back to main page

3. The Legionary Headquarters

3. 1 The PRINCIPIA - The Military and Religious Centre
The PRINCIPA, the central legionary garrison, is comparable with a city hall or municipal administration of today. It was located at the intersection of the two main streets - VIA PRINCIPALIS and VIA PRAETORIA - and covered an area of 7,600 m2. The main-entrance at the VIA PRINCIPALIS was built as a particularly representative PORTICUS. The campīs clock displaying the obligatory camp-time was fixed to the exterior wall; the GROMA-point as the central measuring point for the camp was located inside. This ground enclosed the largest assembling place of the camp, the so- called legionary forum, covering an area of 2,200 m2. The BASILICA, with 750 m2 the largest building of the camp, stood in the extension of the camp axis. A remarkable building, the portal drawn-forth in the middle, which was enclosed with a treble entrance.

Full view to the PRINCIPIA from above

Model: Heinz Birkenheuer - L. Kirchmeyer

Photo: H. Birkenheuer

Ground plan of the PRINCIPIA

Graphik: Heinz Birkenheuer

At the reverse side of the BASILICA, separated by an aisle, used to be the location of the sanctuary of the flags, the legionary money-chest, and the official residence of the camp's commander. The sanctuary of the flags accommodated a statue of the Emperor and the standards of the CENTURIOS.

The entire facilities had approx. 80 offices at itīs deposal, dealing with all the different needs and requirements of legionaries and their commanders. Continuous covered walkways surrounded the whole complex.