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The “Gildehaus” in Blankenheim

Visualisation exhibition “The Villa Rustica”
Visual: www.ulrich-hermanns.de
Visualisation exhibition “The Villa Rustica”
Visual: www.ulrich-hermanns.de

The Gildehaus (Guild House) in Blankenheim has been returned to its full glory and now houses a new exhibition. The former local history museum has been converted into an information centre devoted to the history of the Romans and its after-effects on Blankenheim and the northern part of the Eifel.

The exhibition centres on the history of the villa rustica – a country estate used for residential and agricultural purposes between the 1st and 4th centuries AD – and its modern reconstruction. It combines topics like commercial usages in Roman times, the archaeological remains and the legacy of the Roman Empire within the collections of the Count of Manderscheid-Blankenheim. Visitors can go in search of Blankenheim’s Roman past, which at the same time will sharpen their minds to the importance of researching, collecting and preserving historical remains for the future.

The country villa existed from the late 1st century to the middle of the 4th century as the hub of an agricultural estate and as a prestigious residence. Its ruins were discovered at the end of the 19th century and diggings continued into the first half of the 20th century. Afterwards it was closed off for more than half a century and left to fall into disrepair or be used for building development. Since summer 2014, it has been the centrepiece of an archaeological park that gives one an idea of the immenseness and the architecture of the whole estate by means of the modern reconstruction of a part of the impressive portico of the main building and the outlining of the villa by means of a transparent framework construction consisting of prefabricated Corten steel. 

Archäologische Ausgrabung der Villa 1894, Foto: LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland
Archäologische Ausgrabung der Villa 1894
Foto: LVR-Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland
Ein stolzes Landgut: Rekonstruktion der villa rustica in BLankenheim, Visual: D. Hansen, S. Möllenbruck P. Mesenberg, Universität Essen-Duisburg
Ein stolzes Landgut: Rekonstruktion der villa rustica in BLankenheim
Visual: D. Hansen, S. Möllenbruck P. Mesenberg, Universität Essen-Duisburg
Farbiges Wohnen: Fragmente des Wandputzes in der Villa, Foto: ARCHAEOnet GbR
Farbiges Wohnen: Fragmente des Wandputzes in der Villa
Foto: ARCHAEOnet GbR

The link between antiquity and today is generated in the exhibition by valuable original exhibits donated by the "LVR-LandesMuseum” in Bonn as well as models, interactive stations and a film.

Location and how to get there

Public transport / railway

From Cologne / Euskirchen / Kall:

Train to Blankenheim (Wald). Immediately after arriving at the station change to the No. 832 TaxiBus service which will take you to the centre of Blankenheim. To book the TaxiBus, ring 01806/ 151515 at least 30 minutes before departure (groups of more than 5 persons must book at least one I day before departure). Adults and children using the TaxiBus will be charged an additional 1 euro and 0.50 euro respectively for each journey.

from Bad Münstereifel:

No. 824 TaxiBus service to Blankenheim – alight at “Betriebshof”. Please consult the VRS timetable for the current services.

Car / busses

from Düsseldorf/Cologne via the A 1 autobahn, exit Blankenheim and then take the B 51
from Aachen via the B 258
from Trier via the B 51 to the Blankenheim exit
from Koblenz via the B 258 (Nürburgring, Ahrtal)

Car parking zones are signposted in the centre of town