed the wedding but I did get some shots of the wedding party preparing……

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In addition to the slaves, there were some free Celts at the festival and H had her name translated……

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Finally, visiting military units were encamped around the edge of the site and here are a selection of images from the camps…..

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Filed under Activities for kids, Austrian Roman History, History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life

Austrian Red Wine – a few more recommendations


Some of my friends have introduced me to two more enjoyable wines in recent weeks. The first was a rather nice 2010 Merlot from the Winery of the Familie Hahn.

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http://www.weinguthahn.at/hauptseite.html

The second introduction was also a 2010 but this time the Schüttenberg Zweigelt from Weingut Grassl whose vineyards are located in the Carnuntum area which is approximately halfway between Vienna and Bratislava.

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http://www.weingut-grassl.com/

I’ll be looking to add these new friends to my wine rack next time I restock. Off course when it comes to buying my next batch of wines I’ll also be heading for another Winery in the Carnuntum area (it’s amongst my favourite in the whole country) that of Gerhard Pimpel .

If you do fancy taking a trip to the Carnuntum area it’s always a good plan to combine the wine with a little history of the area. In this case a visit to the archaeological reconstructions on the site of the Ancient Roman city of Carnuntum.

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Carnuntum – Some more images of life in the world of the Ancient Romans


As the post A glimpse of Roman life – Carnuntum remains one of the most viewed items on my main blog, I thought I’d add some additional pictures here for those who would like to see more.

Carnuntum

Sitting by the Danube River, at about the half way point between Vienna and Bratislava, is the site of the Roman City of Carnuntum. An important location within the Empire, part of the City has been brought back to life with the reconstruction of a small number of Roman buildings on the original site.

The visit of some friends at the beginning of November was an excuse for us to make a last visit to Carnuntum before the site closed for the winter. One of the advantages of visiting when the weather is cold is that you really get to appreciate just how effect under floor heating in Roman villas really was. This large room was a very heated to a very welcoming temperature and the floor was warm to the touch…

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It took us a while, as usual, to reach the restored buildings as the visitors centre provides plenty to read, listen and watch. These displays and presentations give the visitor the opportunity to gain an awareness of Roman life and the Carnuntum site which adds to the later experience of actually walking through and touching life in the restored buildings…. 

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Just outside the visitors centre a model of the ancient city gives you an overview of the geography and layout of the settlement and military installations…..

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Once on the main site you will spend a wonderful few hours exploring the Ancient Roman world……

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Filed under Austrian Roman History, History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life

Summer in Vienna 2011 – Things I should really do (3)


I really need to buy a few books to read in the down time I’m going to have as I play chauffeur to my daughter and her friends. Amongst the growing list of places I seem to have promised to take them are:

The rather enjoyable water park in St. Gallen, Steiermark:

http://www.wasserspielpark.at/

A return trip to the excellent Carnuntum Roman Archaeological site:

http://www.carnuntum.co.at/

The Marchenpark, Neusiedlersee, Burgenland:

http://www.familypark.at/

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Filed under Holidays, Out and about in Burgenland, Out and about in Lower Austria, Out and about in Steiermark, Vienna Life

Lower Austria in April


A few of the images I’ve captured on camera whilst out and about in Lower Austria during April:

Farming village in the Waldviertel

Ypserklam, Waldviertel

Heuriger Mang, Wachau

Wine street near Carnumtum

Carnuntum

Heuriger Mayer & surrounds

A village restaurant in the Waldviertel

Heuriger Deutsch

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Great wine and the beautiful game provides the right results


Last weekend produced a good set of results in my efforts to restock the wine rack. It also saw good results on the football pitch for both Austria Wien and Leicester City FC, who each picked up three points and moved up their respective league tables.

On our way back from to Vienna we stopped off to buy some of my favourite Austrian wines from the Pimpel Vineyards. The winery in Goettlesbrunn and the vineyards’ are in the heart of Carnuntum wine country, situated between the Danube and Neusiedler See. The ‘Optime Merlot’ is a wine that puts of others of the same grape into the shade. It’s a wine for those special, quiet, summer evenings or for those winter nights gathered around the fire with friends – wine and moments to savour.  Whilst my other preference, from Gerhard Pimpels selection, is the ‘Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum’ which can be trusted to provide an enjoyable and entertaining glass every time – the wine, dear reader, that sits next to me as I write this blog entry.

We discovered these wines by accident a little while ago now. We had taken H, who has inherited her father’s love of history, to the Carnuntum Archaeological Park. In addition to the Roman ruins, the reconstructed buildings really bring to life the Roman world as well as providing a genuinely interesting family day out. As we were leaving R asked the chap at the information desk (who turned out to be another Englishman who had made Austria his home) for advice on local vineyards. Based upon his enthusiastic suggestion we made our way to Goettlesbrunn and the winery of Gerhard Pimpel.

As we sat in the courtyard that evening with Gerhard Pimpel, my expectation was that R and I would spend less than an hour sampling three or four wines. In fact, we spent a very enjoyable evening talking about wines, England and Austria (with R interpreting as necessary) and becoming properly acquainted with the Optime. The wine had sold itself to me with the first tasting but spending some time understanding a little about the area, the grape and the person behind the wine added to a very enjoyable evening.

Afterwards I discovered that those who actually know something about wine also have a high opinion of these wines. But for me it’s all about personal taste and the passion people have for what they do.

As we headed back to Vienna last Sunday, with our new supplies of ‘Optime Merlot’ and ‘Zweigelt Rubin Carnuntum’, my attention turned to my iPhone. This is device that more than any other helps me to function in my adopted country. It provides maps and navigation, help me translate key words when needed, helps to deal with all sorts of every day demands, as well as providing me with the opportunity to stay in contact with friends both in Austria and around the world. This latter facility also allowed me to keep certain friends up to date with my wine purchasing efforts and other activities, through photos, messages etc, which I’m sure they appreciated really.

In this instance, my need to consult the iPhone was to find out the score in Austria Wien’s first game after the winter break and to keep track of Leicester City’s match against Derby County. For those not up to date with such matters, I am happy to report wins for both Leicester and Austria. So as I settled down on Sunday night it was with the feeling that all in all the weekend had produced the right results – good wines and the chance to read about success on the pitch. What more do you need to start the week?

http://www.falstaff.at/winzer/weingut-gerhard-pimpel-18699.html

http://www.gerhardpimpel.at/eindex.html

http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/excursions/archeological-park-carnuntum

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