Short & Sweet

The Limes was a fortified boundary built 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Nowadays, it is a designated World Heritage Site.

Although it no longer exists in its original form, some structures and towers have been reconstructed and you can visit them.

The best way to explore the sights is by bike.

The Limes and the region

The Limes was the fortified boundary of the Roman Empire which was built around 83 AD following Emperor Domitian’s campaign against the Germanic Chatti tribe. It consisted of ramparts, log buildings and wooden towers. The Limes was fortified during the rule of Emperor Hadrian (117-138) and Antonius Pius (138-161). The wooden towers were replaced by stone towers and a palisade fence was erected.


German state: Hesse
Ideal for students in: , ,
Ticket: Semesterticket

Approximately 550 kilometres long, the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is Europe’s largest archaeological site and the second longest structure in the world after the Great Wall of China. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. A 180-km stretch runs through the German state of Hesse.

The Limes Trail was created by local communities in 2005 with the support of the district of Giessen. The dead straight route runs from the reconstructed sentry post 4/49 near Obersteinberg to the , following the Limes, crossing fields and meadows. You can see the most interesting sights by cycling from Grüningen to Butzbach.

The „Barbarenstein“ at observation post 4/49
The „Barbarenstein“ at observation post 4/49© DAAD/ Sophie Nagel
Färbgasse in the Old Town of Butzbach consists of picturesque houses
The Färbgasse in the Old Town of Butzbach consists of picturesque houses© DAAD/ Sophie Nagel

A day tour of the Limes by bike

Inside the castle

If you want to take a look inside Burg Grüningen, you will have to ring and make an appointment beforehand. The castle is, otherwise, only open to the public on Thursdays from 6pm.


The Limes is fascinating in its own special way.

You will be enchanted by the many impressive old buildings, such as the watchtower, the Roman tower and others in Butzbach.