Kastell Bodobrica

Constructed 357–359 A.D.

Kastell Bodobrica, Boppard am Rhein, built 357–359 A.D.

The late Roman Castle Bodobrica was constructed at Boppard, 357–359 A.D., when the Rhine river was again established as the borderline of the Roman Empire in this province of Germania I (prima). Bodobrica was a large rectangular castle with strong walls and 28 towers spaced 25 meters apart. The two-storied stone towers were 9 meters tall and 8.6 meters in diameter, with an interior space of 3.6 meters in diameter, and walls 2.5 meters thick. Wooden battlements protected the soldiers on towers and curtain walls. Bodobrica was garrisoned by milites balistarii, Roman artillery, and it is probable that balista torsion artillery was deployed on the towers. The small room inside each tower had no firing slits or windows, it was used to store ammunition for the balista, and it could be reached by a ladder let down from the tower platform.

Late Roman Border Castle on the Rhine

Plan of the Late Roman Castle Bodobrica, at Boppard on the Rhine.

Plan of the Late Roman Castle Bodobrica, at Boppard on the Rhine.

A freshwater canal passes through the curtain wall below tower IX.

A freshwater canal passes through the curtain wall below tower IX.

The curtain wall connecting tower VII and tower VIII was reduced to street level.

The curtain wall connecting tower VII and tower VIII was reduced to street level.

Tower VIII and the curtain wall connecting it to tower IX.

Tower VIII and the curtain wall connecting it to tower IX.

Several of the towers and wall sections can still be seen in Boppard today. Towers VI to IX have been preserved in their present state, and they are part of the exhibit area along the southern castle wall. Some of the other towers and wall sections have been incorporated into buildings, the most impressive of them being the Weinhaus Römer-Burg restaurant at the northeastern corner of the castle. The Romanic Pfarrkirche church stands on the foundations of the Roman baths at Bodobrica and the Christian church which was subsequently built here by the Romans. An early Christian baptismal font and part of the foundations are on display inside the church.

Remnants of the Limes Germanicus Latitude Longitude Elevation
Kastell Bodobrica N 50°13′00.0″ E007°37′35.9″ 62 m
GPS waypoints in WGS-84 format, taken with a handheld GARMIN eTrex Summit Global Positioning System.

Castle Bodobrica was built during the reign of Constantius II (337 to 361 A.D.), and it remained in use until the beginning of the 5th century. Roman artifacts discovered during the excavation of Castle Bodobrica can be seen at the Museum in Boppard.

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