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Via Belgica, Maastricht, Netherlands
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member TeamYakara
N 50° 50.232 E 005° 38.723
31U E 686260 N 5635055
Quick Description: Ancient Roman Road
Location: Limburg, Netherlands
Date Posted: 9/11/2018 11:05:25 AM
Waymark Code: WMZ59Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 4

Long Description:
The road follows one of the routes of a Roman road that was probably built in the second decade BC and later baptized Via Belgica. This road was used for moving legions and ran from Gesoriacum (Boulogne-sur-Mer) to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Cologne), via Tongeren, Maastricht and Heerlen, among others. The road entered the present Netherlands between the border posts 81 and 82, about 300 meters north of the Tongerseweg. In the village of Vroenhoven, on the Belgian side of the border, the road is still called Roman Steenweg. At Maastricht, Via Belgica crossed the Meuse at a fordable location. Later the Roman bridge of Maastricht was built there.

In the Daalhof district, the Via Belgica originally followed a route that was slightly south of the current Roman road, about which the western part of the Numitorhof now runs. The Brouwersweg in the Mariaberg district is also part of this route. On old maps the name Steenstraat appears, a slightly more northerly branch of the Via Belgica. The Roman road is part of this. It is not clear when and for what reason the road has moved slightly to the north. The road, which continued to serve many centuries after the Roman period, now has no further function, because he has been dead at the Albert Canal since the 1930s. Other roads had already taken over this function, especially the Tongerseweg, which was built in French times.

During the construction of the Belfort and Daalhof districts in the 1960s and 1970s, the northern route of the road was investigated and documented by J.E. Bogaers and J.H.F. Bloemers, where it turned out to be a gravel road with a width of initially not even 5 meters, later broadened by more than 2 meters, and located between two ditches each 1.5 meters wide. The thickness of the pavement was locally 60 cm.

Roman villa roads are mostly Roman villae. On the slope of the Louwberg, in the village of Wolder, located to the south-east of the area near Daalhof, remains of a large villa were found in 1879. The amateur archaeologist and priest Joseph Habets exposed the floor plan of a 38 x 23 meter building. Even closer, at the Chambertinlaan in the Campagne district, Bloemers in 1972 found remnants of a second villa. Wolder, formerly known as Wilre, probably owes its name to this villa: the Latin villare means villa or estate.

The presence of the Roman road in Daalhof was reason for all the streets in the area in 1969 to give names referring to Roman culture. The old road that ran through the area was taken up in a green strip and was later marked as a Roman relic in various places. At a crossroads of field roads on the western edge of Daalhof there are two hard stone benches that also serve as signposts. The inscription shows a word play on the name of the westernmost and easternmost place on the Via Belgica: BONONIA / COLONIA (Boulogne-sur-Mer / Cologne). In 1985 near the Aureliushof a small part of the road was paved in Roman way. On both sides of it, the Belgian artist Raf Verjans placed a concrete slab with molded reliefs in which classically designed human figures can be recognized. The monument is a gift from the city of Tongeren on the occasion of its 2000 anniversary..
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: free

Opening days/times:

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Some remaining traces (ruins) or pieces

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