Limes: A transnational World Heritage Site

The Roman Frontier along the River Rhine as future part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire: A transnational World Heritage Site

The northern border of the Roman Empire, the Limes, is the largest linear archaeological feature in Europe. The Lower German Limes, featuring forts, ships, roads and civilian settlements along the river Rhine in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, and through the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, Utrecht and Zuid-Holland, is an impressive remnant of our Roman past.

Book information:
The Roman Frontier along the River Rhine
The Role of Museums in revitalizing Cultural Landscapes
De Bruin, Hertog & Paardekooper (eds.), 2018.
Published by ICOM Netherlands
ISBN: 978-90-828845-0-0

Several sections of the Roman Limes currently have World Heritage status. Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain was the first part to be listed as a World Heritage Site, in 1987. In 2005 the Upper German and Rhaetian Limes was also added to the list, followed in 2008 by the Antonine Wall (in Scotland). Together, they form a World Heritage Site known as ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’. The goal is to submit a joint and simultaneous Dutch-German nomination of the Lower Germanic Limes as an ‘extension’ to the existing ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’ World Heritage Site. A new publication is dedicated to this ambitious goal.

The crucial role of museums in cultural landscapes: new publication by ICOM Netherlands

The borders of the Roman Empire (also known as Limes) in Great Britain (Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall) and parts of the Limes in southern Germany have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as „Frontiers of the Roman Empire“ (WHS). The so-called Lower Germanic Limes will be nominated by the Dutch government in cooperation with the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in 2020 as a supplement to these „Frontiers of the Roman Empire“. In recent years, many initiatives have been developed to increase the perception of the Dutch Limes. After all, this is largely underground and therefore invisible. In this publication, the role of museums in these challenges is examined.

This English-language publication contains eight contributions and is based on the international session at the ICOM General Conference in Milan in 2016, organized by ICOM Netherlands. Through an international group of experts, topics such as museums and cultural landscapes, visitor experience, tourism, cooperation, and government responsibility are described and recommendations made. Museums play a crucial role in the revitalization of cultural landscapes, so important to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The publication „The Roman frontier along the River Rhine“ is available as an online publication: and can also be ordered as hard copy from ICOM Netherlands via the same website.

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