Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


11.2.09
  Outside the Saalburg Fortress

Here's another quick picture post, showing the vicus outside the Saalburg. Almost all Roman frontier forts attracted a settlement at their threshold where the inofficial families of the soldiers, craftsmen and traders lived. Some of those villages developed from the local huts into a more sophisticated place with stone-built forum, baths and temples.

The main gate seen from the outside

Contrary to the fortress, the vicus has not been reconstructed except for the mithraeum, but the foundations that appeared during excavations in the 19th century have been preserved.

Foundations of the guest house

The houses themselves were made of timber, but they had stone cellars serving as storage rooms, and many of them had a small stone walled room that held the hearth. Most of them had a vegetable garden at the back.

Foundations of a house, with the fort wall in the background

The rectangular houses were arranged along a main road leading to the fort, facing the road with the smaller side. They look so much alike that it is assumed they were erected according to a Roman design.

Roman layout - a street in the vicus

The vicus brought to light a number of finds from Roman everyday life, toys, tools, terra sigillata (of course, lol). Most of them are shown in the Saalburg museum.

One of the gate towers and the fortress wall

I'll leave the baths and the mansio, the guest house, for another little picture post. Not that you can see very much, my visit of the Saalburg fell into the very rainy summer of 2007 and the rain really showed off that day. *grin*
 
Comments:
The main gate looks wonderful :)
 
I wonder how the reconstruction team knew the walls were crenellated?
 
Really interesting!
 
Thanks, Dark Wolf and Meghan.

Satima, they got the space between the merlons wrong, lol. But there are mosaics and paintings, the Trajan's Column, and some architectural texts that will render some information.
 
Cool pictures. And very informative, as always.
 
Have I ever told you that whenever you post pictures like these, I'm never sure if I'm more interested in making stories about them, going and exploring the sites, or reconstructing them with my own hands (or helping to do so). :)
 
Ann, all of the three maybe?

Well, I'm not that good with my hands so I may leave the reconstruction to others, but I certainly try to visit as many places as possible, and a lot of them end up in my stories.
 
All these photos make me yearn to travel again. Thanks for posting these wonderful castles, Gabriele.
 
You're welcome, Barbara, and thank you for your kinds words. It is nice to know people do enjoy my blog.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK and Scandinavia.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.

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