In what used to be one of the most important Liburnian and subsequently Roman settlement in the area of north Dalmatia, today we can find the remains of authentic Roman milestones, together with many other remnants of Rome’s advanced lifestyle and construction methods. Take a look at this once magnificent city that is Asseria.
Asseria, originaly a Liburnian settlement near Podgrađe set 6km east of the city of Benkovac, was founded long before the Romans set foot on Dalmatian lands. The Liburnians were an old Illyrian tribe dating back to the Late Bronze Age and Asseria was one of their powerful cities in their conquered region streching all the way from today's Istria to river Krka.
During the 1st and 2nd century AD, Asseria was at its most blossoming point and it served as one of the main settlements of the Liburnians. The oldest remains date to 5th century BC and include the town's walls at 7m heigh and 3.2m thick built as a military belt to protect the city and its culture from the Barbarians coming from inland.
To find out more about Asseria book one of our tours!
After the Liburnians, Romans built the city according to their significant construction style including a town square, water system, public baths and a necropolis upon which they posthumosly build cylindrical gravestones known as „cipus“. But the most important remnant of the Roman legacy is a triumphal arch as one of the seven entrances to the city which was built in 113 AD in honour of Roman Emperor Trajan. Considering all the facts, it is no wonder that the city of Asseria is a remnant of one of the oldest European civilisation.
Example of "cipus"
Archaeological digs are still ongoing and revealing even more history than previously thought. Scrapping the layers of earth archaeologists discovered a large number of ceramics belonging to the Greek period and even excavations from the age of the Liburnians before them. Some of the unearthed relics are preserved in the Archaeological Museums in Zadar and Nin and the most important excavation found is the monumental altair depicting a she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus which is now being kept in Benkovac Heritage Museum. All these museums are included on our tours, be sure to check them out here.
To find out more about Asseria and how and when the city met its ending, book one of our tours!