Ajdovski gradec: “Ajd” means giant and “gradec” means antique fortified settlement.
Images of Ajdovski gradec, source: http://www.ajdovski-gradec.com/zanimivosti.html#
Above the village of Vranje to the northeast of Sevnica, on an oblong 445 m high hill, ruins of the late antique settlement called Ajdovski gradec with early Christian churches from the 5th to the 6th century can be seen.
In the time of the migration of peoples, the Romanesque indigenous population lived in the fortified settlement of Ajdovski gradec.
Due to the hidden position of the hill and its natural sloped protection in the unimportant Sava valley, the hill was suitable for a refuge in these uncertain times. A Roman road passed by Ajdovski gradec in direction of then Roman city municipium Claudia Celeia (today city Celje). In the Roman era, this region was a part of Norik province, namely the area of Ajdovski gradec was under control of the city of Celeia, which in the late Roman era became the seat of the diocese.
In the center of ruins there are two churches. The central place on the top of the Ajdovski gradec was occupied by the upper church. On the slightly lower terrace stood the lower church, they were both built simultaneously. The lower one contains a bishop’s seat and a semicircular bench for priests. A hexagonal baptistery was placed next to it. The church buildings were surrounded by seven residential houses and a water tank with a capacity of 120,000 liters. These are known from most of the studied fortifications, but here is something special. It was a lucky coincidence that in the permanent water of the water tank, at the abandonment of the settlement, the entire wooden structure was preserved, the remains of which were perfectly conserved by water. Parts of the wooden roof structure and platforms above the collector were found. And many other wooden objects: from one piece there is an elongated wooden trough, buckets, pulleys, ladders and pipes.
Images of finds, source: http://www.ajdovski-gradec.com/zanimivosti.html#
The settlement was surrounded by walls with defense towers. In houses, archaeologists dug up a number of objects for everyday use: pottery, yarn, rosary combs, stone jars, scales and various tools. Among the finds there is a bronze weight in the form of a goddess of the Moon, a silver plated scales, a silver needle – a stylus, amphorae as liquid meters and a mortar as a measure for bulk goods (grain, salt). Among the buildings exiting the south of the upper church, there is also a smaller structure of a square shape, which is undoubtedly functionally connected with the church and beside the alleged bishop’s residence, as it was completely centralized.
The Ajdovski gradec was twice violently devastated, which was shown in the excavations. In the dirt there are two layers of ash. The first arson can be connected with the arrival of the Huns, the second arson and the final destruction of the settlement with the arrival of our ancestors, the Slavs in the second half of the 6th century.
Ajdovski gradec is one of the major early Christian centers in the Alps and one of the better studied late antique settlements in Slovenia. It can be compared with settlements like Rifnik near Šentjur, Ajdna above Potoki and Korinjski hill above the Veliki Korinj. Together with them, this is one of the last remanents of Roman civilization on Slovenian territory.
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Peter Petru: Ajdovski gradec nad Vranjem pri Sevnici, 1975
Timotej Knific: Ajdovski gradec pri Sevnici. V: Arheološki pregled, 1987
Timotej Knific, Drago Svoljšak: Ajdovski gradec nad Vranjem pri Sevnici. V: Arheološka najdišča, 1991
Slavko Ciglenečki: Ajdovski gradec nad Vranjem pri Sevnici. V: Polis Norikon, Podsreda, 1992
46°2’20,03″ N 15°21’3,7″ E