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Municipalities to develop ancient (Roman) heritage route

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

RIMBURG – The Roman ‘highway’ Boulogne-sur-Mer, which linked the northern French coastal town of Boulogne with the German town of Koln needs to be, where possible, restored as a heritage route, heritage promoters argue. The route, which began serving the region around 50 BC, includes cities such as Kamerijk, Tongeren, Maastricht and Heerlen. The Romans built a fixed Meuse crossing at Maastricht (archeological evidence of the bridge was discovered in the Meuse in 1969 when dredgers lifted stone blocks to the surface) and a bathhouse at Heerlen. The route should become more visible where possible by restoring or rebuilding such points, officials argued recently at the signing ceremonies of covenants in affected municipalities in both the Netherlands and Germany. The heritage route, which has been dubbed Via Belgica (incorrectly, experts say), likely dates from pre-Roman times. Along the route lies a series of elevated burial sites (grafheuvels).