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Forum of Scarbantia

Sopron, Új u. 1.


Scarbantia (the Roman name of Sopron) was one of the border stations of the Province of Pannonia in the former Roman Empire. It was imortant because of its location on the Amber Road, an important commercial route. The centre of the town, the present downtown, was surrounded with a wall and a moat. The structure of the fortress also influenced the pattern of the streets. The center of the Roman oppidum was the Forum. The most important building on the Forum, the Capitolium Church, was discovered in the winter of 1893, during the construction of the City Hall. The exact size and position of the Forum was finally determined during the excavations between 1960 and 1970. The flat paving stones of the earlier square were made of Lajta limestone delivered here from the Fertőrákos quarry. The pedestals of three bronze equestrian statues were found on the southern part of the square. Altars to different gods were discovered on the sides of the Forum. The temples of the three main gods – Jupiter, Juno and Minerva - were situated at the highest point of the town.



These buildings had large spaces between their columns to provide a view of the gladiators’ games and upper balconies. There were exchange offices in the peristyles. Scarbantia was a true Roman town. Travellers from Italy could find everything they expected here: a crowded market, sanctuaries of their gods, a comfortable bath, and naturally, gladiator games. The exhibition of the monumental architectural work recalls life in the former Roman town. Note that the Forum in Sopron is the only one in the former Province of Pannonia which was built in the Roman style.