Even nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

Even nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

Welcome to Roma Australiana

This is the site for the Roma IV project. It envisages the creation of a new tourist attraction / town / society in rural Australia, namely - a living Antiquity-style city. It will create a new niche in the holiday market - historic role-play on a massive scale, and will diversify the Australian tourist industry.

Unlike other attractions, it will not be run as a typical business but will be a living city with people normally residing in it, which develops as its citizens wish. It will be a living community, not a museum and not a place where people just go for a day trip with their cameras. In fact, no cameras will be allowed in. No mobile phones. No cars. Nothing, in fact, which the Ancients did not have. Visitors and residents alike will live the life of the Ancients as closely as possible to re-create.

The project is currently at the "idea" stage. Help is sought from volunteers and businesses alike in order to move it forward and make it a reality. If you are interested, please register here and visit the Forum. Share your thoughts, make your proposals, discuss different aspects of city-building, make yourself at home... If we manage to build it, the New Rome may indeed become your home!

A Personal Message From the Project Founder

As a bit of introduction about why I have started this project...

My name is Pavel, I am from Bulgaria and now have lived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for around 10 years. In Bulgaria, I grew up in what is probably the best preserved Roman town, now called Hisar (the Turkish word for "fortress") due to the fact that most of the 2.5 km fortress around it is still there. It used to be called Diocletianopolis and Augusta when it was Roman, and several emperors spent time there (e.g. Septimius Severus) because it was a major resort, with more than 20 hot mineral springs.

What has always annoyed me though is this: out of this 2.5 km of wall, not a single meter is in "original" condition. The local council spends money to "preserve" it, but that just involves patching it up here and there, not restoring anything as it was. There are the foundations of many buildings just lying around everywhere - a perfect specimen of a Roman villa, army barracks (multiple-storey, unknown how many), amphitheatre, baths, private houses with central heating (through ceramic pipes in the walls, carrying hot water from the mineral springs, some of which are 70C), some of the earliest Christian churches in Europe (III century) etc. That's all sitting on top of earlier Thracian stuff, still visible here and there (part of the fortress is built from enormous stones not typical for Romans, the wall is built on top of, and going across, the foundations of an earlier tower etc.). And that's sitting on top of even earlier buildings, such as a pre-historic village at least 7 thousand years old. And... nothing! You can see absolutely nothing "as it was", you can just listen to somebody explain what this stone means, or how there was something in that hole but it got removed 50 years ago and is now in a museum's basement somewhere. And I've always been thinking - is it too much to ask to get something restored so as you wouldn't have to imagine, but would just be able to see it? Everyone one keeps talking about our "heritage", but how about actually restoring it as it was? How about building some new heritage for our kids to have?

Hence my idea for the Roma IV project. Situated in Australia, as (after much thinking) I decided Australia is the best place for it, although the Romans never reached it.

Enjoy. And participate. You are invited. (yes, YOU!)