Frontiers of the Roman Empire (1987, 2005)

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The site consists of sections of the border line of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the 2nd century A.D., part of what is known as the “Roman Limes”. All together, the Limes stretched over 5,000kms from the Atlantic coast of northern Britain, through Europe to the Black Sea, and from there to the Red Sea and across North Africa to the Atlantic coast. Vestiges in this site include remains of the ramparts, walls and ditches, watchtowers, forts, and civilian settlements, which accommodated tradesmen, craftsmen and others who serviced the military. 

Germany 1985. City of Augsburg's 2000th anniversary, with a bust of Emperor Augustus in the front. Germany 1976. Mask Bowl from the Roman archaeological findings at Hildesheim, Germany.

“Hadrian’s Wall” which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the transnational property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”. Eventually see the British property Hadrian's Wall (on this site). 

The Upper-Germanic Roman Limes covers a total distance of 550 kilometres. Around 2,000 years ago its forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades protected the mighty Roman Empire from independent Germania. 

It is the longest and one of the most impressive archaeological monuments in Europe, marking the frontier where the highly developed civilization of ancient Rome met 'barbaric' Germania.

The Rhaetian Limes begins in Rotenbachtal near Schwäbisch Gmünd, and joins seamlessly with the Upper-Germanic Limes. 

Ending at Regensburg on the River Danube, it passes through the Odenwald forest, the Hohenlohe plain, the Swabian Forest, the Swabian Alb and Altmühl Valley nature reserve. A particularly large Roman fort built for mounted units is located in what is now the town of Aalen. 

The German part of the Roman frontiers is shown on this chart. 

Germany. Chart of the Roman Frontiers.

1 - 40 Obergermanischer Limes     41 - 61 Rätischer Limes 
1 Niederbieber 11 Hefttrich 21 Oberflorstadt 31 Trennfurt 41 elzheim West 51 Gnotzheim
2 Heddesdorf 12 Kleiner Feldberg 22 Altenstadt 32 Miltenberg Altstadt 42 Welzheim Ost 52 Gunzenhausen
3 Niederberg 13 Saalburg 23 Marköbel 33 Miltenberg Ost 43 Lorch 53 Theilenhofen
4 Arzbach 14 Kapersburg 24 Rückingen 34 Walldürn 44 Schwäb. Gmünd 54 Ellingen
5 Bad Ems 15 Friedberg 25 Groß-Krotzenburg 35 Osterburken 45 Böbingen 55 Weißenburg
6 Marienfels 16 Langenhain 26 Seligenstadt 36 Jagsthausen 46 Aalen 56 Burgsalach
7 Hunzel 17 Butzbach 27 Stockstadt 37 Öhringen Bürg 47 Rainau-Buch 57 Böhming
8 Holzhausen 18 Arnsburg 28 Niedernberg 38 Öhringen Rendel 48 Halheim 58 Pfünz
9 Kemel 19 Inheiden 29 Obernburg 39 Mainhardt 49 Ruffenhofen 59 Kösching
10 Zugmantel 20 Echzell 30 Wörth 40 Murrhardt 50 Dambach 60 Pförring  

Germany 2005. Forchheim. 1200th anniversary of foundation.

As an aside, in relation to Emperor Augustus shown above on the Augsburg-stamp, it is worth mentioning one of his world famous contemporaries, Pontius Pilate, who was allegedly born in Bavaria. 

According to legend, Pilate was born in Germany in present day's Forchheim (Bavaria), a few kilometers from Nuremberg. This is thoroughly documented through a book by Mr. Gerhard Batz (Germany), "Das Pilatus Puzzle". 

In 2005 Forchheim celebrated its 1200th anniversary of foundation, and on 14th January 2005 Germany issued a stamp and a First Day Sheet celebrating the anniversary.  

  • Germany 2005. Forchheim. 1200th anniversary of foundation. 
Front cover illustration from the book "Das Pilatus-Puzzle", showing a fragment of a frescoe of Pontius Pilate, executed by Giotto di Bondone, Capella Serovegni, Padua (Italy) 1305, in combination with a photograph (top) from Forchheim (Pilatushof/Church of St. Martin), and (bottom) from Hausen (Church of St. Wolfgang). Germany 2005.  First Day Sheet (Ersttagsblatt), issued in celebration of Forchheim's 1200th city  anniversary, depicting a panoramic view of Pilatushof/Church of St. Martin.

Hadrian, emperor of Rome 117-138, declared an end to the expansion of the empire and drew back to the limits established by Augustus. Traces of Hadrian's name is still found in various place names, e.g. Edirne (town in the European part of Turkey), whose original name was Hadrianapolis [Adrianapolis]. 

I have been informed that Germany will issue in 2007 a stamp dedicated to the German part of the World Heritage site of the Roman Frontiers. As soon as it becomes available, it will be shown on this page. 

Sources and links:

Many thanks to Mr. Gerhard Reichert (Germany) for all help and research. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 04 aug 2006  
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