Not far from Peja/Peć is an ancient Roman Settlement in Kosovo. It has one of the most elaborate and well preserved Roman mosaics and remains of many buildings. It’s a must see for anyone interested in archeology.
Ruins of a Roman Settlement in Kosovo
Since 2012, the Archeology Institute of Kosovo has been excavating this site not too far from the then major river and near modern day Peja/Peć. While it’s clear that there was a large Roman settlement in this area, a lot of work lies ahead of the small Kosovo team, with little international expertise. It’s entirely possible that they’ll find a town as grand Pompeii.
The settlement is dated from 2nd century AD and several building have been found so far.
One of the first amazing finds is the Dresnik Mosaic. At about 200sq meter it’s probably the largest intact mosaics found. Given the detail of the mosaic and the size of the building, it was clearly a house of a very important person, likely a Roman palace.
Since it was Saturday, all the archeologists were away and the guard was out for a walk. So, we got the whole site to ourselves.
Archeologists have found remains of walls surrounding the palace, towers, a well, a temple, a villa and more
Here is a small article in EuroNews.
As a kid growing up in this area, Sali(our guide), would always find what looked like man made objects or old ceramics. Not knowing any better, they dismissed it.
Years later, as the family was digging the ground to lay pipes for water supply, they found ancient pipes in the ground!
Ironically, the house had drainage and water pipes many hundreds of years, but not in the present time!
Our Adventure at Roman Ruins in Kosovo
As expected, this site isn’t easily accessible from the main road.
While coming out of the site, we heard a noise from under the car. It turns out the plastic covering the under-side, had ripped out. It was odd because we didn’t hit anything hard.
Good thing Sali was very hands-on. He raised the car for a good look. It was clearly ripped off the screws. In the mean time, the excavation site guard returned and found string for us to temporarily fix the plate. (The guard was clearly hoping we won’t report his absence from the site he was supposed to be guarding this whole time.) His help bought us sufficient time to get to a garage.
Tips for visiting Roman Ruins by Peja/Peć
- To visit the Roman Settlement in Kosovo near Peja/Peć, we drove to Peja/Peć and spent the day visiting sites in the region. We slept in a farmer’s house overnight.
- The site can be reached on bike or car but best to have a local guide that knows the exact location and can describe the site and it’s history.
- If you’re driving, it’s best to take a car or SVU with good amount of clearance under the vehicle. The little stretch from the road to the site is a rocky path. Alternatively, you can park by the road and walk the path.
- This is an active archeology site in open fields without flood lights. So, best to visit in daylight. Also, best to not disturb the archeologists and visit during the weekend. You’ll have the site to yourself.
- Wear comfortable shoes as it’s an open archeology site with rocks and plant growth.
- The visit will likely take under an hour.
- Take your camera, it’s not everyday we come across a place like this.
This Page – Roman Settlement in Kosovo