Roman roads in Croatia

Another post on Roman heritage in Croatia!
This weekend, running away from the crowds, I took my family and headed straight to my private refuge – Bukovica. One of the most unique landscapes in Croatia! A mixture of picturesque patches of green meadows and rugged, rocky planes…

It is here that we have discovered, on our numerous walks, a lovely stretch of genuine Roman road!

Clear view of the border stones...
Clear view of the border stones...

The Roman road system spanned more than 250,000 miles (400,000 km) of roads, including more than 50,000 miles (80,500 km) of paved roads. A standard Roman road consists of a metalled surface (eg. gravel or pebbles) on a solid foundation of earth or stone.The Agger is a well-drained base in the form of a bank of earth or other layered material dug out from lateral ditches or quarry pits. It can be up to 6ft (1.8m) high and 50ft (15m) wide or, at the other extreme, very slight or even non-existent with the road surface laid straight on the ground – this is especially true of minor roads. Local materials are used where possible – a layer of large stones may supplement or replace the agger if available.

The road surface itself consists of layers of finer material with a total thickness of between 2-3in (5-7.5cm) and 1-2ft (30-60cm). Additional layers are added by resurfacing. The width of the road is up to 30ft (9m) but more usually around 25ft (7.5m) with minor roads 15-18ft (4.5-5.5m) down to 10-12ft (3-3.5m) like the one we found.

My son pointing to a footprint-like shape in the border stone...
My son pointing to a footprint-like shape in the border stone...

This was obviously a less important road that was connecting probably Asseria and some minor fortifications on the banks of Zrmanja river. The more important roads were much better and those were connecting big cities like Jader (Zadar) and Salona near Split.

We have found several other parts of the road in different areas but this is by far in best shape although ruined by a newly asphalted road that crosses it or even goes on top of it.
We started negotiating with local authorities to clear this road up and use it as a tourist attraction but the funds are scarce these days. So, this beauty is left to us and spiders…

Life size image!!!!
Life size image!!!! Lost Roman Cities Tour


  1. Claire Roman says:

    I was intrigued by your pictures and description of your road. There is a similar road on “my” island, Zirje (off the coast of Sibenik). Always thought that our surname (Roman) was perhaps originated by a Roman marrying a native Zirjan.

  2. Quite familiar with Zirje although I have been there only twice… will do a post in few months!

    Roman is probably originating from the Romans who survived the barbarian attacks by taking refuge on the islands or in the fortified cities like Zadar. The Romans of Zadar survived well into the middle ages and Dalmatian language was originally a mixture of the native language and Roman folk language. Besides, Latin was official language in Croatia till 1848!

Comments are closed.