These Ancient Ruins Reveal The Wonders of Roman Architecture

Aures Mountains, Algeria — Built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, the ancient ruins of Timgad serves as one of the best examples of Roman city planning and architecture. Its design is laid out in a precise grid comparable to any modern city anywhere in the world today. The city was first founded as a military colony by the Emperor Trajan around 100 AD. And its first residents were veterans of the Roman Army who were granted lands in return for their years of honorable service.

Credit: Google Maps

For the next 400 years since its founding, the city of Timgad enjoyed a peaceful existence. Its prime location gave the Roman Empire a strategic military and economic advantage in the region. They controlled access to and from the Sahara desert, deciding who could enter and exit. In the 5th century, the city was invaded by the Vandals and eventually sacked by the Berbers, and this began Timgad’s spiral into decline.

Timgad was revived by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who built a military fortress around the city. But this eventually proved to be ineffective, and the city was once again sacked in the 7th century during the Arab invasion. In the 8th century, Timgad was finally abandoned and left to decline.

Hundreds of years passed, and nature began to take its toll. The sands from the Sahara desert slowly buried the city until it was completely hidden from view. And it wasn’t until 1881 that Timgad was rediscovered and excavated from the sand tomb that preserved its very existence.

1Originally Designed For 15,000 Residents, The City Quickly Outgrew That Number

Source: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

2The City Had a 3,500-Seat Theater, Library, Basilica, and Four Public Bath Houses

Source: George Steinmetz

3As The Number of Residents Grew, The Builders Added More Sections To The City

Source: George Steinmetz

4Overhead View of The Theater

Source: George Steinmetz

5View From Within The City Ruins

Source: Gabriel Jorby / Flickr

6Imagine Walking These Streets 2,000 Years Ago

Source: Gabriel Jorby / Flickr

7Closer View of a Public Bath House

Source: George Steinmetz

8Facade of a Basilica

Source: Groundhopping Merseburg / Flickr

9Amazing Columns Inside The Basilica

Source: Groundhopping Merseburg / Flickr

10Seats of the Theater

Source: Groundhopping Merseburg / Flickr

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