Sofia Excavations to Look for Constantine the Great's Palace

Archaeology | May 1, 2014, Thursday // 18:02|  views

The center of Sofia has seen a number of excavations, as metro construction workers often come across remains of the ancient city of Serdica. Photo by BGNES

Archaeologists are to start in 2015 excavations under Sofia's Sveta Nedelia Square in search of 3 government buildings of the ancient city of Serdica.

Field research is set to begin next spring, according to the Bulgarian capital's Deputy Mayor, Todor Chobanov as quoted by the Monitor daily.

Chobanov, citing hypotheses among archeologists, explained that the buildings below the square, which lies in the center of Sofia, might have been the residences of city governors or Serdica's mint.

The idea that Constantine the Great's Palace might be there has not been ruled out as an option.

The Deputy Mayor however said for the public broadcaster BNT on Thursday that socialist architecture in the 1950s and 1960s probably destroyed part of the ancient buildings, as the foundations of the govenrment institutions constructed there went very deep into the ground, and the ruling elite had no interest in preserving ancient cultural heritage.

It is often said that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (272-337) had a special affection for the city of Serdica, which he reportedly described as "his Rome".

Next year's attempt to discover his Palace will not be the first one, though. In 2010, metro construction revived hopes, as construction workers discovered ruins which later turned to be Serdica's public baths.

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Tags: Serdica, Constantine the Great, Rome, Emperor, sofia, Todor Chobanov


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