Romans were just people too. When they left, they didn’t take everything with them – either because it had no value for them any more (broken pottery); it was too heavy (dedication stones); or because they couldn’t find their own hiding places again (sesterces). Archaeologists search for such relics, and today we have the pleasure of admiring them in well-designed museums.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Imperial Limes Commission, established at the instigation of the later Nobel Prize winner Theodor Mommsen, provided the impetus for further excavations in our region.
Some important finds were excavated, particularly at the fort sites Mainhardt, Murrhardt and Welzheim. These finds included dozens of Roman shoes in Welzheim, valuable dedication stones in Mainhardt, and the fragments of a Jupiter Column in Murrhardt.
Local historians gathered the finds together and now exhibit them in attractive local museums. Many questions that arise when visiting the Limes wall are answered in the museums with graphic and information displays.
Hefty memorial stones and altars for Mother Goddesses can be seen in the Roman museum in Mainhardt, which is installed in the pretty “Schlössle” (Little Palace) at this health resort. In addition to numerous objects used in daily life and a very instructive model of a fort, the museum, which is run by volunteers, possesses proof that Roman soldiers sometimes actually enjoyed leisure time: almost 2,000 years ago they scratched a game of Nine Men’s Morris onto an old brick.
The picturesque group of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, clustered around the old vicarage and complemented by the “Hirtenhäusle” moved from the Breitenfürst quarter in 1984 has, since 1981, become a central museum for the Welzheimer Forest and contains a large number of Roman and ethnological treasures.
In addition to numerous exhibits from the Roman period, the museum has some especially valuable finds from the Roman fountain at the former Welzheim Eastern Fort.
Peasant life from the 18th and 19th centuries is brought to life in the fully furnished rooms and chambers. In several halls, equipment, tools and locally hand-crafted articles of ceramic, stone, metal, wood and glass are displayed. In one small section, one can also admire valuable old toys that were produced in Welzheim. On the first Sunday of every month, coffee and cakes are served in the museum, and craftsmen demonstrate their skills. Groups and guided tours are by prior arrangement.
You will find further information on the homepage of the museum.
In this museum, rich in tradition, which has been run by the Schweizer family for four generations, one can view nature and living history face to face. Guided tours through the museum are a special experience because here the landlords take you through their impressive collection themselves, a collection that has been skilfully and knowledgeably been added to over the decades.
The historical collection is arranged in a section on Roman regional and local history, with the main emphasis on the finds from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Limes. A stone with the Capitoline she-wolf, the Murrhardt bronzes, and further finds from “Vicus Murrensis” are outstanding. The 3D animation “Virtual Worlds of the Limes” is also of high quality. It takes you on a journey along the Limes and to the villages. Under the guidance of a trained cicerone, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of the past.
There is also a natural history collection in addition to the Roman history section in which biotopes from all over Europe – with emphasis on Germany and the Swabian Forest – are presented. There are no hunting trophies; instead the diversity of birds and mammals is exhibited. In the framework of nature conservation, a picture of the primeval world is presented, which then leads up to our modern environment.
A further section on monastery history imparts how life was lived in Murrhardt during the Middle Ages from the 6th to the 16th century. Murrhardt had the oldest monastery in Northern Württemberg. Most impressive are the large, original Staufian portals and structural elements. Collections dealing with geological history, the primeval world, the Stone Age, prehistory and early history complete the presentation.
Guided city tours, experiential tours, viewings of the remains of the Roman Baths and many more attractions can be booked through the museum.