Roman Archeological Park

Xanten, Germany

In the first century BC. the Romans set their sights on the Lower Rhineland. They erected a military camp on the Fürstenberg so that they could advance into Germania to the east of the Rhine by crossing the river Lippe.

After the devastating defeat of Varus by the Germanic forces led by Arminius in 9 AD, the river Rhine became the eastern frontier of the Roman empire. A port and a settlement developed north of the camp. About 98 AD Emperor Traian granted the settlement colony status, and this became Colonia Ulpia Traiana.

Streets in a grid pattern, sewers, town walls, a forum, temples, baths and an amphitheatre were built, and all from stone that had to be hauled more than 100 kilometres down the Rhine.

In the Xanten Archaeological Park, some buildings have been partly reconstructed, some rebuilt and furnished to give visitors an idea of what the settlement would have been like. Original remains of Roman buildings can also be seen.

Roman museum

The modern steel and glass building is situated on the historic site of the major Roman settlement Colonia Ulpia Traiana. It is built on the excavated foundations of the entrance hall of the public baths. The size and the shape of the modern building correspond to the ancient Roman original.

Among the exhibits on display are the remains of a Roman boat, suspended from the ceiling at a height of 12 metres. Further highlights are a stunning, large mural and the oldest and best preserved Roman cannon yet discovered. Spanish oil amphorae, silver tableware, pottery and a considerable collection of Roman army weapons and equipment are also  on display.

Roman Baths 

The municipal public baths of Colonia Ulpia Traiana were built under Emporor Hadrian around A.D. 125. The complex comprised hot, warm and cold baths, changing rooms, saunas and a sports-field.

The baths, destroyed in 275, were rediscovered in 1879. The museum building was openend in 1999. The building, combining glass and steel, reflects the design and dimensions of the original, allowing visitors to get a good impression of the imposing size of these ancient baths.



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Founded: 98 AD
Category: Museums in Germany
Historical period: Germanic Tribes (Germany)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tie fighter (3 months ago)
Very big park on a historical site where the past is brought back to the present. I hope much more will be excavated and many more buildings reconstructed. Becouse what has been done is very much like the real deal with a very great kwality. Like the northern gate and the amphitheater are my personal favorites. Definitely worth a visit if you like history.
Driv3n to Trav3l (4 months ago)
Outside walking in the fresh air, interactive and very interesting. Kiddo’s loved it and the playground is incredible! Lots of free parking
Peter Handley (9 months ago)
What an amazing experience. If you in this part of Germany, this is a must on your to-do list. I will definitely be coming here again next time we in Germany. People and staff were so friendly and helpful. 10 out of 10.
Nisha Pillay (10 months ago)
Authentic replication of 1st century Roman settlement in this area. We spent 4 hours there and still couldn't get enough. The park is well laid, information is available in English German and Dutch. The museum is included in the price. Definitely worth a visit, this is an area of historical significance.
Somnath Sikdar (12 months ago)
Xanten was one of two Roman military strongholds in Germany, the largest being in Cologne. The town itself was built on the banks of the Rhine. Little remains of the old town as the stone used in the original construction was sold for other building projects over the millenia. But certain keys buildings were reconstructed post Second World War. These include the Harbour Temple, the Amphitheater, and the Roman Museum which is also a protective housing of steel and glass that shrouds the enormous bath house. The town sprawled over a large area and today it is covered by well-maintained grass lawns. We spent the whole day at this location. The museum covers interesting aspects of Roman life in Xanten. For only 9 Euros per adult, it was truly worth it.
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