Umkirch – map of Roman settlement © Gemeinde Umkirch

District of Umkirch


The Romans in Umkirch

79224 Umkirch

Example of types of decorated ‘terra sigillata’ with relief by A. Giamilus © Gemeinde Umkirch
Fountain found in Dachswanger Weg © Gemeinde Umkirch


By the end of the seventh decade AD, the southern Upper Rhine region was securely under Roman rule. The military camp between Basel and the mouth of the Neckar needed supplies, so long-distance roads heading north intersected with the connections from the Rhine (Breisach) and the Black Forest. A supply station, a bit like a modern service station, grew up around one of these points of intersection. Traders, craftsmen and farmers gradually moved in. A Roman settlement was born on the site of what is now Umkirch. The first Roman findings emerged in 1979, during the excavation of the Mühlematten settlement area. It was a modest wooden settlement with southern Gallic-style pottery, crucibles, iron slag and millstones. In 1980, work to install heating into the Marienkirche brought to light remains of the walls of an imposing building. In 1988, traces of a large house built in at least two different phases were discovered at the manor house near Büningen Castle. Pottery findings point to a potter by the name of A. Giamilus, who lived in one of the buildings discovered and is the first inhabitant of Umkirch to be known by name.

Since then, more and more Roman remains have been found throughout the heart of the village, most recently a fountain in Dachswanger Weg that was unearthed in 2021. The Roman history of Umkirch is a long way from being told in full, but all the evidence points to continuity between ancient times and the settlement of the High Middle Ages. But the Romans and more recent inhabitants of Umkirch have one thing in common, their lives and the economy of the town are still shaped by its position on the major roads.

Interesting locations

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