XXIII. Limescongress 2015

Heritage Management and Roman Frontiers

The World Heritage Site “Upper German-Raetian Limes” consists of linear protected monuments

Managing the cultural heritage of Roman Frontiers is not an easy task. Aside from the direct line of the frontier itself, there are associated forts, watchtowers and civilian settlements. In addition, roads formed key components of frontier systems. Large-scale excavations of frontier sites in the 19th and 20th century have left a large number of archaeological remains, reconstructions and rebuilt structures. Some of these, such as the Saalburg fort in the Taunus, constitute a modern form of cultural heritage that itself needs to be managed and protected. Aside from ancient monuments along Roman Frontiers, reconstructions and rebuilding projects predating 1965 form part of their heritage under World Heritage Site definition. This means that structures such as the Saalburg itself now fall under World Heritage Site legislation.
The land frontier in Germany alone, if treated as one protected zone, would have to be drawn up as a single site extending over a length of 550km and varying widths. As this would be difficult in terms of administration, the World Heritage Site "Upper German-Raetian Limes" consists of linear protected monuments (ditches, earth banks, palisades, walls, roads) and heritage “islands” around associated watchtowers, forts and settlements. As the land frontier runs across four different federal states, it is administered and managed by the respective heritage services. Their work on the Roman Frontier is coordinated by the German Limescommission (DLK). Each state service employs a ‘commissary’ tasked with looking after the Roman Frontier in its territory. They also liaise with museums and tourist agencies along the frontier. A key element of presentation and outreach work are the so-called Limes Cicerones, honorary guides and experts that are active all along the Roman Frontier in Germany.

The German heritage services tasked with the Roman Frontier in Germany are those of:


Sekretariat für das Welterbe in Rheinland-Pfalz & Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe RLP


Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg

Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege

LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland




Geschäftsstelle der Deutschen Limeskommission    -    Römerkastell Saalburg    -    D-61350 Bad Homburg v.d.H.    -    Tel. 0049 6175-937434    -    info(at)limes2015.org