Religious tourism and temples of antiquity: a proposal

The archaeological heritage of the Roman Empire in Central-Eastern Europe created one of the most visible historical landmarks of our urban and rural landscapes. Numerous cities in Mitteleuropa have a rich, Roman past (Ptuj, Sopron, Szombathely, Pécs, Budapest among many). While the military buildings of the Roman past are researched and revitalised due to the century long Limesforschung, the material heritage (archaeological sites, epigraphic and figurative monuments) of the rich religious life of the Roman Empire in Central-Eastern Europe is rarely attested or used for touristic, cultural purposes.

A proposal to integrate the materiality of Roman religion in the tourism of Central-Eastern Europe could be a Touristic itinerary of Roman Temples and Shrines in the Danubian provinces. Such a project would unite several countries (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary) where archaeologically attested and reconstructed Roman temples and sanctuaries are known in the major archaeological parks. A touristic itinerary (bicycle, car, tours) would presume a booklet with the major sites and their description for the greater public, unified and common informational panells on the sites and a phone application with interactive games, visualisations for children and not only in several languages available. The project would attrackt numerous tourists in the temples of Carnuntum, Savaria, Fertőrákos, Poetovio, Aquae Iasae and Aquincum and would serve as an important step in the integration and revitalisation of the ancient religious sites in the overall touristic map of Central-Eastern Europe.

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