Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Western Segment) is a serial transnational site that comprises the remains of the Roman border along the Danube river.
The German part consists of 24 locations between Eining near Regensburg and Passau near the Austrian border. The eastern end of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is directly adjacent to the Danube Limes. The majority of the structures are preserved below ground, original remains are visible at Bad Gögging (thermal baths), Regensburg (Porta Praetoria, included in the WHS Old Town of Regensburg), and at the Roman Museum Boiotro in Passau.
The Austrian part consists of 47 locations between the German border close to Passau (Bavaria) and the Slovakian border near Bratislava. The majority of the structures are preserved below ground, visible remains can be found at Mautern, Traismauer, Tulln, Zeiselmauer, and Petronell-Carnutum.
The Limes Romanus in Slovakia comprises 6 locations, centered around the remains of the Roman military camp Gerulata in Rusovce (Bratislava) and the military fortress Kelemantia in Iza. They date from the 1st and 2nd century respectively.
Map of Danube LimesLoad map
From the German locations included in this huge nomination, I have seen only remainings of CASTRA REGINA in Regensburg (already WHS by itself) as several parts of its fortification are still visible "in situ" (I have seen maybe two- or three-times during my occasional visits of Regensburg). The best known and at the same time the most spectacular part is PORTA PREATORIA, which is quite nice and impressive structure takeing into account how old this gate is. I had also oportunity to see the excavations below Niedermunster church located quite close to the gate, and parts of walls of late Roman barracks or residential villa are presented for organized tours in the underground of the church, but these are not very spectacular.
My opinion is that it does not deserve WHC status at all. Regensburg is already WHS and better preserved PORTA NIGRA in Trier has been already inscribed as well. Despite my skepticism towards this TWHS, I expect smooth after-referral inscription in 2020.
I saw excavated parts of VINDOBONA on Michaelerplatz in the very center of Vienna many times (PHOTO is from my last visit one gloomy day in November 2019). I am also pretty sure that I saw walls, ramparts and watchtowers dating to Roman times during my numerous visits of Wachau valley around Melk and Krems, but honestly I have no memmories on this particular point. Moreover, all the parts I saw (or potentially saw) are already included in the existing WHS Vienna and Wachau, and I would not be surprised if they are mentioned as justifications of OUV of these WHS.
Though the remainings the Roman outpost at Michaelerplatz are quite huge and nicely presented to everybody who is walking from Hofburg to Graben, I do not really understand the reason why this should be declared as WHS.
Some of us maybe remember why this extremely huge nomination was reffered during the WHC session in Azerbaijan in 2019... I gues it will be inscribed in 2020 anyway.
The Danube Limes was the Roman military border along the Danube. The Romans here used the river as a natural boundary: there was no boundary wall such as for example the Hadrian's Wall in northern England. This 'border' consisted of a series of defense towers, auxiliary forts and larger legionary fortresses.
The Danube Limes is nominated to become a WHS in 2019. It will be an additional site to the existing Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS, not an extension of it. The nomination includes no fewer than 164 locations in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. And for 2021 an extension into Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Croatia is already scheduled. The rationale behind this is explained as: "Unlike the Roman monuments already inscribed, the ... constructions are evidence from the edges of the Empires and reflect the adoption of Roman culture by its subject peoples."
From the sparse remains that are left of this border, I visited those in the Austrian town of Klosterneuburg. It lies half an hour drive from the airport of Vienna and thus was a nice ending of my WHS weekend in Czechia. Approaching in my rented Opel Corsa, my navigation app suddenly showed a 'ferry crossing'. Klosterneuburg lies on the 'other side' of the Danube and there is no bridge in the area. So I reluctantly took the third spot of four that the car ferry can transport - at least it gave me a feel for the width of the Danube again.
The Roman remains are located under the Klosterneuburg monastery. That monastery is located on a prominent hill in the city center, so it cannot be overlooked. I dropped my car off in a public parking and hurried to the entrance: I knew that there would be special guided tours of the Roman heritage of the monastery at 14:30 and 16:00. Exactly at 14.30 I was at the ticket counter, where I bought a ticket for 9 EUR and immediately joined the tour that had just begun.
We first walked outside of the huge monastery building to the entrance of what looked like a cellar. There is nothing left on the surface from Roman times. However, excavations have shown that the Roman camp of Arrianis (as its name probably was) was located on exactly the same grounds as the monastery. The Danube then flowed some 2 kilometers closer than is currently the case.
From March to November this year, as part of an exhibition, the Roman excavations under the cloister are also open to visitors - albeit by guided tour only. Here the guide started her explanations at a map of the former army camp. These camps or fortresses were all built according to the same model. Arrianis was not really an important camp, but fulfilled its role in border control against the barbarians on the other side of the Danube.
A further room has been turned into a lapidarium (collection of stone objects). Here you can see gravestones that were already reused by the Romans to strengthen a well. The deceased are depicted on the stones; remarkably often these are Roman men with local, Celtic women. Around the corner of the lapidarium is a unique find in a display case: a Roman military diploma. 2 fragile pieces of bronze served as a kind of identification for 'foreign' soldiers in the auxiliary troops, who had obtained Roman civil rights after 25 years of loyal service. These objects - the gravestones and the diploma - really make clear that this was a Romanized area still with many local connections and far away from Rome.
The very last space that we entered during the tour even was a few meters further down. We were now right at the foundations of the monastery. Here excavations from different periods can be seen, including underfloor heating from Roman times. All looked like stone walls to me, but fortunately signs have been added to explain from which period the particular layer of findings stems!
The Slovakian extension to the Roman Frontier Fortifications is minor but in my opinion highly important to the history of the Roman Empire. There are only two locations in Slovakia due to the Danube being the natural border between the Germanic and Roman forces. I went to the museum near Bratislava just across the river, far enough outside the city to actually not be Bratislava anymore but more importantly nowhere near bad traffic. The museum is called Ancient Gerulata Rusovce and features a small Roman military camp.
It has several layers of buildings from different time periods, most of them just presented by walls. The inside of the museum contains a lot of billboards for history fanatics and explains the region's fortification very well. The reason I found the camp important is that the Romans first did not cross the river due to logistic reasons but later on Emperor Antoninus no longer wanted to fight a war with the Germanic tribes and even had peace treaties.
After going through the inside for around 20 minutes you can still see the outside from a viewpoint but there is not much to see that you couldn't glance at during your walk to the museum. The museum doesn't cost much, parking should be easily found nearby (although I'm not sure why they can't add a few spaces for the museum just outside the gate), and for anyone near Bratislava I would recommend going here. I also regret driving by Iza, the second location, but at the time I didn't think it was worth going to another similar location and I think was mostly curious how come it is on the other side of the Danube.
- Sabrina Liebehentschel :
- Christoph Juropa Purrfect VLabhard :
- Roman Raab Hurrvinek :
- George Gdanski :
- JoStof Ded Vseved David Berlanda Tony0001 HaraldOest :
- Zoë Sheng Ivan Rucek Frederik Dawson Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero Daniel C-Hazard Lucio Gorla Szucs Tamas Bin Alexander Lehmann :
- Matejicek CAN SARICA MaxHeAnouBen Els Slots Hubert Aspasia Randi Thomsen :
- Clyde Sncjob Nan Jean Lecaillon Argo Wojciech Fedoruk JobStopar :
- Solivagant Roman Koeln Philipp Peterer Ian Cade Philipp :
Hungarian locations not inscribed after withdrawal by the State Party. This meant a reduction from 175 to 77 locations.
2019 Advisory Body overruled
From Inscribe to Refer due to late withdrawal of Hungarian component parts
Includes a reduced version of Old Town of Passau (1984)
The site has 77 locations
The site has 12 connections
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85 Community Members have visited.