Armira Villa, Ivaylovgrad

Armira Villa, one of the most interesting monuments from the time of the Roman Empire, is located in Southern Bulgaria, 4 km southwest of Ivaylovgrad. In 1964 while building a dam, developers accidentally stumbled upon traces of an ancient building. The archaeological excavations that followed revealed the remains of a suburban villa dated from the period when the Roman Empire reigned over what is now Bulgarian territory. It was named Armira Villa after the small tributary of the River Arda whose bank the villa was built on.
The villa was luxurious, with remarkable design, magnificent marble decorations and original floor mosaics. It is one of the oldest and most precisely dated Roman villa complexes studied so far in Bulgaria and also the most luxurious private palace from the Roman period discovered on the territory of modern-day Bulgaria. It was built in the second half of the 1st century AD by a renowned Thracian aristocrat as a centre of a large estate in the valley of Armira River. An impressive 3600 sq m two-storey building with a panoramic terrace and many different rooms and premises surrounding an outdoor pool from three sides used to stand in a beautiful garden suited for walks. The first floor alone had 22 rooms.
The entire first floor was clad with perfectly shaped marble tiles and panels. They used to cover the walls of the corridors and all the rooms accessible to guests from floor to ceiling, as well as the pool itself which was surrounded by a wall colonnade and a beautiful fence. Nearly 3000 very well preserved marble fragments were discovered during the excavations. The quantity, the variety and the quality of the marble decoration turned Armira Villa into a one-of-a-kind monument not only in modern-day Bulgaria but on the territory of the former Roman provinces on the Balkans as well. Its wall decorations make it a unique monument of ancient architecture and art. All rooms were floored with high-quality artistic mosaics that depicted traditional painting patterns from the Age of Antiquity.

Accommodation in Ivaylovgrad

Additional Information

April – November:
09.00 am – 5.00 pm
open every day.
December – March:
guides are available upon request at the municipal history museum.
Adults- BGN 3
Students and Senior citizens – BGN 2
People with disabilities and Children under 7 years of age – free admission