In the Posavina village of Ščitarjevo, some 8 kilometers from Velika Gorica, you will find excavations of the ancient Roman town of Andautonia. Andautonia was the administrative, political and cultural center of the area located between Medvednica mountain, Vukomerić hills and the Sava river.

Two millennia ago, the Roman Empire was the world’s most powerful military and political entity. At that time they had a firm grasp over almost all of Europe. The province of Pannonia, which you find yourselves in at the moment, was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC. 

Pannonia was inhabited by Illyrian tribes, who were mostly under the influence of the Celtic culture. It was exactly at that time that Illyrians got acquainted with a new kind of metal: iron. A legend goes that the name of today’s village of Ščitarjevo was derived from the Celtic word SKUTARIUM, that denoted the place where military shields were forged.

After the Romans took control over this area, they began incorporating it into their civilization. First signs of urbanization are shown- they began building road, path and bridge systems, and they started the first settlements with raster streets, squares and town districts.

What was once Celtic Segestika, now became the Roman Siscia, and they connected it to Rome, Aemona, Aquileia and Poetovio by state roads.

Alongside the state road to Poetovio, 27 miles away from Siscia, at the already prehistoric crossing of the Sava river, the Romans first built a guard post to control the movement of people and trade. Soon, the guard post began taking shapes of a growing settlement. In the scenery of the Posavina terrain, they noticed an uplift some 4 meters higher than the rest of the area. The unsteady Sava could not flood it. 

It stretched in the north-south direction, and these were ‘heavenly coordinates’ which, in myths, were considered to be consecrated locations for towns that would have divine protection.

During the period from the 1st century AD to the 4th century AD, the town spread across the area of today’s Gradišće to today’s Kutel.It’s name was Andautonia, which meant ‘a town upon a river’.

With 1000 meters in length, and 500 meters in width, the town had the shape of an irregular hexagon. From a mere guard post, it developed into a town that had the status of a self-governed Roman MUNICIPIO. Andautonia kept rising in size and importance and eventually it became the economic, political, cultural and religious center of RES PUBLIKUM ANDAUTONIENSIUM, the wider area which surrounded Andautonia and which was bordered by the Medvednica mountain in the north, Vukomeričke gorice (the Vukomerić hills) in the south, the Zelina river in the east and Samoborsko gorje (the Samobor hills) in the west.

Internal unease, the division of the Empire, and barbarian attacks all contributed to the town’s insecurity and decay. In the 5th century AD, its inhabitants started abandoning it, and settling in Rome or hiding in more secure places. 

One of these places were the hills of Medvednica mountain. 

The settlements upon those hills soon became the core of the future ‘city upon Gričke gorice’ (the Grič hills), Zagreb.

The Andautonia Archaeological Park has been presenting the archaeologically processed area of the part of town surrounding the town’s bathhouse since 1994, and you can actively participate in the living pictures of the Roman Andautonia during the Days of Andautonia in May.