Photos, Travel

Roman Villa Borg

Ruins of a grand Roman countryside villa (villa rustica) were discovered by a local school teacher at the end of the 19th century outside the village of Borg in the municipality of Perl (Germany). The villa consisted of three wings covering an area of more than 7.5 hectares. The complex was excavated in the late 1980s and a plan to reconstruct an authentic representation of the buildings as they originally appeared in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD began in 1994. The project was completed in 2008 although further excavation work is still undergoing.

Coordinates: 49° 29′ 47″ N, 6° 27′ 29″ E

The site consisted of an agricultural facility including a large palatial residence or pars urbana and a pars rustica or economic area. The reconstruction of the Roman villa rustica was based on the local findings and on excavation work done at similar sites in the Saar region, such as the villa at Echternach in Luxembourg. The reconstructed buildings now stand on the Roman foundation walls, revealing their probable appearance in the 2nd to 3rd centuries AD. Today the archaeological park functions as an open-air museum and provides a detailed impression of what life was like back then in the countryside.

The reconstructed buildings comprise of the baths which are fully functional and consist of a frigidarium (cold bath), caldarium (hot bath) and tepidarium (tempered bath) together with latrines and a dressing room (apodyterium); the manor or main building with a large reception hall and a number of adjacent rooms in which the most important finds from the site and replicas (see here) are displayed; the Roman kitchen; a residential building. A tavern in one of the wings which was not part of the original villa serves food and drinks based on ancient Roman recipes. The Villa Borg produces its own Roman bread which you can buy at the tavern. The bread is baked inside the reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina).

In 2000 the villa complex was expanded in the wake of the EU project “Gardens without Limits“. Six gardens were created on the complex site: the courtyard garden, the herb garden, the rose room, the fruit garden, the vegetable garden and the flower garden. The fruits, vegetable and herbs are used for the preparation of the Roman and regional dishes in the Tavern.

Until now only the pars dominica, which was the residential area exclusive to the master (dominus) and his family, has been excavated. Excavation work is currently being carried out in the area of the pars rustica, the area reserved for servants and workers of the farm.

PORTFOLIO

The reconstructed Gatehouse through which visitors enter the site of the Roman Villa Borg.
The reconstructed Gatehouse through which visitors enter the site of the Roman Villa Borg. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The interior of the Gatehouse has been designed to meet contemporary requirements and accommodates the ticket office, museum shop and administrative offices.
The interior of the Gatehouse has been designed to meet contemporary requirements and accommodates the ticket office, museum shop and administrative offices. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The courtyard garden with the Gatehouse in the background.
The courtyard garden with the Gatehouse in the background. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The courtyard garden with the Gatehouse in the background. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Manor house, bath and Taverne (right); living and working quarters (left.
The Manor house and its courtyard garden. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed manor hall (atrium) used as a museum.
The reconstructed manor hall (atrium) used as a museum. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed manor hall (atrium) used as a museum.
The reconstructed manor hall (atrium) used as a museum. From February to July 2013, an exhibition on Roman glass (CIRCUS BEAKERS & RIBBED BOWLS ROMAN GLASSMAKERS Mark Taylor & David Hill – work show 1989-2012) was held in the reception hall. Several dozen of glass vessels found at the Villa Borg site were on display alongside hundreds of glasses reconstructions made by Mark Taylor & David Hill. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Furniture reproductions, stools, tables, cupboards exhibited in the adjacent rooms.
Furniture reproductions, stools, tables, cupboards exhibited in the adjacent rooms. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Furniture reproductions including a Roman cradle based on the one found in Herculaneum.
Furniture reproductions including a Roman cradle based on the one found in Herculaneum in the house of Marcus Pilius Primigenius Granianus. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The exhibition area.
The exhibition area. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The exhibition area.
The exhibition area. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The exhibition area.
The exhibition area. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The complex also includes a fully functioning Roman bath. The baths have been rebuilt in their original way and give an indication of how important the bathing culture was in the Roman Empire.
The complex also includes a fully functioning Roman bath. The baths have been rebuilt in their original way and give an indication of how important the bathing culture was in the Roman Empire. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed frigidarium (cold bath).
The reconstructed frigidarium (cold bath). Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed caldarium, a vaulted room containing a hot bath.
The reconstructed caldarium, a vaulted room containing a hot bath. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Next to the caldarium and in line with ancient bathing customs is the reconstructed laconicum, the dry sweating room of the Roman thermae. The resting room was raised to a higher temperature and had no bath in it.
The reconstructed laconicum, the dry sweating room of the Roman thermae. The resting room was raised to a higher temperature and had no bath in it. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed laconicum (resting room).
The reconstructed laconicum (resting room). Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed hypocaust in the resting room next to the baths.
The reconstructed hypocaust in the resting room. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed lararium, the sacred place of the house, and a statue of Clio, the muse of history and and a reconstructed lararium, a shrine to the guardian spirits of the Roman household (Lar Familiaris).
The medium warm room of the baths containing a statue of Clio, the Muse of history and a reconstructed lararium, a shrine to the guardian spirits of the Roman household (Lar Familiaris). Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed latrines.
The reconstructed latrines. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina). The Villa Borg produces its own Roman bread which you can buy at the tavern. The bread is baked inside the reconstructed kitchen.
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina). The Villa Borg produces its own Roman bread which you can buy at the tavern. The bread is baked inside the reconstructed kitchen. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina).
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina). Photo © Carole Raddato.
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina).
The reconstructed Roman kitchen (culina). Photo © Carole Raddato.
The flower garden.
The flower and herb garden. The gardens were designed as authentically as possible on the basis of pollen analysis and relevant literature. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The plant garden.
The plant garden. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The rose garden.
The rose garden. Photo © Carole Raddato.
The rose garden.
The rose garden. Photo © Carole Raddato.
A tavern in one of the wings which was not part of the original villa serves food and drinks based on ancient Roman recipes.
The tavern in one of the wings which serves food and drinks based on ancient Roman recipes. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Excavation work at the Roman Villa Borg.
Excavation work at the Roman Villa Borg. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Excavation work at the Villa Borg.
Excavation work at the Villa Borg. Photo © Carole Raddato.
Roman Villa Borg.
Roman Villa Borg. Photo © Carole Raddato.

The Saarland and Mosel Valley’s ancient Roman heritage has a lot to offer to tourists and scholars alike. More than 120 antique sights along the Moselle and the Saar rivers, the Saarland and Luxembourg are testament to the Gallo-Roman era north of the Alps (further information here).

Visiting the Roman Villa Borg: The villa is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm April to October and from 11am to 4pm February to March and November. The site is closed on Mondays and in December and January.

Website: http://www.villa-borg.de

Article originally posted on Following Hadrian Photography; reposted with permission.

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Carole Raddato's favourite hobby is travelling and for the last 8 years she has taken a huge interest in the history of the ancient world. She has dedicated all her free time to this passion. She loves to share with other history fans all the incredible facts and stories that she discovers throughout her journeys. She is neither a professional photographer nor an ancient history scholar, but she hopes that everybody can enjoy her photos. She is particularly interested in everything related to the emperor Hadrian whom she finds fascinating. He was himself an incessant traveller, visiting every province in the Empire during his reign. When Carole is looking for new ideas for her travels, she usually takes inspiration from his journeys and it is a great motivation for her to follow him in his footsteps.