From Wikipedia
The suburban territory of Pautalia.

Pautalia is one of the great ancient cities in Thracia on the site of today's Kyustendil. Middle settlement of Dentheletae.

The name is Thracian and means "spring city". The first preserved mention of the city dates back to 135 Roman Municipia in Thrace from 106 together with the settlements on the site of today's Sofia, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. From the first name of Emperor Trajan received his first name — Ulpia Pautalia. During the reign of the Roman Empire, from the emperors Antoninus Pius to Caracalla, Pautalia minted his own coins.

The urban planning of Pautalia was like that of the ancient Greek and Asia Minor ancient cities. The width of the ancient streets is the largest in comparison with all other ancient cities on the territory of today's Bulgaria. The ancient city was quite large, as a number of public buildings, basilicas and baths were distinguished by coins. In the city there were temples of Asclepius, Zeus, Sabazios, Hera, Apollo, Hermes, Demeter, Heracles and other deities from the ancient Greek pantheon. Temples have also been discovered in the vicinity of Pautalia. There were many statues in the city, including a horse statue of Lucius Verus.

Pautalia had a Boule (ancient Greece), a city assembly, magistrates, court proceedings and coinage. Power was exercised by four archons and city senators. Pautalia had a college for buildings and for arranging sports competitions. The xystarch was in charge of the youth competitions, and the education was in charge of the gimnazarch. The administrative, economic and cultural language was ancient Greek, and there were teachers of rhetoric and law in the city. In the time of Marcus Aurelius, the provincial governor's name was Apollonius.

The official religious cult was towards Jupiter and Juno, but under Septimius Severus the imperial cult also intensified. Pautalia had a priestly college. Eastern deities — Mithras, Cybele, Sarapis — were also worshiped in Pautalia.

Pautalia had developed crafts, and the surrounding field suggested developed fruit growing. The manager of the city market was called an agoramon.

In the 2nd century the first fortress wall was built in the time of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Preserved documents say that Marcus Aurelius loved to live and retire in Pautalia Asclepion, where he ruled the Roman Empire. Post factum in the ancient fortress reveals three periods of construction — after the Gothic invasions of the Balkans (270); during the emperors Valentinian and Valens and during the early Byzantine era. In late antiquity, a fortress was built on the hill south of the city — Hisarlaka. This second fortification was built in the second half of the 4th century and underwent several repairs and reconstructions over the next 5th and 6th centuries. Probably the last fortification dates back to the reign of Emperor Justinian the Great.

During the reign of Emperor Aurelian, Pautalia was the third largest city in Dacia Mediterranea — after Serdica and Naissus. Around the city there were a number of small settlements — castles. In one of them was born the famous general Belisarius.

The last mention of Pautalia dates back to 553.


  • Encyclopedic Dictionary Kyustendil; pages 499-500.