Map of the Roman border fortifications at the strategically important Hühnerstraße road across the Taunus mountains. A strong garrison was required to protect the Limes gate and the watchtowers in this area. The upper section of the map shows the Limes border defences. The former Limes gate in the upper left-hand corner of the map has been widened to accomodate Bundesstraße B417 federal road. The enlarged version of the map shows the location of the watchtower immediately adjacent to the gate. The footpath along B417 leads from the watchtower to a small circular amphitheater called "Rundschanze". The path then continues from the amphitheater to the rectangular cohort castle located at the Ortlen intersection. There are two paths leading from the castle to the civilian settlement and source of the Aar which provided potable water for the castle garrison. A large circular amphitheater can be seen on the right-hand side of the map.
Border Castle at Limes Germanicus
Rampart and arena of the amphitheater
The arena in the center of the small amphitheater
Arena and rampart. The reconstructed watchtower can be seen on the right.
Source of the Aar and reservoir
Right-hand section of the large amphitheater
Centre right-hand section of the large amphitheater
Centre left-hand section of the large amphitheater
Left-hand section of the large amphitheater
- Autobahn A3 Frankfurt-Köln
- Exit Idstein im Taunus
- B275 toward Taunusstein
- Before Neuhof take the B417 toward Limburg
- At the Ortlen intersection, turn right into the Zugmantel parking area. The entrance to the parking area is immediately after the athletic field.
A small wooden castle was built at the Zugmantel site from 83 to 86 a.d. It was later enlarged to a numerus castle with a garrison of 200 men from Numerus Treverorum. The final expansion to a cohort castle came during the reign of Emperor Carcalla. The fortification was then garrisoned by Cohors II Treverorum. Around 260 A.D. the threat posed by the Alamanni tribes was such that the Upper German Limes could no longer be held. The border was moved back to the western shore of the Rhein river, because the riverline was easier to defend. The abandoned Zugmantel castle was used as a quarry when the Hühnerstraße road was built in the 18th century. Only remnants of ramparts can be seen today, but the reconstructed Roman Watchtower at Limes Germanicus is well worth a visit.