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A time travel along the Via Appia in Museum Het Valkhof

11 January 2022
Museum Het Valkhof starts 2022 with an interactive time travel along the Roman Via Appia, one of the oldest highways of the world. REVISITED Via Appia is the result of a longterm multidisciplinairy research. The exhibition combines the results of academical and artistic research and offers a refreshing perspective on the “Queen of Roads”. From January 29, as a visitor, you can walk in the footsteps of millions of people who have walked here since Roman times and experience how the road has changed over time.

REVISITED Via Appia | 29 January - 3 April

In the footsteps of millions Romans

The Via Appia is a Roman road that linked ancient Rome with Brindisium (modern Brindisi) in the South of Italy. The road is named after its founder Appius Claudius Caecus, who began its construction in 312 BC. This famous Roman ‘motorway’, also known as the regina viarum (‘queen of roads’), was primarily intended for the transport of army troops, but the Via Appia also connected various economic centres and was used to transport commodities. The Romans also buried their dead beside the road. The first section of the Via Appia, just outside the walls of Rome, is still regarded as an icon and milestone in the political and cultural presentation of ancient Rome. The monumental tombs are still especially appealing to the imagination today. After the Roman era large tracts of the Via Appia fell into disuse. The vast majority of the funerary monuments are overgrown, or have been demolished and reused as building material.

Revisited the Queen of Roads

From the middle of the eighteenth century, the Via Appia, especially the first few miles out of Rome, was rediscovered as a historic monument and visualised in all kinds of ways. In their entirety, these images are a unique historical document of how the road has changed in the last few centuries, but above all of how it has been viewed over the years. In the last few years a research team of archaeologists, digital data experts and an artist/researcher have studied in detail the section of what is now known as the Via Appia Antica between the fifth and the sixth mile from Rome. By carefully documenting all the archaeological remains, excavating some areas, cleaning and revisiting the points where the historical makers of images stood, they have tried to reconstruct the monuments of the Roman period and to analyse how the landscape has changed over time.

For more information on the REVISITED project, click here. For more information on the exhibit in Het Valkhof museum, and tickets, click here [website available in Dutch and German].