Vidin's name is a derivation of its Roman one, Bononia, which according to some historians stems from Dunonia, the name of a 3rd-Century BC Celtic settlement. Interestingly, Bononia is also the old name of Bologna in Italy.
In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, Bononia on the Danube was a major Roman outpost as it controlled a crucial bend of the river. In 320 its fortifications were heavily reconstructed, covering an area of over 20 ha. In the times since, most of the castrum has been overbuilt with streets and buildings, but the initial layout of the later Baba Vida Fortress, the city's most popular site, is from the Roman era. The local history museum, situated in a beautiful 18th-Century house, has an interesting though not extensive collection of artefacts from Roman Vidin. Among them stands out the 2nd-Century bronze portrait of a young man.
Some of the most interesting exhibits in the museum, like the marble statue of Hercules and the floor mosaic from a villa rustica were found not in ancient Bononia but in the biggest settlement in the region in the Roman times - nearby Ulpia Ratiaria.
The Romans were the first to construct a fortress on the place of Vidin
Roman-era inscriptions make a significant part of the lapidarium of Vidin's History Museum
Mitra relief, Vidin