Das The Roman Empire left behind a great deal of heritage, including the local “Limes”. This historical monument should in fact be called a “Limes”, since border installations of this kind once stretched from Scotland to as far as Africa. There were 6 of these colossal installations in total but what we are talking about here is of course our “Limes”, namely the “Upper Germanic Rhaetian Limes”.
The installation was under the command of the 22nd Legion stationed in Mainz. The first occupants of the fort in ARNSBURG/ALTENBURG came from Aquitaine (South-west France). In the later phase of the Limes, volunteers from the local population were recruited as additional troops.
The Limes shouldn’t be imagined as a heavily-armed border akin to an iron curtain. Beyond the border, contact with the Germanic people was indeed popular and desired. There is much evidence to suggest that the Romans and Germanic peoples enjoyed a long and peaceful co-existence.
In 2005, the Limes was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site. 153km of this Roman border run through Hesse. In the district of Giessen, the “Limes” begins – coming from the direction of Butzbach – between Langgöns and Holzheim, reaching its northern-most point near Grüningen, before bending east, skirting past Arnsburg (where there was a fort) to Hungen-Inheiden (also a fort) and continuing out of the district of Giessen just south of Steinheim.
The Limes is most impressively displayed in the reconstructed “Saalburg” fort – between Bad Homburg and Usingen. Our photo shows the entrance hall of the building commissioned by Emperor William II.
If you have now become a Limes fan (and there are a great many), you can explore this piece of history by car by driving along the German Limes road, by bicycle along the German Limes cycle path, or else “per pedes” along the Limes hiking trail.
The district of Giessen has also dedicated a brochure to the Limes that contains the following topics:
- Historical significance of the Limes
- World heritage site
- Course of the Limes: Europe-Germany-Hesse
- The Limes in the Giessen region
- Brief portraits of the neighbouring communities in the Giessen region
- Tips for people staying in the Giessen region
- Tracing Roman heritage in the Giessen region
- Events covering the Limes in the Giessen region
- Culinary specialities of the Limes
- Presentation and development of the Limes in the Giessen region
- Civic involvement at the world heritage site in the Giessen region
- Intermediate Latin
The brochure can be purchased for €2. All further details can be found via the following link: