The Museum of Mosaics in Devniya displays early-Byzantine mosaics from Marcianopolis. The town of Marcianopolis was built near the springs of the Devniya river after the Second Dacian war, from the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus (98-117). According to an old legend, one of Marciana`s slaves dropped a golden vessel in one of the springs. After a while it emerged on the surface again. The emperor was told about the miracle and decided to build a town there in accordance with the customs of the time. It was named Marcianopolis after his sister.
The Museum is built partly on the ancient foundations of a building erected at the end of the 3 century – the beginning of 4 century (the time of Constantine The Great) on the location of earlier buildings been destroyed during the Gotts invasions of 250–251. The walls of the residential rooms were covered by coloured paint and murals of plaster. Five of the building’s rooms and porticoes are covered with multi-coloured floor mosaics, one of the best examples of the Roman mosaic art of that period found in Bulgaria.
Three of these mosaics are displayed in the rooms where they have been found and the rest were transferred to a new carrying base following their conservation and partial restoration. The mosaics were made in the classical techniques opus tesselatum and opus vermiculatum out of small cube- shaped stones (tesseras) of marble, limestone, baked clay and coloured glass (smalta), in 16 colours. The mosaics depict mainly personages and scenes of the Greek and Roman mythology, exotic animals and birds, floral and geometric shapes.
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