Archaeological Park Xanten
The Archäologischer Park Xanten (APX) invites visitors to an excursion into four centuries of Roman history of Xanten. Germany’s largest archaeological outdoor museum is perched on the premises of the Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana.
Xanten may be a quaint rural town today, but it used to be one of the largest metropolises of Rome’s provinces in Germania. A harbour town on the Rhine, Colonia Ulpia Traiana counted among the 150 highest-ranking cities across the Roman Empire and was part of the Lower Germanic Limes.
Walk-in replicas in 1:1 scale
Visitors to the Archäologischer Park Xanten (APX) will find buildings reconstructed in their original sizes, including the city walls, harbour temple, and a colossal amphitheatre. Rather than being mere stage sets, they are full walk-in replicas constructed in the original building methods. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lives of the Romans here, experiencing how they used to live, work, and host festive spectacles in the arena. While the Roman inn is offering travellers comfortable accommodation with food and a heated bath house, the Roman craftspeople’s buildings are presenting the lives and livelihoods of Colonia Ulpia Traiana’s simpler people: Smiths and weavers will ply their crafts in the workshops here on particular weekends.
Not only the park offers plenty of opportunity for amazement: the LVR-Römermuseum affords a unique combination of archaeological fortification and modern museum architecture. Built on the Roman foundations of the Basilika Thermarum, the entrance hall of the Roman city baths and the largest building anywhere in the Colonia, the museum is hosting a permanent exhibition with original finds such as weapons and equipment of the Roman army from the city and the legion’s camps. Exhibits that can be touched, tried out, and examined enable visitors to experience the world of the Romans. Remnants of the Roman city bath’s foundation walls have been preserved, too, allowing visitors to inspect the outlines of bathing pools, heating ducts, and fireplaces while getting an idea of the monumental size of this antique building.