Nikopolis ad Istrum
The first time I visited Nikopolis, a friend and I struggled to climb over the tall, locked gates that protected the ancient ruins on the other side. When I landed, awkwardly on my ankle, a narrow, straight road made of huge slabs of stone with tufts of grass poking from them lay before me and I duly followed it, dodging the large gaps between them. The land opened onto leaning columns of various sizes, decaying slowly but still managing to loom over neglected relics and big boulders, some ornate, some not and others with inscriptions. Although these Roman ruins lay there abandoned alongside overgrown grass, they still managed to ooze the air of their previous majestic lives of grandeur.
Founded in 101-106 AD by the Roman emperor, Trajan who had it built to celebrate his victory against the Dacians, wasn’t re-discovered until the 1900s. It’s design was based on a network of streets based on the orthogonal system whereby roads run from north to south, east to west and cross each other in a straight line.