Saturday, November 9, 2013

Roman Forts - Saalburg

When the Roman Empire ruled forts were built all around the boarders. The Rhine and Danube Rivers were natural boundaries which required less monitoring, but the area between the rivers was known as the Limes and was marked with many forts. Although travel was open across the boundary soldiers monitored traffic much the same as a boarder crossing is monitored today.


Remains of many of the forts still exist today and they all are constructed using the same basic model with similar features. The Saalburg Fort in Bad Homburg, Germany has been rebuilt and is open to visitors.

Four nearly identical gates are located on the sides of the Fort.

Double ditches surrounded the fort for defensive purposes. Although they don't look difficult to penetrate, in former times they were constantly maintained by soldiers. The walls of the ditches were nearly vertical and they were filled with spiky logs and water. The trees surrounding the fort were cleared to allow soldiers to spot people approaching the fort.

Several wells were built at the fort.

The men slept in long barracks buildings.

Foot baths were created for washing feet and the water flowed in ditches.

The forts had center courtyards with a well in at least one corner.

Ceremonies such as retirements, assemblies and announcements took place in the main building of the fort.

Officers had nice living quarters complete with wall frescoes.

Outside the forts a cities sprang up. The villages supported the forts with hotels and shops. This is the remains of a thermal bath outside the fort boundary.

Roman Fort by Stephen Johnson explains forts and fort life in much more detail. After visiting, we browsed the book to further explain the fort.







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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I'm jealous that you got to visit a Roman Fort. We have visited several Revolutionary War and Civil War forts on our family vacations, and it is so much easier to understand their significance and purpose "in person."

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