2019-10-04 Xanten

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2019-10-04 Xanten

Day 10

Discover the charming town of Xanten on a guided tour, including a visit to the town’s famed archaeological park, showcasing the remains of Roman settlement in the region.

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Woke up to rain – yahoo! Arrived in Duisburg around 8:00 still pouring rain! We decided to go on the Roman Park tour instead of walking around in the rain, taking in the medieval town of Xanten – because we would basically be in a museum….hmmm – what they didn’t say was that we would have to walk a mile or so through a park in the pouring rain…hmmm… no umbrella again!  🤧 Wonderful.  It was an amazing museum but it would have been nice to be able to wonder around the grounds, oh well, try to get back as quickly as possible to the bus pickup.

Back on board for hot showers, dry clothes and lunch! We departed for Maastricht at 1:30, and after dinner we were entertained by Simon, our cruise director, singing his favorite songs.

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Xanten Archaeological Park
– Built on the site of Roman colony Colonia Ulpia Traiana, the museum recreated a number of full scale buildings as they were in the time of the Romans. The structures include rows of towering Roman columns, a gladiatorial amphitheater, city walls with guard towers, and even a tall temple. The indoor museum contains many artifacts of the Romans and their way of life.

Around 15 BC the Romans built a castrum (military camp) at this location in order to defend their possessions in Gaul. Home to a legion, a small civilian settlement soon sprang up around its base. Destroyed during the Batavian Revolt of 70 AD, it was later rebuilt and granted the status of a colony about 100 AD by Emperor Trajan who named it Colonia Ulpia Traiana. It rapidly grew and became a major trading and commercial center. Frequently attacked by German tribes during the decline of the Roman Empire, it was eventually abandoned in the 5thC AD. The later Frankish tribes did not build over the ruins, they built their town Xanten nearby, leaving the Roman foundations and ruins preserved under fields and meadows.
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Sacrificial Table with Guardians – Round Table – The sphinxes on the altar are death demons, which originally came from Egypt.

Theater Mask relief  of a tragedy once decorated a tomb.

Treasure Trove from Insula 20 – In the area of the Temple of the Matrons 390 silver coins and other precious objects of gold and silver were found.

Treasure Trove from Insula 27 – Thirty five coins and an ear cleaner were hidden in a residential house shortly after AD 222.

Roman Baths – The Museum sits on the foundation walls of the former entrance hall to the excavated Roman Baths.  Grouped around a wide courtyard was the entrance hall, rows of stores, latrines and a water tower.  The complex included a cold bath, sweating baths (similar to a Finnish sauna), a warm bath and a hot bath.  The baths were the center of ancient social, business and political life.
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