German visit led from ‘our’ Roman wall to another

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The members of Falkirk and district’s Odenwald Association must be concluding there’s one huge piece of history uniting them with their friends in Germany.

Their recent visit there was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of sister organisation in the Odenwald, the Schottland Vereinigung (Scottish Union) - and it took in some noteworthy local sites.

Odenwald Association secretary Anne Simms notes: “As well as visiting our favourite places in Michelstadt, Amorbach and Aschffenberg, we saw various sites on the Limes (the Roman frontier)”.

This follows on from a previous visit by the German group to Falkirk, where costumed “Romans” met them at Callendar House near the route of the Antonine Wall.

The Limes (“lee-mays”) line was a palisaded frontier even more extensive than either of the British walls, and aimed to separate the Roman Empire from the barbarian Germanic tribes.

This was understandable as in their failed efforts to subjugate Germania the Romans saw three entire legions massacred in the Teutoburg Wald in AD 9, and perhaps wisely decided to literally draw a (fortified) line under their ambitions.

The countries which today are Germany and Scotland were as far as the Romans got, and our respective walls are part of the same international Frontiers of the Roman Empire Heritage Site.

Back in the present day, the Odenwald Association guests enjoyed a buffet and musical evening in the Krone Gasthaus in Zell.

Anne Simms, summing up another excellent trip, said: “We presented the Germans with a commemorative quaich and a bottle of whisky - and look forward to continuing the partnership for at least the next 40 years, Brexit or no Brexit”.