On July 27, 2021, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to include the Lower German Limes on the World Heritage List during their 44th meeting in Fuzhou (China).


09. Januar 2020

Here you can find current information from the Ministry of Homeland Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Construction and Equality regarding the application submission from 09 January 2020. The LVR press release about the submission of the application can also be found here.

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Rhenus bicornis © J. Vogel, LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn



The border of the Roman Empire is the largest linear monument in Europe. Forming a significant part of this border was the Lower German Limes (NGL). This section ran along the Rhine River between the Dutch coast of the North Sea and the confluence of the Vinxtbach near Bad Hönningen-Rheinbrohl in today’s Rhineland-Palatinate.

Along the ancient banks of the river, the locations of the Lower German army (exercitus Germaniae inferioris) were stretched out like a pearl necklace over a length of some 400 kilometres. The Rhine served as the main stationing area for the legions of the Roman Empire with the most important legionary camps at Nijmegen, Xanten, Neuss, and Bonn. Also located in the region at Cologne-Marienburg was the central base of the Rhine fleet (classis Germanica), which operated as far as the North Sea. 

In the Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Cologne), resided the imperial governor or proconsul (legatus Augusti pro praetore) in his palace (praetorium) as commander-in-chief of the entire Lower German army, which was repeatedly deployed for campaigns in distant parts of the empire and beyond. Watchtowers (turres or burgi), small forts and auxiliary forts (castella) secured the movement of goods and people along the Rhine and across the border of the Imperium Romanum.


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In order to realise the monumental aspirations of Roman architecture along the Rhine, the military also maintained productions sites such as brickworks (figlinae) and limes kilns. Significant and diverse evidence of the Lower German Limes has been preserved at numerous locations and can still be experienced today.

The Lower German Limes will become part of the existing international UNESCO World Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”. The application for recognition as a World Heritage Site, jointly prepared and submitted by the Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, has been submitted to UNESCO for review since 9 January 2020. The application process has been therefore officially opened.

The application proposes 44 archaeological sites in the Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rhineland-Palatinate which the project partners would like to see become part of the existing UNESCO World Heritage Site “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” as part of the Lower German Limes. They are a representative selection of the many known archaeological remains from the Roman period along the Rhine. These sites fulfil several conditions (criteria [ii], [iii] and [iv]) which demonstrate the "Outstanding Universal Value" (OUV) of this part of the borders of the Roman Empire required for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Collectively, they illustrate the impressive range of facilities and buildings known from the Lower German Limes, which can in turn be used to record the structure, function and development of this border that existed for around 400 years.


© M. Jakobs/MiQua. LVR-Jewish Museum in the Archaeological Quarter of Cologne.



Laserscan Uedem marching camp


© St. Bödecker. LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland.