Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
R16
Wijchen
100

Wijchen – Roman villa landscape

Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape

In the Roman period, the territory of Wijchen consisted of a large number of small villages with wooden farm houses and thatched roofs. Over the course of time, a number of rich families chose to settle in the area. They had their villas designed in Roman fashion.

The inhabitants of the houses were farmers who worked the soil in the same way their ancestors had done back in the Iron Age. The owners of the villas were richer families. This lead to a mixture of native and Roman residences that makes Wijchen so special. It is situated on a river dune which, even back in Roman times, put Wijchen higher than the surrounding swampy lowlands. It was this location that made it a popular place to live.

Unique villa
The villas in particular appeal to the imagination. In between Wijchen and Overasselt there was a villa with a main building that measured 32 x 10 metres. The house had tuff-stone walls and underfloor heating. The remains of a large, round burial mound, or tumulus, surrounded by a tuff wall were found in the woods next to the villa, which is very rare for this region indeed. Another villa was located at Tienakker, wonderfully situated on the shore of the Wijchen lake.

Unknown inhabitants
We do not know who lived in these villas. They could have been Batavian veterans who, after 25 years of service, had returned to their native region from far away places. They could also have been senior officials with political careers that could afford a house in the country. In most cases, the villas served as the main buildings to farmsteads.

Arrival of the Franks
From the 3rd century, Frankish tribes invaded the Roman Empire. In the 4th century they even settled within the borders of the empire permanently – with the consent of the Roman emperor. The Franks took over numerous military tasks and obtained increasingly more power. When the last Romans returned to the south in 410 AD, the Franks took control. They adopted the Roman lifestyle and took over their buildings. They settled in Wijchen on and around what later became the market, where there is a Frankish/Merovingian burial ground with some 900 graves.

Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape
Wijchen – Roman villa landscape

Romeins Villa Landschap

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