History of Empress City Serbia (Justiniana Prima)
Justiniana Prima or Empress City as it named here, is one of the greatest Byzantine cities in Balkans. Furthermore Justinian the Great founded it. And this ancient Roman city is located in about 30km from Leskovac, or also 70km from Niš, in south Serbia. Serbian town Lebane is near this location. In addition, it existed from 532. to 615. Empress City was built by the ruler to territory to where he was born. Or maybe to the princess Theodora, his wife. In conclusion he made it the capitol of Illyricum prefecture. Eespecially relevant, Justinian himself ordered the foundation of the city by law in 535. In conclusion, establishing the Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima.
Making it at the same time the capital of the prefecture of Illyricum instead of Thessaloniki. Seems like city was important military and administrative center of that territory. And also church center. In conclusion, it’s one of most important and archeological remains of that time. It was fortified and had three parts. Acropolis, Upper, middle and lower. Furthermore, many important mosaics are found.
In addition, in today times it is one of most preserved archaeological sites in this region. Most noteworthy, Justiniana Prima was, in 1979. added to the Archaeological Sites of Exceptional Importance. Today, it’s especially relevant and protected by Republic of Serbia. Traces of ancient times are found here preserved, stamps of emperor are found here and the bones of camel. And probably more. From some caravan in that time.
Seems like it was destroyed in 615. by invading Avars coming from north of the Danube. Archaeological exploration started in 1912. and with periodical stopping, continued till today.
Be sure to watch video of 3D Justiniana Prima
Top photo photo by BokicaK CC BY-SA 3.0; mosaic photo by Breza07 CC BY-SA 3.0