About the Roman history of the region


The sou­thern Upper Rhi­ne regi­on is an old Roman ara­ble land. During the reign of Gai­us Juli­us Cae­sar the Rhi­ne beca­me the Roman impe­ri­al fron­tier. In the ear­ly 1st cen­tu­ry the ter­ri­to­ries on the eas­tern bank of the Rhi­ne river were secu­red by the Roman mili­ta­ry. The­re were mili­ta­ry bases in Rie­gel at the nort­hern edge of the Kai­ser­stuhl and on the Lim­berg clo­se to Sas­bach and near­by Offen­burg. Along the long-distan­ce road from Augst to Mainz Roman ser­vice are­as had been instal­led clo­se to Her­bolz­heim, Frie­sen­heim and Hoh­berg-Nie­der­schopf­heim.

Wit­hin the Roman Empi­re the Upper Rhi­ne regi­on beca­me den­se­ly popu­la­ted by civi­li­ans. First, Roman farms had been built clo­se to Grenz­ach, Aug­gen and Hei­ters­heim and later they were exten­ded to enor­mous esta­tes. Nume­rous esta­tes were dis­co­ve­r­ed along the Upper Rhi­ne; e. g. near­by Wyh­len, Rhein­fel­den-Nol­lin­gen and Lör­rach-Brom­bach, Fischin­gen, Efrin­gen-Kir­chen and Ken­zin­gen. At that time, lar­ger sett­le­ments had been built in Bad Kro­zin­gen, Lahr and Offen­burg. Remains of the Roman iron ore mining indus­try were dis­co­ve­r­ed clo­se to Bad Bel­lin­gen, Schli­en­gen, Rings­heim, Etten­heim and Mahl­berg. A cura­ti­ve spring was the ori­gin of Badenweiler’s sett­le­ment. Sub­se­quent­ly, around this spring the Romans built up the big­gest ther­mal spa on the right bank of the Rhi­ne river. The colo­ny of Rie­gel was an admi­nis­tra­ti­ve cent­re with an important mar­ket basi­li­ca.

After having lost the ter­ri­to­ry of the Pro­vin­ce Ger­ma­nia Supe­ri­or on the right bank of the Rhi­ne river in the 3rd cen­tu­ry, the Romans forti­fied the Rhi­ne fron­tier again. In the 4th cen­tu­ry they built Roman forti­fi­ca­ti­ons along the Rhi­ne river; e. g. the bridge cast­le near­by Wyh­len, the fort on the Müns­ter­berg in Brei­sach and the fort­let in Jechtin­gen. This Danu­be-Iller-Rhi­ne Limes, con­struc­ted in the late anti­qui­ty, rep­re­sen­ted the last Roman fron­tier in this regi­on and it was in exis­tence until the 5th cen­tu­ry.