Sandsone Press Logo

On The Blog

Along the Amber Route: Celje

A clangorous metal staircase led down into a city beneath the city: Roman Celeia. Here were the foundations of temples, public buildings and private houses, and a well preserved stretch of road paved with large, irregular stone slabs, six metres wide between its drainage ditches and steeply cambered. This was the Decumanus Maximus, which crossed the Cardo Maximus at right angles at the centre of town.

Just up the road was the Old Counts’ Mansion, a galleried Renaissance house that contained the Celje Ceiling, a dizzying trompe l’oeil painted around 1600 and rediscovered in the 1920s behind a false ceiling. In the basement, Roman stone carvings were exhibited. Dominating one end of the gallery were a head, and fragments of an arm and knee, from a colossal Apollo. There were a Mithraic altar, a mesmeric head of Medusa, and an altar set up on 13th December 215 invoking Jupiter Arubianus – a typically Roman conflation of a local Celtic god and their own supreme deity – for the health of the emperor Caracalla. The energy and plasticity of the figures, and the elegance of the inscriptions, testified that Celeia was no rude outpost, but a sophisticated Roman city with a high level of material culture.

From Along the Amber Route by C.J. Schüler

Back to the map.

C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler