Romano-Germanic Museum

Cologne, Germany

The Roman-Germanic Museum (Römisch-Germanisches Museum) has a large collection of Roman artifacts from the Roman settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, on which modern Cologne is built. The museum protects the original site of a Roman town villa, from which a large Dionysus mosaic remains in its original place in the basement, and the related Roman Road just outside. In this respect the museum is an archaeological site.

The Römisch-Germanisches Museum is near the Cologne Cathedral on the site of a 3rd-century villa. The villa was discovered in 1941 during the construction of an air-raid shelter. On the floor of the main room of the villa is the renowned Dionysus mosaic. Since the mosaic could not be moved easily, the architects Klaus Renner and Heinz Röcke designed the museum around the mosaic. The inner courtyards of the museum mimic the layout of the ancient villa.

In addition to the Dionysus mosaic, which dates from around A.D. 220/230, there is the reconstructed sepulcher of legionary Poblicius (about A.D. 40). There is also an extensive collection of Roman glassware as well as an array of Roman and medieval jewellery. Many artifacts of everyday life in Roman Cologne are displayed, ncluding portraits (e.g., of Roman emperor Augustus and his wife Livia Drusilla), inscriptions, pottery, and architectural fragments.

The museum has the world's largest collection of locally produced glass from the Roman period.

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Details

Founded: 1974
Category: Museums in Germany
Historical period: Cold War and Separation (Germany)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kieran Choquet (2 years ago)
I could only see the roman floor mosaic and the reconstituted monument in memory of a roman man. That was very nice, and the guide spoke a good english so it was cool. The two things are very impressive, by the way.
Monika van Hoeve (2 years ago)
Closed! For maybe years! Big renovations. Fortunately, on set times you can visit for only 3 euros the museum's two highlights. A wellspoken guide will explain Roman life in 20 min. You can not miss this gem.
r kennedy (2 years ago)
I was somewhat unimpressed by this museum, but to be fair, I lived in Tunisia for a couple of years, and there were lots of places there that had more impressive collections of Roman artifacts, and most of those places were free to enter. The high point of this museum is some of the small bronze castings, which are very nice. It's a fairly small museum, so the admission fee seemed relatively steep.
Jan Thomas (3 years ago)
Nice Museum of Roman and Germanic history right next to the Cologne dome. A huge amount of ancient findings are exhibited. Almost too much to go digest everything properly.
Dick Nicholson (3 years ago)
This is a great Museum, in the truest sense of the word. Incredible collection of Roman relics, reconstructions, maps etc. Also much older stuff from Germanic tribes and earlier inhabitants. A full day would not be enough to see everything. This museum is worth a trip to Cologne just to see it, but no trip to this city would be complete without a visit to one of the beer halls. Go to the tourist office, get a map, and explore.
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Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.