Assif has raised a very interesting subject re Budapest and Aquincum – I don't remember it having been discussed here before or did I miss it?
From my own investigations there seems no doubt that
a. No parts of Aquincum per se have been inscribed BUT the ruins of the Roman Camp "Contra Aquincum" (almost) certainly have been
b. The UNESCO documentation demonstrates a series of (IL!)logical) steps which upgrade "Aquincum" itself from a mere mention within statements about the historic context of Budapest, to actually citing it in one of the criteria justifying the original inscription, and then finally, in the introductory statement within the Nomination file for the entire site of Budapest raising it to a prime element of the site!! Viz " This site has the remains of monuments such as the Roman city of Aquincum and the Gothic castle of Buda, which have had a considerable influence on the architecture of various periods"
. This statement in turn has been carried forward into the UNESCO Web site - NB in particular the use of the words "Roman city
First – where exactly is Aquincum within Budapest? This link ( http://www.panoramio.com/user/510240/tags/ruins
) contains a number of photos, together with maps showing where the locations are situated. These photos identify 3 places containing Roman Ruins
a. The main site of Aquincum itself
b. The Amphitheatre to the south of "a."
c. An area of columns etc at Flórián tér
All of these are located on the Buda side of the Danube in the Obuda district, well north of the Margaret Bridge and Island with Aquincum itself the furthest away to the north.
None of the detailed nomination and evaluation documents – culminating in the very comprehensive map of 2007 - show any area north of the Margaret Bridge itself as being inscribed!!
So how did "Aquincum" get "included" within the descriptions of the inscribed site?
a. The original nomination document dated 1986 is in fact only part of the larger set put together presumably when the Andrassey Av area was added in 2002 (that extension was in no way concerned with Aquincum or any Roman remains). It exists ONLY in French and is in fact a very comprehensive document for an inscription as early as 1987 containing a map (which shows the nominated area to stop in the north at the Margaret Bridge) and a very full inventory of all significant buildings within the site. The ONLY mentions of Aquincum which I can find are
i. A statement of Budapest's various historic names -"Noms precedents de Budapest. Nom Romain –Aquincum....."
ii. As part of a description of the whole "Panorama" of Budapest the Amphitheatre is mentioned but, as stated above, this is clearly situated to the north of the inscribed site
iii. "La territoire actuelle de Budapest fut au 1 -11 ieme siecles une colonie Romaine .....De l'autre cote du passage de Danube sur la rive gauche se trouve la Campe militaire Contra Aquincum don't les restes mis a jour son visibles a proximite de la tete du Pont Elizabeth a Pest"
The Pont Elizabeth represents the southern boundary of the inscribed site The Hungarian Wiki places the ruins as being in the 15 March Sq "not far from Elizabeth bridge"
but I can't absolutely categorically place these ruins on the map. There is a photo of them at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Ruines_van_Romeins_fort_in_centraa l_Pest%2C_Contra-Aquincum%2C_langs_Donau_die_grens_was.jpg
iv. The very detailed inventory of the site includes for Pest the phrase "Ambiance Historique. Eglise Paroissiale de la cite, Contra Aquincum, Aire des Ruines".
So it appears that the ruins of the Fort/Camp of Contra Aquincum (but not the city of "Aquincum" itself which is some kms north of the fort on the other side of the Danube) ARE included within the inscribed site - the Parish Church does indeed seem to be visible on the UNESCO map on the Pest side of the river near the Elizabeth bridge and inside the inscribed area.
b. But this got transformed in the ICOMOS evaluation of 1987 as follows – Budapest "dates back to the foundation of Aquincum by the Romans ... in 2nd century AD.... Important remains of Aquincum and of the camp Contra Aquincum... can be seen today together with the aqueduct which supplied the Roman colony but the present city did not really develop on the ruins of the ancient city..". ICOMOS has then gone on to recommend that "Criteria II .. can be invoked on several scores. Aquincum played an essential role in the diffusion of Roman architectural forms in Pannonia.."!!
c. The Introductory statement for the entire "Nomination Dossier" (which will presumably have been "constructed" by the WH Centre from all the other documents) then converts these statements into its unequivocal inclusion of the CITY
of Aquincum itself as a major element!
So ICOMOS made this leap to include the city of Aquincum purely on the basis of the existence of some parts of the ruins of the fort of "Contra Aquincum" near the foundations of the Elizabeth Bridge being mentioned en passant within Hungary's Nomination file.
As we have already identified on a number of occasions, and as Durian's comment on incorrect photos above further indicates, the UNESCO files contain a fair number of errors. I have had reason to detect a lot of these in going through the recent Harper Collins book on WHS on their behalf. To be fair to Harper Collins they have only "seeded" in a percentage of them - many others come from the Evaluating Body (apparently more often by ICOMOS than by IUCN - though whether that is a function of them or my "knowledge" I don't know!) which has misinterpreted the Nomination File or just made a typing or translation error – the WH Centre doesn't appear to have the knowledge or skills "in house" to pick these up! Yet more come from the determination of States Parties to "talk up" their nominated sites in a most shameful way! The nomination files are full of unjustified superlatives and statements which appear sometimes deliberately to be obfuscating the true nature ("ordinariness"???) of the site. So, in the case of Budapest – if ICOMOS/UNESCO wrongly picks up that the CITY of Aquincum was included by Hungary within the boundaries and actually seem to regard this as "good" to the extent of using it as part of the justification and "official" documentation then Hungary is hardly going to put its hand up and say "Oh, by the way, the ruins of Aquincum aren't actually included you know - just those of the fort of Contra Aquincum!!"
Thus do errors get created, confirmed and become "fact"!