Friday, July 4, 2014

short trip into the Roman past, or: timelines & skies

this post belongs to sky friday, and to the "home journeys"series:

In spring I went to visit a Roman place that is not far from here: the ruins of a Roman “Kastell” (camp/fort) in Köngen (South Germany). The remains of this site now form a park with scultpures, and there’s a museum, too. I checked the opening hours, yet didn’t notice it is closed from November to April....  This week I finally returned with a friend. There was some chance of thunderstorms, but the skies were kind, and provided sun and a cloud show.

It was special to be there again and walk through this place of the past, along the old sculptures and the trees, home of families of birds – such a contrast: the old stones that remain, and the feathery fragile birds. The park is framed by pines, which gives it an Italian touch. At the horizon you can see the Alb plateau, and the clouds moving in and out.

The park also includes a model of the former Kastell, to give an idea how the place looked like in the past: 

After touring the grounds, we went to the museum – and it turned out, we were the solo visitors at the time, probably due to the weather. The museum guard took time for us, and showed us around a bit, and also put on the docu film for the 2 of us: it felt like a private visit to a public place almost.

So fascinating, to see the sculptures, and also the vessels and tools that were part of someone's life, 2000 year ago...

...the Kastell was built around the year 100 A.D., it was a guarding point, overlooking a crossing point of the river Neckar in the  valley below. The river and the crossing was part of the long distance route from Mainz to Augsburg. Here's a map, the marked lines are not roads, but rivers, the liquid "highways" of the past:

After the museum visit, we walked a final loop through the Roman park, thinking of all the people who have walked here: the place, and the way it forms a natural landmark and lookout, probably was visited since old times. to be able to see a time lapse, and see who arrived at the shores of the Neckar, and who was up here... probably Celtic tribes, and maybe even our prehistoric ancestors. 

Walking there also brought back memories of other historic sites - like most recently, the Roman runis in Mallorca. or like the visit to Blaubeuren, where the prehistoric figurine was found a while ago. that is about 40 kilometres from the Roman castle, on the Alb plateau, roughly in the direction of the 2 central pines....


Related Links:

- visiting the Roman ruins of Alcudia in Mallorca / Spain

- visiting the Neolithic Venus of the Hohle Fels in Blaubeuen

- a day trip along the "Römerstrasse" = the Roman road

more home journeys (= trips through the region here)

- more skies from everywhere: skywatch  friday

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