Eight questions for...

Egon Schallmayer, director of Saalburg Museum

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Roman Limes, what should I definitely not miss?

Basically you shouldn't miss anything the Saalburg has to offer. Not the various parts of the fortification construction, or the many educational opportunities of the museum, nor the surrounding landscape of the Taunus heights.

What do you particularly like here?

What I find particularly attractive is the way the fortifications blend into the surrounding landscape and the flair that emanates from individual buildings in the complex. Apart from that I really enjoy encounters with visitors who are interested in history in general, and Roman antiquity in particular.

Do you have an insider tip?

There's a whole series of insider tips: special guided tours that focus on a particular theme, like the ancient deity cults, or the history of the archeological research at the Saalburg. I also highly recommend the family days, which give you a chance to discover and participate. Or an evening tour when the weather's warm - but also when it's icy cold.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

When I first visited the Saalburg I was very impressed by the main gate and the defensive wall, which seemed to emerge from the forest without warning. Beyond that, the large buildings in the Saalburg, like the Principia (the fort's central building) or the granary, fascinate me to this day. Because of the wealth of Roman finds made of metal, ceramics, bone or wood, this site gave me a good insight into what life must have been like back then. This experience had such a lasting effect that I spent my entire working life in archeology and Roman history. Discovering history embedded in nature, so far removed from the everyday world, is something very special for me.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

In fall, the blaze of colors in the archeological park with its different trees and bushes, in spring, everything beginning to bloom, or in winter, hiking through the snow around the Roman fortification - every season has its own charm and attractions.

What else should I see here?

Apart from the Roman fort, you should definitely take at least one hike along a segment of the Limes. But also the landscape around the fort, the Hessenpark, which is located at the foot of the Saalburg, and the timber-framed houses in the spa town of Bamberg are worth a visit.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

The specialties of Hesse are green sauce, apple wine and Handkäse - a spicy sour milk cheese - with "music," that's the after-effect of the marinade made of onions, caraway, vinegar and oil that it's served with. As the Saalburg was part of the Roman Empire, it also offers a range of dishes prepared according to ancient Roman recipes.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

The Taj Mahal mausoleum in India.

Egon Schallmayer

is one of the most renowned aficionados of the Roman Limes.

The professor of archeology, born in Ober-Roden in 1951, has conducted many digs during the course of his long career. He was director of the Saalburg Museum in Bad Homburg from 1995 until 2013, an archeological museum set in a former Roman frontier fort on the Upper Germanic Limes.