Hüfingen Roman Bath Ruins (Römische Badruine Hüfingen) are an extraordinary testimony to the Roman culture of bathing and one of the oldest examples of baths in a fortress north of the Alps.
Around 70 AD, Roman legions crossed the Alps to construct and secure the Danube Limes, or Roman frontier. At the western end, in today’s Hüfingen, the Brigobannis fortress was built. This boasted a sophisticated road network, an adjoining settlement for civilians and a balineum – a bathhouse for the soldiers.
The Roman baths in Hüfingen are slightly west of the fortress, situated in a valley beneath Galgenberg hill. Not long after their construction, members of the public from the nearby settlement began paying a small fee to come and enjoy the hot waters and steam baths alongside Roman soldiers. A hypocaust, an ingenious Roman underground heating system, ensured the water was warm and kept the floors and walls at an agreeable temperature.
The baths in Hüfingen are an example of a balineum with a blocklike structure, where all rooms were built as compactly as possible. The entire complex – excluding annexes – has an area of around 570 m². Around half of this space was taken up by a generously sized room for undressing and relaxation: the apodyterium, which had a cool-water pool at its centre.
Around 30 years after the baths were constructed, the 11th legion was forced to move on as the Danube frontier was shifted. But the settlement at the foot of the fortress remained intact – as did the 600 m² bathing complex. In 1820, Prince Karl Egon II ordered the excavation of the site and the construction of a protective outer building. Its shape is similar to the barns characteristic of this Black Forest region. Today, visitors to the ruins can gain fascinating insight into the history of the Romans and their bathing customs.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.