History

Roman spring

That the Romans knew about and used Vrnjačka Banja mineral springs is claimed by Felix Kanitz in his travelogue “Study of Roman Monuments in the Kingdom of Serbia” from the late 19th century. He reported the Vrnjačka Banja thermal baths were located south of the castrum in the village of Gračac, but during the catchment and landscaping works in the 19th century, there were no visible remains on the field, or workers could not recognize them.

Traces of Roman times were found by chance during the capture of hot springs in 1924. At a depth of 2.40 m, a vertical, properly carved rock was discovered, with an opening from which hot mineral water flowed. About 200 pieces of Roman money, belonging to the period from Augustus to Valentinian, were found at the hot spring in the rock.

Remains of the first known swimming pool were found next to the Roman spring, at approximately the same depth. The pool was filled with hot mineral water from a special spring carved into the rock in the form of a small well. Sixty Roman coins from the late 1st to the second half of the 4th century, one ring, and one key were found in the pool.

The water of particularly this spring was captured as it had a lower temperature and mineralization than other springs discovered in 1924. The spring was arranged, and two marble column colonnades were set up with a candelabrum at each of their ends. Stairs led down to the spring on both sides.

After World War II, this spring was covered with concrete slabs and closed to the public. It was revived in 1989, when a glass pyramid was set up above the spring, according to the conceptual design of architect Mihajlo Mitrović.

The Roman spring was repaired during the renovation of the Central Spa Park in 2015 when the glass pyramid was removed. When the site was arranged, a Roman soldier model was erected, and a brass relief plate with the image of Emperor Constantine the Great and a bilingual plate about the site’s history was placed. Also, the 1978 inscription was returned:

“In this spring, the Romans

threw money to plea to the deity

for mercy or show gratitude for healing.”