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  4. Roman-Germanic Museum

Roman-Germanic Museum, Cologne

View of the Roman-Germanic Museum across the cathedral plaza. View all images in our Roman-Germanic Museum Photo Gallery.
Entrance to the Roman-Germanic Museum of Cologne.
The Dionysus Mosaic.
Tomb of Poblicius.
Sculptured scene on a Roman tombstone.

Convenientely located next to Cologne Cathedral, the Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum) in Cologne houses Germany's most important collection of indigenous archaeological finds.

What to See

The highlight of the museum's collection is the Dionysus Mosaic, which dates from about 220 AD. It lies exactly where it was found - the museum was built around this star exhibit. It was discovered in 1941 when workers were digging an air-raid shelter. The elaborately decorated and colored mosaic is made from over a million pieces of limestone, ceramic and glass and covers over 70 square meters.

Once the floor of a banqueting hall in a large Roman villa, the mosaic depicts a drunk Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, surrounded by Cupid, Pan, dancers, satyrs and scenes of the delights of the table. It is so well preserved because the burnt-out remains of the building fell on top of it in the Germanic raids of the fourth century.

Another main attraction is the reconstructed Tomb of Poblicius, dating from around 40 AD and standing about 15 meters high beside the mosaic. Poblicius was an important veteran who had served in the Fifth Legion.

You can also view the Praetorium, a palace of the Roman governors of Lower Germania, which was recently found near the cathedral.


The remainder of the exhibits are arranged thematically, under such topics as "a woman's daily life" and "private devotion." On the second floor of the museum is an unusual collection of Roman antiquities found in the Rhine Valley, including Roman glass from the 1st through 4th centuries, as well as pottery, marble busts, and jewelry.

There are a few non-Roman items included in the museum, including a 12th-century mikveh, a ritual bath used by Cologne's Jewish community (located offsite but nearby, next to the town hall).

Prehistoric finds from Cologne, the Rhineland and selected European sites dating from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages are also exhibited. The various ancient religious cults from these periods can be seen in depictions of deities in stone, bronze and clay.

Quick Facts on Roman-Germanic Museum

Site Information
Names:Römisch-Germanisches Museum; Roman-Germanic Museum; Roman-Germanic Museum, Cologne
City:Cologne
State:North Rhine-Westphalia
Country:Germany
Categories:Museums
Feat:Roman Mosaics
Dates:1946-74
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Cologne, Germany
Coordinates:50.940559° N, 6.958755° E  (view on Google Maps)
Website:www.museenkoeln.de
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Roman-Germanic Museum

Below is a location map and aerial view of Roman-Germanic Museum. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Personal visit (December 30, 2005).
  2. Frommer's Germany 2005
  3. Rough Guide to Germany, 6th ed
  4. Römisch-Germanisches Museum - Museums in Cologne

More Information

Article Info

Title:Roman-Germanic Museum, Cologne
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:12/15/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/cologne-roman-germanic-museum/germany/cologne-cathedral
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