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HFC on Tour: Ancient Rome in Germania inferior, Part I: Matrones’ temples

Posted by Denny Koch on November 12, 2012

Nettersheim / Görresburg

One of the main advantages of living in the Eifel region of Rhineland-Palatinate is – besides the spectacular landscape and the fascinating geology – the fact that, wherever you go, the Romans have been there before!

And the Romans left their marks, often in astonishingly good shape and condition. As inhabitants of Germania inferior (the region left of the river Rhine), it takes us only a short drive to visit ancient sites of great historical importance. In our town, there is the famous “Römervilla” (Roman villa), the largest Roman mansion North of the Alps. If we cross the Rhine, we can walk along the Limes, often with reconstructed garrisons and watchtowers.

At the lower Rhine, there is the city of  Xanten, Roman: Colonia Ulpia Traiana, with Germany’s biggest archeological open-air museum. At the Mosel river, you can find Germany’s oldest city Trier (Augusta Treverorum) with the famous Porta Nigra and another archaeological park.


Last but not least, Roman temples, mines, quarries, houses, aqueducts are scattered all over the region, often only hinted at by a small sign at the side of the road. Since we visited many of these Ancient Roman sites in Germania, we want to share our experiences with you history buffs 🙂

The first travel report is about a very special tour through the Eifel – and an insider’s tip: you can find three very important Ancient Roman temples here where Matrones, female deities, were venerated. One of the world’s most famous and best-known consecration stones, showing the Aufanian Matronae, was discovered here.

If you want to visit the temples in Zingsheim and Nöthen-Pesch, you best go there by car. The area is very rural and there is no chance to get there by public transport. The largest temple in Nettersheim can be reached by train, though. It’s a medium length walk from the railway station at Nettersheim to the temple site, located on a small hill.

If you are the athletic type, you could go to Nettersheim by train and then visit the other temples by bicycle or even hike to the other temples from there, but a car is strongly recommended for the casual historical interested tourist! The next larger town is Bad Münstereifel, the “unofficial capital” of the Eifel region, which also has a railway station.

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