The Aquincum traffic jam blog (#6)

The Bécsi Road/Vörösvári Road intersection

In Óbuda we can come across Roman remains or modern structures hiding them if we take a quick look every now and again to the right or the left. Last time we’ve left off at Flórián Square. Let’s continue now with the intersection of Bécsi Road and Vörösvári Road, where recent decades saw the excavation of many archaeological remains: graves, industrial sites and other buildings.

So where are we now?

We’re at the intersection of Bécsi Road and Vörösvári Road, one of Óbuda’s key traffic junctions. Some 300 m after turning from Bécsi Road onto Vörösvári Road, we reach the location of the subject of today’s blog post. Unlike in previous posts, we’ll be looking not at conserved and restored Roman remains, but their traces marked now by modern buildings.

But first the history!

From the AD 1st century here was the north-western edge of the Aquincum Military Town (settlement around the legionary fortress). The town extended to the west until the Roman road that preceded modern-day Bécsi Road. For 2-3 km a cemetery ran along the road between the 1st and 4th centuries. In the Roman period, larger industrial sites (e.g. pottery workshops) too were established in the outskirts, primarily because of the fire hazard.

What can we see today?

Unfortunately none of this is visible. The excavation sites have been built up or are still empty, awaiting construction. At the site of the former mill (Vörösvári Road) we found the remains of a Roman road, buildings, a well, and pottery workshops’ trash pits along with several wasters damaged during firing. A little to the north, underneath the 269-271 Bécsi Road office buildings (until recently the so-called ‘green’ house and the ‘Griff Gentlemen’ office building next to and behind it), we found graves from the cemetery at the edge of the town (AD 3rd and 4th centuries) as well as a statue of a high-ranking soldier wearing armour, which you can see at the Aquincum Museum’s permanent exhibition.

Soon we’ll continue our search for Roman remains as there are still plenty of other hidden and conspicuous monuments to discover in the legionary fortress and the Military Town; but more on those later.

All in all, I encourage everyone to have a look at the modern buildings marking the edge of the ancient Military Town on foot, or from the warmth of your car on a cold winter morning – but only when the traffic isn’t moving!

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Images from: Google Street View

Written by: Dr Orsolya Láng

Edited by: Dániel Kővágó


Széchenyi 2020
Széchenyi 2020