When I think “Germany,” the first thing that pops into my head typically isn’t “Roman Ruin.” I was both shocked and impressed by the scale and preservation of the Praetorium, the Governor’s Palace in Cologne Germany. The Praetorum was the official residence of the Imperial Governor of Cologne, which was the capital city of Lower Germania. According to the website (all of the signs were in German [I know enough French to sound terrible], so I have noooo idea what they said), the ruins date back to the birth of Christ and construction ended around the eighth century due to an earthquake. I could actually see the cracks in the walls of the ruins, indicating a general problem with earthquakes overtime. Various levels were excavated, and so, I could see the changes in architecture.
My favorite part of the exhibit was the artifact display, in which artifacts were hanging according to stratum (check out the picture, it’s nifty). The overall excavation of the Praetorium came about with renovations—and subsequent excavations—of the Town Hall Square in Cologne. It would be incredible be a part of these digs! The finds are numerous and diverse, from ceramics, glass, to marble burial stelae. I found the stelae to be particularly haunting, as they depict the faces/lives of those buried. Details may have worn away, but the level of care put into the images is evident.
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