Nikopolis ad Istrum, 2000 years of history
Nikopolis ad Istrum was founded at the beginning of the second century to celebrate the victory by the Roman Empire over the Dacians in what is now Romania .
FunFact; To celebrate this Victory Rome got a Column, Bulgaria got a whole City.
Like all classical Roman cities, the roads are laid out on an N-S, E-W grid pattern except at Nikopolis ad Istrum, the E-W grid is 4.5 degrees out of alignment so that on 18 September, which is Emperor Trajan's birthday, the rising sun shines directly down the main streets.
Nikopolis ad Istrum was a major outpost of both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires and was situated at the crossroads of the roads leading to Rome. Nikopolis ad Istrum was of such importance that it even minted its own coins.
In 447 the City was sacked by Atilla the Hun and we all know how that will have ended, but the surrounding land was, and still is, so fertile that the city was rebuilt.
Nikopolis ad Istrum is also seen as the birthplace of the Germanic Literary Tradition when, in the 4 century, Bishop Ulfilas and a group of scholar converts settled in the city. Whilst they were living there they not only did the first translation of the Bible into Gothic, but the also devised the Gothic alphabet.
Over the years Nikopolis ad Istrum withstood numerous attacks. It was finally abandoned in the 14 century during the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans.
Even after the city was abandoned, the land was so fertile that the survivors refused to give it up, they moved 2km away to higher ground and founded what is now the modern village of Nikyup.
Some of the highlights of a visit to Nikopolis ad Istrum, are walking the 2000 year old streets and touching history with your own hands. Marvel at the 2000 year old sewerage and drainage system. Don't forget to walk to the water storage tank outside the city, which marks the end of a 22km long aqueduct bringing water to the city.