Hi, we spent the day at the Roman Historical Site in Xanten.
We started at 10:45 am and were back at 05:30 pm. Just walking the whole day….the dog enjoyed it (animals are allowed) but the two boys…..hm…they are not made for walking and history but they loved the playground…on the way back they fell asleep immediately in the car…
“Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum (one of the largest in the world), its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for various watersport activities as well as high standard of living. It is visited by approximately one million tourists a year. Big events include the Xantener Sommerfestspiele (a prestigious classical music festival lasting 2 weeks every summer), the annual Xantener Montmartre where artists from all over the world show their latest works as well as the annual German sandcastle-building championship. Xanten is one of Germany’s most affluent communitites.
Reconstructed Roman amphitheatre in Archäologischer Park Xanten
First settlements by isolated tribes can be dated around the year 2000 BC. Around 15 BC the Roman camp Castra Vetera was created on the Fürstenberg near today’s locality Birten. It was intended as a base for campaigns into Germania and until its destruction during the Revolt of the Batavi in 70 AD it was occupied by 8,000 to 10,000 legionaries, and was the main base of the Classis germanica.
After the destruction of Castra Vetera a second camp became established at the Bislicher Insel, named Castra Vetera II, which became the base camp of Legio VI Victrix. A nearby created settlement, which was inhabited by 10,000 to 15,000 usually former legionaries, was given the rights of a Colonia in 110 by the Roman emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus, who renamed the city into Colonia Ulpia Traiana. The colonia became the second most important commercial post in the province of Germania Inferior, only surpassed by Colonia Agrippinensis (today’s Cologne). In 122, Vetera II became the camp of Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix, which substituted VI Victrix which had moved to Britannia.
In 275 the colonia was almost destroyed by Germanic tribes. Thereupon in its neighborhood a new city was established, named Tricensimae, which was smaller but fortified and more easily defended. At the beginning of the 5th century, assaults by Germanic tribes rapidly increased, with the result that the colonia’ was finally given up.
In 363 The Christian Viktor of Xanten is supposed to have been executed together with 360 further members of the Theban Legion near the modern town of Birten, as they refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Since then Viktor of Xanten has been declared a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church, and the patron saint of the cathedral established over his assumed burial place.“ (Wikipedia)
For more information use the link: Xanten.