Permanent exhibition

Journey of discovery through the fort and exhibition


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

Various buildings made of stone and wood have been rebuilt within the defensive wall. They serve as exhibition rooms for the various collections of the Saalburg Museum and show rooms that have been reconstructed and staged based on ancient models.


Archaeological excavations at the Saalburg began in 1853. The finds 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 transported to Darmstadt.

The Saalburg Association was founded in Homburg in 1872. The aim of the association was to support research into the fort and the Roman settlement and to create its own museum for the finds. A first step was taken with the construction of the grave house in 1872. Inside, the Roman tombs should be presented with respect. The temple-like structure was built in the middle of the burial ground of the Roman settlement along the Roman road to Nida, today's Frankfurt-Heddernheim.



It was not until 1878 that the collection was returned from Darmstadt to Homburg through the intervention of Empress Friedrich, the mother of the later Emperor Wilhelm II. The city made the large room of the former coffee shop in the Kurhaus available to set up a museum. The museum and its first curator, Louis Jacobi, celebrated the opening on July 27, 1879.

In 1897, Kaiser Wilhelm II announced the reconstruction of the Saalburg and wanted to set up Germany's central Limes Museum there. Because of the constant increase in finds from the excavations and numerous foundations 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 built for this purpose and opened in 1907.

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



The fort's granary now serves as an exhibition room. The original finds from the excavations at the Saalburg and other forts on the Limes are exhibited here. The exhibits are organized according to different areas of life: food and drink, building and crafts, weapons and equipment, clothing and jewelry, medicine and personal care, money and religion. In addition to objects made of bronze, iron, glass and ceramics, the wood and leather finds, which are rarely preserved in such good condition, are a special attraction of the museum.



The central staff building impresses with its large hall and atmospheric courtyard, around which museum rooms are grouped. In Roman times, office rooms, offices and armories were located here. The reconstructed flag sanctuary stands elevated in the background. To the right of the flag sanctuary, a room decorated with original Roman wall paintings is presented. On the left side of the courtyard you can see the permanent exhibition with the gold-plated horse head from Waldgirmes. On the right, equipment and technology from the Roman army are presented in the armory, which opened in 2021.



The Fabrica is modeled on the workshop buildings of Roman military camps. It is used for exhibitions, events and museum educational experience programs. The reconstructed workshops of a shoemaker and a bone carver open onto the inner courtyard, which clearly present the working world of Roman craftsmen. In addition to the workshops, the food stall shows how the Romans prepared meals and stored food. In the film room opposite the 3D animated film “The Saalburg. The Roman Eagle on the Edge of the Empire” the history of the Roman military presence at the Saalburg until the abandonment of the Limes. The collection of original Roman marble portrait busts can be seen in the atrium.



The ordinary soldiers were housed in the centuriae, the team barracks. The reconstructed team room, the contubernium, shows the conditions under which eight soldiers lived in a very small space.

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