LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn

From Neanderthal Man to the Present: Time Travel across 400,000 Years Cultural History in the Rhineland

Due to its superb collection as the only museum of cultural history in the Rhineland, the LVR-LandesMuseum shows the development of the region from its beginnings to the present day. In the permanent exhibition, the visitor is greeted with an eventful journey through time, from the Stone Age up to today. Not only is the world-famous original Neanderthal man (40,000 years B.C.) on display here, but also the world’s largest Neolithic well. Further highlights are the Fritzdorf gold beaker from the Bronze Age, the Pfalzfeld Column dating from Celtic times, and a treasure that had once belonged to a Celtic princess from Waldalgesheim. Roman times may be discovered in one of the best Roman provincial collections in all of Germany. Highlights from Frankish times are the splendid grave of the Lord von Morken and what is most likely the best collection of Frankish gold disc fibulae clasps in all of Europe. A zenith in art of the 12th century, the Romanesque sculpture frieze from Gustorf brings us into Christian Europe. Landscape painting from the Renaissance to well into the 19th century is a further emphasis in the collection. Modern painting from Expressionism and the New Objectivity, by way of Informel, and up to recent contemporary art round out what all the museum has to offer. The important Photograph Collection and Department of Prints and Drawings are introduced with ever new thematic emphases. The LVR-LandesMuseum presents its important holdings with seven thematic tours ranging from the Stone Age to the Present Day.

  Celtic objects

  Roman glass objects

  Mosaics

  Statues

  Small objects

  Roman objects

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Mainz Landesmuseum

Pre-Historic and Roman Departments

Antiquities from the Mainz area, including a Venus-like statue from 23,000 BC; stone axes from the Late Stone Age; Roman stone memorials; busts of bronze and marble; a 1st-century Roman Jupiter Column; a 3rd-century Roman arch.

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Mainz Isis Heiligtum

In 1999, two blocks of shops were pulled down in the centre of the city of Mainz on a site that in Roman times was not far from the major road that led from the camp of leg. XIV Gemina to the bridge over the Rhine. This chapter provides basic information about the sanctuary of Isis and Mater Magna. It comprises several cult-rooms and – as usual in mystery-cults – rooms for meetings and banquets, also a well and a latrine. The sanctuary is of very considerable importance for the social and religious history of Germania Superior, and indeed the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire. The joint sanctuary of Isis and Mater Magna at Mainz and the lead tablets found there are important in this context for three reasons.

 

 

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Mainz Roman Theatre


Discovered in the early 1900’s when they were building the Mainz South Rail Station, these ruins give a glimpse of Roman life in Mainz. According to historians, this theater could hold 10,000 people.

It is located next to the Mainz South (Roman Theater) Rail Station and is below the Citadel.

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Mainz

Roman Mogontiacum

The Roman stronghold or castrum Mogontiacum, the precursor to Mainz, was founded by the Roman general Drusus perhaps as early as 13/12 BC. As related by Suetonius the existence of Mogontiacum is well established by four years later (the account of the death and funeral of Nero Claudius Drusus), though several other theories suggest the site may have been established earlier. Although the city is situated opposite the mouth of the Main river, the name of Mainz is not from Main, the similarity being perhaps due to diachronic analogy. Main is from Latin Menus, the name the Romans used for the river. Linguistic analysis of the many forms that the name “Mainz” has taken on make it clear that it is a simplification of Mogontiacum. The name appears to be Celtic and ultimately it is. However, it had also become Roman and was selected by them with a special significance. The Roman soldiers defending Gallia had adopted the Gallic god Mogons (Mogounus, Moguns, Mogonino), for the meaning of which etymology offers two basic options: “the great one”, similar to Latin magnus, which was used in aggrandizing names such as Alexander magnus, “Alexander the Great” and Pompeius magnus, “Pompey the great”, or the god of “might” personified as it appears in young servitors of any type whether of noble or ignoble birth.

Mogontiacum was an important military town throughout Roman times, probably due to its strategic position at the confluence of the Main and the Rhine. The town of Mogontiacum grew up between the fort and the river. The castrum was the base of Legio XIIII Gemina and XVI Gallica (AD 9–43), XXII Primigenia, IIII Macedonica (43–70), I Adiutrix (70–88), XXI Rapax (70–89), and XIIII Gemina (70–92), among others. Mainz was also a base of a Roman river fleet, the Classis Germanica. Remains of Roman troop ships (navis lusoria) and a patrol boat from the late 4th century were discovered in 1982/86 and may now be viewed in the Museum für Antike Schifffahrt. A temple dedicated to Isis Panthea and Magna Mater was discovered in 2000 and is open to the public. The city was the provincial capital of Germania Superior, and had an important funeral monument dedicated to Drusus, to which people made pilgrimages for an annual festival from as far away as Lyon. Among the famous buildings were the largest theatre north of the Alps and a bridge across the Rhine.

Alemanni forces under Rando sacked the city in 368. From the last day of 405 or 406, the Siling and Asding Vandals, the Suebi, the Alans, and other Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine, possibly at Mainz. Christian chronicles relate that the bishop, Aureus, was put to death by the Alemannian Crocus. The way was open to the sack of Trier and the invasion of Gaul.

Throughout the changes of time, the Roman castrum never seems to have been permanently abandoned as a military installation, which is a testimony to Roman military judgement. Different structures were built there at different times. The current citadel originated in 1660, but it replaced previous forts. It was used in World War II. One of the sights at the citadel is still the cenotaph raised by legionaries to commemorate their Drusus.

 Roman theatre

 Isis Heiligtum Romer Passage

 Mainz Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum

Landesmuseum

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Nimes Tour Magne

The Tour Magne, or the Great Tower, is the only remnant of the ancient Augustan fortifications. Standing at the highest point of the city, Mont Cavalier, it overlooks the entire plain and is a focal point for all means of communication.

The tower was originally a dry-stone oval tower, with a maximum height of 18m and already part of a rampart.
A structure that was both prestigious and strategic, it represented sanctuary and protected the oppidum. By doubling its height and incorporating it into the town walls, Augustus demonstrated the new power of the colony of Nîmes over the “City” (in the territorial sense) of the Volcae. When the town’s population abandoned the higher ground, the Tour Magne nevertheless continued to play a military role. It was used to defend against the English during the Hundred Years’ War.

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Nimes amphitheatre

The Arena of Nîmes is a Roman amphitheatre, situated in the French city of Nîmes. Built around AD 70, it was remodelled in 1863 to serve as a bullring. The Arena of Nîmes is the site of two annual bullfights during the Feria de Nîmes, and it is also used for other public events.

The building encloses an elliptical central space 133 m long by 101 m wide. It is ringed by 34 rows of seats supported by a vaulted construction. It has a capacity of 24,000 spectators and since 1989 has a movable cover and a heating system.