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Deutsche Limeskommission

Deutsche Limeskommission

13. Saalburg Fort

Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe City, Hochtaunuskreis

Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe City, Hochtaunuskreis. Site of the fort Saalburg. Picture down - The reconstructed southern gate (PORTA PRAETORIA) of the fort Saalburg.

The Saalburg fort location is something special on the Upper German-Raetian Limes. The Saalburg is the only fort that has been reconstructed. Here the Saalburg Museum is located, a research institute and, besides the Limes Museum in Aalen, the only Museum specifically dedicated to the Limes. As well as this, at no other fort location are so many visible remains to be encountered. The location is among the best researched on the Limes.

Probably around 90 AD, a fort with an area of 0.7 ha was built for an unknown Numerus. It had a rectangular ground plan, corner towers, intermediate towers and two gates, and was surrounded by a ditch. The baths were located in front of the fort. Around 135 AD, a 3.2 ha (221 m x 147 m) fort was built, the garrison of the Cohors II Raetorum civium Romanorum. The installation was rectangular, with four gates, possessed a defence wall of stone and timber, and was surrounded by two ditches. In the second half of the 2nd century, the defence wall was constructed in stone. Of the internal buildings, we know as stone buildings the principia, the horreum and probably parts of the praetorium, as well as timber buildings and numerous springs. The camp village extended on all sides of the fort. The main axis of the settlement was the road which led from the main gate, dead straight in a south-eastern direction towards Nida, the capital of the Civitas Taunensium at the north edge of Frankfurt. Here the baths and the guest house were situated. Then the houses of the camp village began, on both sides of the road. They were followed by a zone with shrines, and finally a burial ground. In front of the west gate there was a large stone building.

Two older forts from the end of the 1st century were situated not far to the north-east of the fort. One had a polygonal ground plan, one gate, and a defence wall with fence, ditch and rampart. The second small fort stood directly to the south. It had an almost square ground plan, one gate, and a defence wall of timber and earth, together with two ditches. Traces of a U-shaped troop barracks are known.

Large-scale excavations were carried out between 1853 and 1862. Then in 1870, excavations began which lasted several decades. In 1897, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who often stayed in Bad Homburg, decided on the reconstruction of the fort, which was completed during the years leading up to the First World War.

The Saalburg lies in a large open space in the forest. The inside of the fort is laid out as a park. The B 456 highway passes through the area of the camp village. Other than this, the village lies in the forest and in the park landscape to the south and west of the fort.

In the reconstruction, the stone defence wall with the earth embankment behind it and the four gates, the principia, the horreum, parts of the conjectured praetorium, two troop barracks and numerous springs were erected.  Principia and horreum are used for the museum. The rooms of the postulated commander’s quarters house the museum’s administrative offices. The stone foundations of buildings in the camp village have been preserved following the excavations, and form a landscape thick with ruins.

 

 

Geschäftsstelle der Deutschen Limeskommission  -  Am Römerkastell 1  -  D-61350 Bad Homburg v.d.H.  -  Tel. 06175-937434  -  Fax 06175-937411  - info(at)deutsche-limeskommission.de

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