Kalkriese, Varus Battle AD 9

Roman and Germanic Days, The Battle of Varus
Römer und Germanen tage, Varusschlacht
Museum and Park Kalkriese (Osnabrück, Niedersachsen state)

The Event

The Teutoburg Forest is a range of low, forested mountains in the Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia regions in Germany which is believed to be the set of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (called by Roman historians “Clades Variana”, the Varian disaster, “Varusschlacht” in German): an alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and destroyed three Roman legions led by governor Publius Quinctilius Varus (46 BC - 9 AD, Roman general and politician). Recent excavations with findings of over 5,500 Roman objects suggest that the final stages of the battle took place at Kalkriese, a 157 m hill in Lower Saxony characterized in its northern slope by many deep brooks, rivulets and a large wetland. The territory belongs to Osnabrück a medieval town about 80 km from Dortmund and 100 km from Hannover.

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in AD 9 when three Roman legions (XVII, XVIII and XIX), three cavalry squadrons and six cohorts of auxiliary troops, while on their way back to their winter camps along river Rhine, were lured into an ambush and destroyed by an alliance of several Germanic tribes. It has been the greatest defeat for the Romans. Leader of the Germans was Arminius, "Hermann", (18/17 BC-21 AD), prince of the Cherusci, who grew up and was educated in Rome in his youth, being granted the Roman citizenship and the status of equestrian (the lower of the two aristocratic classes in ancient Rome). Arminius received also a thorough military education and training and later became a Roman auxiliary officer. While the Roman army was commanded by governor Publius Quintilius Varus a nobleman relative of Emperor Augustus, skilled politician and experienced administrative officer. The news of Varus' defeat caused a great shock in Rome because of the high number of casualties with more than 15.000 Roman soldiers as well as slaves, women and children being annihilated, and Augustus himself is said to have cried out, when the news reached him: "Quintili Vare, legiones redde!", “Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!” Every year in June, Romans and Germans meet anew at Kalkriese, for a great historical reenactment setting up their tents in the museum’s park to relive the civil and military daily life of the 1st century AD. The rich program includes guided tours at the historical camps, several workshops for adults and children (i.e. archery, forging, legionaries training, and a foray through the Germanic woods with field packs), an ancient market place, inns and taverns serving delights from the ancient Roman cuisine, cavalry shows presenting the spectacular Roman riding and fighting techniques, and also replicas of the famous Roman siege machines. At the Roman military camp, the reenactors offer an exciting deep insight into the legionnaire’s life explaining equipment, weapons, battle strategies, marching formations and medical treatments, while in the Germanic camp the visitors are introduced to the ancient customs and traditions of the Germanic tribes including cuisine, textile, pottery, jewelry, fishing and hunting. The highlight is the historical reenactment of the Teutoburg Forest Battle.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Varusschlacht im Osnabrücker Land GmbH - Museum und Park Kalkriese
Address: Venner Straße 69, D - 49565 Bramsche-Kalkriese
Tel.: +49 5468 9204-200 - Fax +49 5468 9204-45
E-mail: kontakt@kalkriese-varusschlacht.de
E-mail: fuehrungen@kalkriese-varusschlacht.de
Web: www.kalkriese-varusschlacht.de


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Promos and video reportages of the event:







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