The frontiers of the Roman Empire are spread throughout Europe. I obviously have some more “frontiering” to do!
Driving down the autobahn these days, you see lots of “brown” signs. Brown indicates a place of interest. This runs the gamut as far as how someone has defined “interest.” But if there is a truly important site in the nearby town, especially if it is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, you can be sure there is a brown sign telling you to turn here!
We kept driving by this one. The one that said “Limes”, which is what the Germans call the Roman Empire barrier. We finally headed there with high expectations as we have visited one other site, Saalburg which is a pretty cool rebuilt Roman fort north of Frankfurt. (Yes, it also has a brown sign, so you can’t get lost.)
So we headed to Aalen. The ruins of the fort are all encompassed on the museum grounds and are surrounded by a fence. However, you can see part of the excavations right in the front yard of the museum.
The museum is pretty impressive. My favorite gallery was a bunch of tin or pewter figurines in huge dioramas depicting the life of a Roman soldier. It also had plenty of informative plaques (in German), statues, Roman soldier shoes, and plenty more.
Outside there is an educational area where they bring the school kids and do all kinds of crafts and games to help teach them about the Romans. After that you can walk through more ruins–those of the baths and the barracks.
All in all, it was a pretty nice exhibit. We did drive out of town to see a Roman tower on the limes, but these were all recreations and not very interesting I must say.
We’ve chased Roman ruins all over the globe. Here’s a few more you might be interested in:
Have you been to the Limes in Germany? If so, which sites, and if you went to more than one, which are the best? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section!