Villa Borg

by Heike October. 27, 2019 1470 views

Years ago I spend a week together with my brother in the Odenwald (Region in Germany/County Hessen.) We both had motorbikes and the Odenwald region is very popular for motorbikers. Nice landscape and windy roads. One day he suggested to drive to a place where an ancient Roman bath was found. In German we have the word "Kopfkino" (literally: mind-cinema). It means you hear or read something and your imagination produces a kind of movie-sequence in your head. My "Kopfkino" immediately produced this : "Steam is rising up from a hot water spa-pool and a Gladiator (astonishingly looking like young Russell Crowe...) comes out of this steam right torwards to me. On his muscular chest are perfectly arranged drops of water, he is wearing a kind of subligaculum....."🤤
My brother : "Hello, hello - earth to Heike...?" I (stupidly grinning) :" Ähhhemm, yepp let's visit this Roman bath."
When we arrived at the former Roman bath it was - hmmm, how can I describe it..., well, more or less an accumulation of old stones in a forest..., no pool, no steam... and much to my regret - no young Russell Crowe. I was a tiny bit disappointed. :) I really like ancient places, when I visit one, I often feel somehow connected with the past, but these few old stones were somehow too little for me. Therefore I love reconstructions, for me the best thing to experience history! (And to feed my imagination.)
And that is, what Villa Borg is. A reconstruction of a Roman villa complex in the River Saar region (Saar = River in France and Germany), located in Perl-Borg, near to the German-Luxembourg frontier. (And yes, that are rainclouds on the following photos. So the heavy cloudburst a short time later wasn't really a surprise.)

Villa Borg frontview after passing the gatehouse

Villa Borg frontview after passing the gatehouse

This reconstruction is build on the original old ancient foundations of a Roman Villa complex, a so called Villa Rustica. On the photos below you can see a typical construction of a Roman Villa Rustica. The manor house (pars urbana) is in the middle of the complex, it was reserved to the master (dominus), his family and guests. In the wing buildings on the right and left side, the service rooms are located. The site, where this complex once (around 2000 year ago) must have been existed, was well known by the rural population over the centuries, they used it as a quarry. Around 1900 the teacher Johann Schneider was interested in that place and started with some small excavations and some scientific researches. Unfortunately, due to the two world wars, his scientific findings got lost in Oblivion and it took until 1987, that this site is systematically excavated. This lasts until today. The findings of this excavations were - and still are - used, to rebuild the Villa Complex as faithfully as possible. It is said, even in Italy, the heart of the former Roman empire, nothing comparable is existing. (I didn't check that, this statement can be also a typical marketing strategy...).

HDR  edit

HDR edit

Inner courtyard

Inner courtyard

View back to the gatehouse

View back to the gatehouse

The excavations discovered both, roman and celtic finds. Researchers even uncovered remains of wooden buildings. Coins and ceramics prove, that the villa remained inhabited as late as the beginning of the 5th century AD. It once lay near the busy Roman road from Trier to Metz. Today I would call the area 'the outback'...Not much around, except forest and cow's pastures.
The economic base of the estate was agriculture and livestock. It's possible, that the generated goods were partly sold to Roman legions, that were stationed in the nearby city Trier (40km/25miles). The excavation-finds indicate, that wealthy people must have lived there.

View to the left

View to the left

View to the right where a Taverne is located, with very tasty rhubarb cake. :)

View to the right where a Taverne is located, with very tasty rhubarb cake. :)

Vestibulum - Entrance hall  // The original manor house had a mosaic floor, which is not reconstructed in this project.

Vestibulum - Entrance hall // The original manor house had a mosaic floor, which is not reconstructed in this project.

The whole complex is really impressing, but guess what I loved most? Yeessss, the bath with its corresponding rooms! That was really feed for my imagination. Loved it !!! Wish I had something like that in my appartement. 😀 The villas bath is equipped with a cold bath (frigidarium), which leads to the entrance area, a warm bath (caldarium) and rooms, which were used for relaxation and entertainment, all together quite luxurious. In a room corner, the construction of a Roman floor heating system can be admired.

Changing room

Changing room

Cold bath (Frigidarium)

Cold bath (Frigidarium)

Cold water pool

Cold water pool

Sideview

Sideview

Warm bath. The well was a cold water well to cool off.

Warm bath. The well was a cold water well to cool off.

Caldarium

Caldarium

Sauna - Laconicum, here more set up like a resting room.

Sauna - Laconicum, here more set up like a resting room.

Ready for a little nap?

Ready for a little nap?

In the left corner you can see the underfloor heating (Hypocaustum).

In the left corner you can see the underfloor heating (Hypocaustum).

Floor heating system incl.mouse. No, it wasn't a real mouse :))

Floor heating system incl.mouse. No, it wasn't a real mouse :))

Resting room - tepidarium. The statue represents Clio, the muse of poetry. Just deco, it wasn't found here.

Resting room - tepidarium. The statue represents Clio, the muse of poetry. Just deco, it wasn't found here.

Roman house shrine - Lararium

Roman house shrine - Lararium

Some Massage for you?

Some Massage for you?

The groin vault could be proved on the basis of the excavations and surveys.

The groin vault could be proved on the basis of the excavations and surveys.

Nursery

Nursery

In the upper floor is an additonal room, furnished like a nursery and some other rooms are used as exhibition spaces for the finds of the excavations, like coins, jewelry, oil lamps, small bronzes etc. Here a small selection of some findings, including a little erotic scene.

Some of the objects, found during the excavations.

Some of the objects, found during the excavations.

While I admired the bath and the findings of the excavation inside, heavy rain pattered outside.

While I admired the bath and the findings of the excavation inside, heavy rain pattered outside.

Since we had such extremely dry summers in the last few years, I convinced myself to never complain again about rain. (As long as I stay dry. :))

Since we had such extremely dry summers in the last few years, I convinced myself to never complain again about rain. (As long as I stay dry. :))

After watching the finds and due to the heavy rain, I decided it's time for coffee & cake and I visited the taverna. Since there were no other guests, I made some photos of the guest room.

Taverna

Taverna

Taverna 2

Taverna 2

In the backyard of the villa was a nice garden with herbs and aromatic plants and a chicken house. The chickens probably fled to their house during the rain and came out gradually, as the sun was shining again.

Part of the garden

Part of the garden

After the rain the chickens left their house.

After the rain the chickens left their house.

The smart little sparrow faces the large "ready-to-fight" chickens. :)

The smart little sparrow faces the large "ready-to-fight" chickens. :)

Do you see the little sparrow in front of the chicken house? He was desperately trying to get into the house, but the chickens always pecked at him. After they were all out, he finally got in - and came out proudly with a stolen grain in his beak.

What I really like in this place, is the idea to fill it with life again. During the year several events take place on the ground of the Villa Borg, and of course, it's a very popular destination for school classes.
Oh - and yes - unfortunately young Russell Crowe had the day off when I came for visit, but I'm sure I'll drop by again someday..."Frigidarium et caldarium..." Pardon...I keep my "Kopfkino" for myself now.... 😇 😉


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There are 21 comments , add yours!
Ho Kim 3 months, 1 week ago

They did a great job to reconstruct the remains as what it used to be thousands years ago. I can realize what it really looks like as if I were to be in the past of Roman reign. 
I got surprised there are things we have here too, though we are separated by thousands of kilometers. 
One is bath habit. We do enjoy both cold bath and hot bath, like dipping your body in the hot bath for minutes and move to cold bath for a minute or so and we do repeat it several times. We think it make our body strong just like we temper the steel. smile 
Another thing is floor heating : I thought the floor heating was there only in north-eastern Asia but it's quite a surprise to see the floor heating system in Europe. Floor heating is major heating system in northern China and whole Korea but they still prefer air conditioning in southern China and Japan. I do thank you for your kind comment from which I learn a lot.

3 months, 1 week ago Edited
Francesc 5 months, 1 week ago

Wonderful work

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Francesc 5 months ago

Thank you so much, Francesc!

5 months ago Edited
Glo B 5 months, 1 week ago

Absolutely impressive! You captured it magnificently! And I enjoyed your story of your brother too. You write beautifully grinning

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Glo B 5 months ago

Thanks so much ! smile

5 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 5 months, 1 week ago

Heike- It took me a couple of days to look over your post so I didnt respond until today. It was so full of interesting images and your narrative was most intriguing. Russel Crow would be a lucky man! I simply loved this post and thank you for sharing.  I favored #7 & #9 but they all were great including the rain soaked images!

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Buster Bruce 5 months, 1 week ago

Thanks a lot for commenting, Buster! From this pics my fav is also #9. I loved the looking of this bath with the paintings on the walls. A while there were wellness-days offered in the bath of Villa Borg, but somewhere I read, they had to cancel that event, because of current hygiene regulations for public bathes...A missing dampener circulator. Tztz...how could the Romans not think of such an important thing...smile

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Buster Bruce Replied to Heike 5 months, 1 week ago

grinning yes how inconsiderate those Romans

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Tsao T-F 5 months, 1 week ago

Welcome back to PhotoBlog, Heike. I did not see any post from you for many weeks.
Thank you for sharing the interesting story and photos. You must had a wonderful visit.smile

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Tsao T-F 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you very much Tsao. Glad you liked the story. Usually I only post once a month, so I havn't been really away from here. smile But it's true, this month my post came quite late, because other projects had priority. But I'm always somehow around, somtimes only for a quick watch and sometimes I also log in for a short while for commenting.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Heike 5 months, 1 week ago

smile

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Marsha 5 months, 1 week ago

Quite an interesting and impressive place! So much for the eye to enjoy...you’ve captured it beautifully.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Marsha 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you Marsha. It's really a beautiful place and I'm happy, that they tried to reconstruct it as realistic as possible, so that you really get a good impression, how it looked there 2000 years ago.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Don Baird 5 months, 1 week ago

Enjoyed your photos and commentary. Thanks.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Don Baird 5 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for passing by, Don. Glad you liked it!

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Antonio Gil 5 months, 1 week ago

Those Romans knew how to live well didn't they? Loved the all post and your witted descriptions too.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Antonio Gil 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you Antonio. They definitely knew. I think without their cultural influence, the germans would still live in straw huts. smile

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Greg Blaney 5 months, 1 week ago

Wonderful post, Heike. Lovely exposures throughout as you've really captured the feel of the place. I think if I lived there I'd spend way more time in the caldarium and traverna than the frigidarium - I can pretty much guarantee that! Thanks for sharing this experience and I'm sorry that young Russell Crowe had the day off.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Greg Blaney 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you, Greg. Totally agree with you, I would prefer the caldarium also much more. smile If I would live there, I would change the bath-rooms. I like the looking of the frigidarium more, so I would change that one to caldarium.  Yeah it was a pity that young Russell Crowe wasn't there. But ok, he is a busy man, he has a very stressfull job in the arena. laughing

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 5 months, 1 week ago

Very good series. Hard to pick a fav. And thanks for the info. Would not mind living there.

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
Heike Replied to Berckmans Peter 5 months, 1 week ago

Thank you Peter. Yeah not too bad the 'little' house. smile

5 months, 1 week ago Edited
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