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The Via Claudia Augusta

Via Claudia Augusta – One of the most important Roman roads

Our own culture would be unthinkable without the Romans' achievements. The Via Claudia Augusta is approximately 700 km in length and follows the footsteps of the Romans from the Bavarian town of Donauwörth and over the Alps to Ostiglia on the river Po in Italy. This ancient cultural and trade route was the most important road in the Roman Empire and ran along the Danube and Lech rivers through Southern Germany to Italy.

Around 2,000 years ago, the Romans constructed the only Imperial road over the Alps, which stretched from the ancient port city of Hostiglia in Italy (today known as Ostiglia) through the Reschen and Fern Passes to the Danube. For centuries this 700 km former military supply route was therefore the most important link between the Roman motherland and the rich provinces of the North.

From the Danube to Italy in Roman style

Even today, the Via Claudia Augusta is a striking example of how Roman road builders once dominated nature. The roads conquered both hill and dale, just as the aqueducts did: neither mountain ranges nor rivers were an obstacle any longer. To carry out up-coming military campaigns quickly, well-constructed roads needed to be built on solid ground which could bear the weight of the countless hobnailed boots, working animals and heavy iron-fitted chariots that would travel along them.

The foundation of modern Europe

The Romans also carried their language and alphabet, forms of government, religion, laws, calendar, currency and countless other civil achievements over the Alps. Numerous reminders of this historical lifeline, as well as some remains, have been preserved in many places, often reflected in today's road network. However in addition to these Roman remains, the Via Claudia Augusta also invites you to experience the distinctive characteristics of each region, time period, people and culture, whether you are cycling, walking, driving, or on a pilgrimage or coach tour.

Variety is the spice of life

Along the remains of this over 2,000-year-old road, you will be greeted by an unforgettable mix: countryside; small, bustling towns; sleepy villages; evidence of the region's chequered history, as well as entire stretches of original road; bridges and milestones. All of these are rich reminders of the lives that played out both on the road itself and by its side. The road's excavation sites, exhibitions and architectural monuments roll back the centuries, and the region's picturesque landscape, customs, distinctive hospitality and regional delicacies are brought to life, with some establishments even offering Roman experiences and Roman cuisine.

Via Claudia Augusta

Length: approximately 700 km

Theme: culture, archaeology, Romans, history

Highlights:
Augsburg: Roman provincial capital, the Fuggerei, the Siebentisch forest
Donauwörth: the Deutschordenshaus, the hall church (Hallenkirche)
Füssen: historical Roman bath, festival hall, Lake Forggensee, Forgensee boat trip
Königsbrunn: the Mithraeum, museums
Landsberg am Lech: old quarter, bridge over the river Lech (Lechbrücke)
Lechbruck am See: the Raftmans Museum (Flößermuseum)
Schwangau: Neuschwanstein Castle, crystal thermal baths (Kristalltherme)

www.viaclaudia.org

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