Bringing an ancient temple and its surroundings back to life

Founded by the Romans in 45 AD, Szombathely, or Savaria as it was previously known, is the oldest city in Hungary. One of its landmarks is the Temple of Isis, which was reconstructed with the help of ERDF-funding.

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The newly reconstructed Temple of Isis, completed thanks to ERDF funding The newly reconstructed Temple of Isis, completed thanks to ERDF funding

" The redevelopment was immediately popular with the town’s residents and we now have a busy event and cultural centre. The Iseum of Szombathely is today considered important by both archaeologists and museologists alike. "

Dr. Tivadar Puskás, Mayor

The works, which were completed in 2012, present a myriad of Iseum’s archaeological finds, and feature a historical exhibition of Pannonia, an ancient province of the Roman Empire.

The project involved revamping the central Isis shrine building, extending the former reception building and constructing a 1 000 m2 museum exhibition space. The works followed a uniform approach, ensuring that the new structures would match the city’s overall look and feel.

A step back in time

The former bank was transformed into a reception space, while the central podium of a church was rebuilt to resemble a Roman cathedral in its proportions and layout. A U-shaped museum was also constructed and houses the aforementioned interactive exhibition, containing illustrations of all Iseum’s construction periods, copies of Egyptian remains from Pannonia, as well as religious artefacts found over 25 years of excavations.

The surrounding area of Iseum was modernised by building roads and traffic junctions. These include a 1.5 km asphalt road, a sidewalk of 490 m2, a roundabout and a 2 000 m2 park.

Some 41 000 people have visited the area since the works were completed – a 10 % rise on previous figures.

A total of 13 jobs were created as a result of the project. In addition, over the course of the works, various local companies were employed as subcontractors, benefiting the economy.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the “Szombathely historic-archaeological district Phase II - Reconstruction of Iseum” project is EUR 6 259 206 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 4 499 352 from the Operational Programme “West Pannon” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

13/01/2016