Location: 1 km northwest of the village of Archar, Municipality of Dimovo


Information: Vidin Regional Museum of History

The ancient city of Ratiaria is the most significant Roman centre in North-west­ern Bulgaria. The city originated in the second half of the 1st century, in connec­tion with the strengthening of the Lower Danubian Limes and the organization of the Danube fleet.
After the end of the Dacian wars in the beginning of the 2nd century, Emperor Tra­jan raised the rank of Ratiaria to a colony. This status entitled the city to autonomy and its inhabitants became Roman citi­zens with full rights. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the city, which was organized based on the Italic principles, experi­enced its peak of prosperity. It turned into a large crafts and trade centre. There were workshops for architectural deco-ration, sculpture, tombstones and exqui­site gold jewellery. In the 3rd century Ra­tiaria became the capital of the province of Dacia Ripensis, with a significant pres­ence of major armies.
The city had one of the empire’s weapon­ry workshops. Archaeological monuments also testify to the existence of an impres­sive arts centre. “One-time majestic and famous Roman Ratiaria”, as the Austrian explorer Felix Kanitz described it, existed until 586 when it was captured and de­stroyed by the Avars. Perhaps Ratiaria is the most beautiful yet still inadequately studied Roman city of the Lower Danube Limes.


The name of Ratiaria is derived from the name of a type of vessel (“ratis” in Latin). The name itself signifies the importance of the place for shipping along the Danube and for crossing the river.