Römerfest Xanten

16 Jun
Römerfest Xanten

This weekend saw the “Römerfest” in the Archeologischer Park Xanten. This is the archeological park build on the remains and rebuilding the Colonia Ulpia Traiana, the second most important town in Germania Inferior (after Cologne) under the Romans. The place is always worth a visit IMHO, but this year saw them host the Römerfest again. This means the place is filled with re-enactors (mostly German, but I saw groups from Belgium, the UK and Italy as well), traders and host a number of displays, like Roman drill, cavalry display, artillery demonstration and gladiator fights. The weather was fine and the camera even allowed me a few decent photos. I will leave you with the photos and only a few comments of my own:

Up first the drill display (as this was a UK based group of re-enactors “The Ermine Street Guard”):

Xanten1 Xanten 1

The cavalry display showing 4 riders with equipment from different periods from late republican to late roman. The outfit was called Timetrotter. (Please be aware, that they do reserve the rights for commercial use of any photos showing them. While this is not legally binding, if you want to make any commercial use of these following photos, you have to contact them not me to avoid any troubles.)

Xanten 7 Xanten 4 Xanten 5 Xanten 6 Xanten8 Xanten 10 Xanten8 Xanten 8 Xanten 9

There were lots of Ballistae of different sizes on display. There is one thing I want to mention regarding this one very fine example. I was standing by when one of the re-enactors was explaining a good deal about this weapon and their own research to some visitors. When he was done one of the visitors said that they were tabletop wargamers and while this was bleeping great to see it live they did not care too much about the background and much less about the actual firing of this weapon. Not sure if you should happen to read this blog, but if you are… Next time please show some respect!!! This man was as serious and passionate about his hobby (which is not too far from yours) as you are about yours (hopefully) and he sure deserved better than for someone to tell him he did not care, because you were just after a peepshow! Imagine how he would have felt with the roles reversed!

Xanten 11

There were parades on of the main walk in the park at various times during the day, which was a good chance to see all the “Centuries” and their uniforms!

Xanten 2 Xanten 15 Xanten 19 Xanten 18 Xanten 17 Xanten 16 Xanten 20 Xanten 21

Here are some impressions from the various camps:

Xanten 12 Xanten 24 Xanten 14

These two were later used in a life firing display:

Xanten 13 Xanten 22 Xanten 23

And last but not least another drill display by a local outfit which also performed the firing display:

Xanten 25 Xanten 26 Xanten 27 Xanten 28

I assume this broken torsion arm was from an earlier use of the stone thrower, for on Saturday everything went just fine!

Xanten 3


Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Ancients, Historic research, Romans


18 responses to “Römerfest Xanten

  1. Monty

    June 17, 2014 at 04:02

    What a lovely day! These fellows put a great deal of work into their kit and the show. Thanks for sharing!


    • Burkhard

      June 17, 2014 at 06:40

      You are welcome!

      I was very impressed with these guys as well. Very passionate and an extremely high attention to detail!


  2. Samuli S

    June 17, 2014 at 07:44

    Impressive looking kit all around. Amazing attention to detail indeed.


    • Burkhard

      June 17, 2014 at 10:31

      Yes they were really exceptional. I was expecting something good, but the quality was extremely high all around!


  3. Engel

    June 17, 2014 at 12:01

    Wow Impressive show


  4. vonpeterhimself

    June 18, 2014 at 04:22

    Some very interesting pictures Burkhard. Thanks for posting them.

    I totally agree with your sentiments re the loud mouthed ignoramus! Humans can be so stupidly unthinking at times.

    von Peter himself


    • Burkhard

      June 18, 2014 at 11:10

      Glad you like them vP!

      Yes they can be! I just hope the person in question reads this and starts thinking!!!


  5. Stefan K.

    June 18, 2014 at 10:06

    Very impressive pictures and an excellent review.
    We visited the show on saturday and I posted some pictures lately:



    • Burkhard

      June 18, 2014 at 11:16

      Thanks Stefan!

      It is funny… I checked out your photos and you can actually see some of our party amongst the spectators of the cavalry display (not not myself). If only we had known! 😉


  6. The Angry Lurker

    June 18, 2014 at 10:18

    Great pictures, a lot of effort and skill in those pictures.


    • Burkhard

      June 18, 2014 at 11:17

      Fran, there sure was. I have seen passionate re-enactors before, but on average these guys were phenomenal!


  7. aslfan

    June 18, 2014 at 12:07

    Great looking event, shame about the guy who was obviously mssing when charm was handed out!



    • Burkhard

      June 18, 2014 at 12:09

      Glad you like it, too! As I said… I hope he reads this and starts thinking the next time!


  8. daggerandbrush

    June 19, 2014 at 04:38

    Thank you for these pictures! The equipment is top-notch and one can see all the effort and attention to detail that goes in every piece. I am very interested in the army tents and on which basis they were reconstructed. I am not sure if you at all talked about those tents with one of the re-enactors, but if so, can you provide any more detail about the material used and template they were reconstructed on (Trajans column?).


    • Burkhard

      June 19, 2014 at 07:51

      You are welcome!

      I have to admit, I did not talk with them about them. There were two versions… One in canvas, the other in leather. Both followed the same general cut and had about the same features. What I did over hear was one re-enacted mention that there seems to be a general scientific consensus these days, that leather tents were the norm. Sorry I do not have more!


  9. Jason

    June 20, 2014 at 02:48

    Wow, lots of amazing stuff to take in. Must of been a wonderful time. Thanks so much for sharing all these pics. 🙂


    • Burkhard

      June 20, 2014 at 07:16

      Jason, you are welcome! It sure was a great day!



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