The administrative quarter did not only consist of the governor’s palace. Connected to the quarter were the splendid villas, baths, temples, and rich houses in the northern and north-eastern strip of the military town in Óbuda, opposite the palace of the governor. The buildings of the administrative quarter housed the offices of the provincial administration and the homes of high-ranking administrators, one of which was the so-called Hercules Villa in Meggyfa Street.
The core of the building was probably constructed in the first half of the 2nd century. At the beginning of the 3rd century, when presumably a significant part of official public functions was transferred to the “officers’ houses” of the military town, the buiding was extended and equipped with underfloor heating, and the floors were decorated with mosaics. In three sequential living rooms parts of the mosaic floor collapsed into the heating vent below. In the southern two rooms only parts of the mosaic’s frame (with geometric motifs) from a Pannonian workshop survived, but in the third room a large part of the central panel (emblema) has survived. It depicts the duel between Heracles and Nessus the centaur. This emblama, however, was presumably made by an Alexandrian workshop. This mosaic is so far the only imported mosaic, not only in Aquincum, but in the whole of Pannonia. The floor of the tablinum displayed a merry, drunken Dionysian thiasus. In the intact section of the mosaic, Amor offers grapes to an approaching tigress. The detached bath, too, was decorated with a mosaic. The mosaic covering the apodyterium, depicting boxers survived almost entirely. It depicts a winner, standing, with muscles flexed, in a victorious pose, and his opponent lying on the ground with a bleeding head.
The walls were decorated with frescoes. A few characteristic motifs have been exhibited in the protective building built above the tablinum.
The Hercules Villa is open to visitors on Sundays from 15 April to 28 October 2018 between 11:00 and 13:00. Free admission.