The Aquincum Museum opened in 1894 to exhibit the invaluable archaeological remains found in the territory of the Hungarian capital. Budapest is the only European capital north of Rome, where the city’s Roman heritage can be displayed in a large contiguous area. The museum’s collections contain over a million items.
The Aquincum Civil Town reached its largest geographical extent at the turn of the AD 2nd and 3rd centuries, with an estimated population of 10-15 thousand. Although the Civil Town’s layout and size was in constant change, its characteristic buildings – the pillars of the aqueduct, the amphitheatre, and the rectangular town walls – were visible throughout the four centuries of the Roman period and remain defining features of the cityscape to this day.
The Archaeological Park presents approximately one-third of the Aquincum Civil Town. The visible remains evoke primarily the town’s layout at the turn of the AD 2nd and 3rd centuries. Visitors can see the forum at the intersection of the main roads, with its attached shrine, the basilica, the large public baths, and the row of tabernae. The houses and workshops of craftsmen were in the south-eastern and northern parts of the town, while the homes of wealthier citizens and local officials with private shrines and baths were built farther from the main roads.
Located in the new exhibition building, opened in 2007, the permanent exhibition “Rome in Aquincum” displays some of the most valuable and never previously exhibited archaeological finds. The exhibition also presents the world-famous Aquincum organ, as well as precious items from the Governor’s Palace. The Visible Storage displays chronologically and thematically the most beautiful finds from prehistoric times to the Migration Period.
In 2012 the museum opened a number of new tourist attractions with financial support from the European Union as part of the ‘Pannonia Province Programme’ including motion-controlled video games, a mythological playground, a reconstructed Roman house and a new Lapidarium.
The Aquincum Museum’s latest permanent exhibition, Tegularium – History made from clay: The role of ceramics in the Roman Period architecture of Aquincum opened in 2014.