2014-07-01

Thermen museum Heerlen

A museum built over the remains of a Roman bathhouse ('Thermen')  from the roman period of Heerlen, when the Roman settlement was named Coriovallum.This name even exists at the Peutinger Map, where we find it at the via Belgica, the 400 km long Roman road between  Boulogne in France and Cologne in Germany.Heerlen is located at the 'H' at the map we find in wikipedia, showing the Via Belgica and possible crossings.
Where Maastricht has developed at the bridge, crossing the Maas river where a large horreum has been build for the storage of cereals, Heerlen developed at a crossroad of the via Belgica and a north - south oriented road where a large bathhouse was build, together with a settlement.
The bathhouse has been discovered in 1940 during plowing activities where Roman columns where brought into daylight.It was the amateur archaeologists Beckers who dug out the immense complex with the help of many volunteers, uncovering the foundations of Dutch largest Roman building.The site had been covered again and in 1975 the site was excavated again, this time the decision was made to preserve it by building a museum over it, see image below...


So in 1977 the Thermen Museum first opened and in the past decades it changed  and expanded, with a present collection consisting of over 30,000 artifacts from the Roman period including very special, nice objects.
In the museum a ( guided) tour is possible, along the remains of the bathhouse and there is a special part of the museum entitled "Roman south Limburg, the whole story"telling the story about the roman presence in Southern Limburg, and especially in relation with the indigenous people, daily life, the landscape, etc.


The collection involves special finds from Simpelveld  (the Sarcophage of Vlengendaal) and many pottery objects, coins, metal objects, bone material etc. from excavations in Heerlen and the surrounding area of South limburg.
A visit is very recommended,  an overwhelming number of artifacts is presented here.
The museum also has temporary exhibits.

Images of shards of the Roman period  from the Arbannig collection ( surface finds) 




Information see also the website of the Museum, see below*

Visiting hours
Tuesday / Friday:
10:00 to 17:00 hours
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays:
12:00 to 17:00 hours
Closed: 24, 25 and 31 December, 1 January, Carnival (2 t / m 4 Mar 2014).

Visiting Address
Coriovallumstraat 9
6411 CA Heerlen  Netherlands
In google maps

On the web
*Thermen museum Heerlen website
Via Belgica Digitalis 
Images from the Museum at Flickr

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