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Fort Niedernberg

Only 8km south of Stockstadt, Fort Niedernberg is situated above the curve of the Main at Aschaffenburg. Traces of the Roman past can be easily found in the medieval town centre.

The stone fort is oriented with its praetorian front towards the Main. The vicus is located along the other sides of the fort. At the northern edge of the settlement cremation graves were excavated.

The fort was probably the station of the "cohors I Ligurum et Hispanorum". This cavalry cohort is evidenced through tile stamps and a burial stone.

The find of a fountain mask in the shape of a silen's, or satyr's, head attracted much attention. It is the only such find north of the alps.

Chronology

Monument

Category: fort, canabae / vicus, cemetery

2.2ha large fort; simple v-shaped ditch, fort wall, gates, parts of the "principia". "Vicus" of horseshoe-shaped layout, stone cellars. Burial features (cremation graves, burial stone for Marcellus in situ).

Current State: The fort was covered by the medieval to modern town centre. Nevertheless, the antique street axes can be recognized: The Hauptstraße aproximates the antique "via principalis", and Kirchgasse leads through the "porta praetoria" to the Main. The decumanus front of the fort was located along the medieval town wall.

Monument Protection: Yes - UNESCO World Heritage Site, 2005

Presentation: The left gate is marked in the pavement by the Rathaus. A recreation of the fountain mask found in the "vicus" is located near the find site on the Hauptstraße. A copy of the Marcellus burial stone is displayed at the town entrance.

Research: First the fort bath was identified. The centre of town was researched from 1894 by the Limeskommission (W. Conrady). During this time the location of the fort and parts of the "principia" were discovered. Burial features came to light in 1963.
In the course of construction in 2001 the "porta principalis" was found. In 2003 a cut was made into the southern fort wall. These discoveries led to a correction of Conrady's plan.
In 2005/2006 two stone cellars were discovered in Fachrainstraße south of the fort. These belonged to the vicus' strip houses.

Literature
Conrady 1896. ORL B, 3, Nr. 34. Hock 1927. Baatz 1969, 74. Baatz-Herrmann 1982, 455f. Peschek 1985. Schönberger 1985, 465 D 64. Sommer 1988, 679. Hoppe 2000. Jae 2005. Steidl 2008, 180ff.

Links

Deutsche Limeskommission: Kastell Niedernberg

Aerial map of Fort Niedernberg
1
"Porta principalis sinistra" in Hauptstraße, Niedernberg
2
Northwest corner of the fort, Rathausgasse, Niedernberg
3
Southwest corner of the fort, Hintermauer, Niedernberg
4
Site of the Roman fort's bath, Main shore
5
Marcellus gravestone
6
Water fountain in the form of Silenus' head, from Niedernberg
7
1 Aerial map of Fort Niedernberg © LVG, Bearbeitung M. Berger (ASM) 2 "Porta principalis sinistra" in Hauptstraße, Niedernberg © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 3 Northwest corner of the fort, Rathausgasse, Niedernberg © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 4 Southwest corner of the fort, Hintermauer, Niedernberg © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 5 Site of the Roman fort's bath, Main shore © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 6 Marcellus gravestone © Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, München 7 Water fountain in the form of Silenus' head, from Niedernberg © Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung