The Roman and Early Byzantine town Nicopolis ad Istrum is located 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo on a low plateau on the left bank of the Rositsa, near the village of Nikyup.
The town was founded by the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus (98-117) in memory of his victory over the Dacians in 106 AD.
Originally, Nicopolis was within the boundaries of the Provincia Thracia. At the beginning of 193 AD the town was transferred to Moesia Inferior. The town’s territory was arranged in residential areas, villas and marketplaces.
Nicopolis ad Istrum was arranged in very much the same manner like the Asia Minor towns like Efes, Nicea and Nikomedia. The town government was headed by the Council of Archons.
Nicoplis was home to settlers from Asia Minor, Thraciams and Roman veterans. The classical town used the grid system of planning, in which streets run at right angles to each other.
A network of streets, the forum surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and a number of other buildings have been uncovered. The main gate of the town, called the Romana Gate, was on the west and facing Rome. The town square (agora) was a centre of economic. cultural and religious life.
This archaeological site was made more accessible to visitors only recently, after it received some development funding from the Ministry of Culture and an EU OP.