Permanent exhibition

Journey of discovery through the fort and exhibition


The fort, which was rebuilt under the German Emperor Wilhelm II, today offers a vivid and lively picture of Roman life at the Limes.

Various buildings made of stone and wood have been reconstructed within the defence wall. They serve as exhibition rooms for the various collections of the Saalburg Museum and display rooms reconstructed and staged according to ancient models.


The archaeological excavations at Saalburg Castle began in 1853. The artefacts were initially kept in Homburg Castle and, after the death of the last Landgrave Ferdinand in 1866, became the private property of Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse-Darmstadt, who had them transferred to Darmstadt.

The Saalburg Association was founded in Homburg in 1872. The aim of the association was to support research about the fort and the Roman settlement and to create a museum for the finds. The first step was taken with the construction of the burial house in 1872. The Roman graves were to be reverently presented inside. The temple-like building was erected in the centre of the burial ground of the Roman settlement along the Roman road to Nida, today's Frankfurt-Heddernheim.



It was not until 1878 that Empress Friedrich, the mother of the future Emperor Wilhelm II, succeeded in returning the collection from Darmstadt to Homburg. The town made the large room of the former café in the Kurhaus available for the establishment of a museum. The museum and its first curator, Louis Jacobi, celebrated its opening on 27 July 1879.

In 1897, Kaiser Wilhelm II announced the reconstruction of the Saalburg and wanted to establish Germany's central Limes museum there. Due to the constant increase in finds from the excavations and numerous donations, such as the finds from the excavations in Stockstadt in 1902 and the collection of Consul Niessen from Cologne in 1905, the Horreum building was erected for this purpose and opened in 1907.

By order of the Prussian Minister of Culture, the finds from the 45 km long Taunus section were given to the Saalburg Museum. To this day, the finds from the Zugmantel, Kleiner Feldberg and Saalburg forts and the Limes sections in between form the centrepiece of the exhibition.



The granary of the fort now serves as an exhibition space. The original finds from the excavations at Saalburg Castle and other forts at the Limes are on display here. The exhibits are organised according to different areas of life: Food and drink, building and crafts, weapons and equipment, clothing and jewellery, medicine and personal hygiene, money and religion. In addition to artefacts made of bronze, iron, glass and ceramics, the wood and leather artefacts, which are rarely preserved in such good condition, are a particular attraction of the museum.



The central staff building impresses with its large hall and atmospheric inner courtyard, where museum rooms are grouped around. In Roman times, offices, writing rooms and armouries were located here. The reconstructed flag sanctuary stands elevated in the background. To the right of the flag sanctuary is a room decorated with original Roman wall paintings. The permanent exhibition with the gilded horse's head from Waldgirmes can be seen on the left-hand side of the courtyard. On the right-hand side, the armoury, newly opened in 2021, presents the equipment and technology of the Roman army.



The Fabrica is modelled on the workshop buildings of Roman military camps. It is used for exhibitions, events and educational museum experience programmes. The reconstructed workshops of a shoemaker and a bone carver open onto the inner courtyard, vividly demonstrating the working world of Roman craftsmen. Next to the workshops, the cookshop shows how the Romans prepared meals and stored food. In the film room across the way, the 3D animated film "The Saalburg. The Roman Eagle on the Edge of the Empire" tells the story of the Roman military presence at Saalburg Castle up to the abandonment of the Limes. The collection of original Roman marble portrait busts can be seen in the atrium.



Ordinary soldiers were housed in the centuriae, the soldiers' barracks. The reconstructed soldiers' quarters, the contubernium, shows the conditions under which eight soldiers lived in a very small space.

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