Monday, July 28, 2014

Roman Villas

But not modern ones; reconstructed villas from the days of the Roman Empire.  Two fine examples from Following Hadrian, both located in Germany.

The first is the Villa Borg in the Saarland of Germany (near today's border with France).  This area, west of the Rhine, was conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century BC during his campaign to subjugate Gaul but it was only late in the first century AD that Romanization fully occurred.  During the centuries of Roman rule (which lasted till the mid-fifth century) the climate was in a warm phase and agriculture and wine-production flourished and the region prospered with economic stimulus provided by the supply demands of large garrisons of Roman legionaries and auxiliaries posted along the nearby Rhine.

The Villas Borg is a reconstruction based upon the floorplans of several nearby villas and represents a typical large-scale house and grounds during the 2nd and 3rd century AD.  Take a look at some of the pictures from Following Hadrian.

Villa Borg © Carole RaddatoVilla Borg © Carole Raddato
The reconstructed resting room next to the baths, Villa Borg © Carole RaddatoThe second villa is located in Aschaffenburg, Germany.  Unlike the Villa Borg, which began construction in the 1990s and only opened in 2008, The Pompeiianum dates from the mid-19th century and was built by order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria who was inspired by the excavations at Pompeii.  Aschaffenburg itself was on the very edge of Roman occupied Germany from about 85-235AD but did not have a villa culture, so the reconstruction does not reflect local history.

The original 19th century reconstruction was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in WWII and underwent a total rebuild and opened to the public in 1994.  From Following Hadrian some more photos.
Pompejanum, Aschaffenburg, Germany © Carole RaddatoThe Atrium, Pompejanum. Aschaffenburg, Germany © Carole RaddatoSummer triclinium with wall painting, Pompeiianum, Aschaffenburg, Germany © Carole RaddatoPainting from the Tablinum, Minerva Preventing Achilles from Killing Agamemnon, Pompeiianum, Aschaffenburg, Germany © Carole Raddato

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