Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes
The longest and one of the most impressive archaeological monuments in Europe, the Limes marks former Roman boundaries from the Rhine to the Danube over a distance of 550km. Around 2,000 years ago its forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades protected the mighty Roman Empire from the Barbarians.
The Limes runs from Bad Hönningen/Rheinbrohl on the Rhine to the Eining fort on the Danube, a short distance from Regensburg. As well as the original Roman ruins there are reconstructions, architectural digs and replicas, and the course of the border wall can still be made out in places as it stretches in long, straight lines across forests and pastureland. Special highlights along the route include the reconstructed Roman fort at Saalburg in Bad Homburg, the Roman museum in Osterburken, the Limes museum with archaeology park and fort in Aalen (southern Germany’s largest Roman museum), the Roman baths and the Roman museum and Limes information centre in Weissenburg.
The ramparts and moats are the best-preserved parts of the Upper Germanic Limes fortifications, and these are most clearly visible in a number of wooded areas of the Westerwald forest and Taunus hills.
You can gain a real insight into the world of the Romans by visiting Saalburg Fort, especially if you combine it with the Rundweg Saalburg tour that takes you about two kilometres through the Taunus hills and around the fort itself. Afterwards, you can stop for a bite to eat in the Taberna museum café.
The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is not, however, a stand-alone world heritage site, but is part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire, of which Hadrian’s Wall in Britain is the most significant part. Scotland’s Antonine Wall was added in 2008.
But even on its own, the Limes is more than impressive enough.
The Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes
UNESCO World Heritage since 2005
From the selection criteria
Together with Hadrian’s Wall and Antoniuswall in Great Britain (since 1987 and 2008 UNESCO World Heritage), the Limes forms the cross-border World
Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”.
The Limes marks the Roman border fortifications with castles, watchtowers, palisade walls, ditches and
ramparts with which the former world power demarcated their empire towards Germania.
With a length of 550 kilometers, it is the longest monument in Europe.