Xanten on the Lower Rhine, a small, tranquil town with a long history. Once a Roman military camp and civilian settlement on the Limes, the outer border of the Roman Empire, then - in the Middle Ages - the seat of the Viktorstift, cathedral town and, according to the Niebelungenlied, home of the king's son Siegfried, and today a climatic health resort, leisure and nature reserve.
Xanten combines culture, history and leisure values like hardly any other town in the region. The LVR Archaeological Park Xanten and the Roman Museum are living testimonies to Roman life and culture. The remains and excavations of the civilian settlement Colonia Ulpia Traiana form Germany's largest open-air archaeological museum. But even outside the park, numerous traces of Roman life can be discovered on foot or by bicycle in and around Xanten.
The excellently developed network of cycle paths offers a variety of different tours. The Lower Rhine thus attracts not only those interested in history, but also nature lovers and leisure enthusiasts.
LVR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK XANTEN
On the site of the former Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana, part of the Lower Germanic Limes UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021, the LVR Archaeological Park Xanten invites visitors on an exciting excursion into history. In the extensive greenery of the park, impressive reconstructions such as the harbour temple and the amphitheatre, dwellings and the colourful thermal baths convey a vivid impression of everyday Roman life in Lower Germania.
LVR ROMAN MUSEUM
Above the foundation walls of the imposing city baths, the modern LVR-RomanMuseum presents original finds from the ancient metropolis. A few steps away in the shipyard, Roman ships are being built before the eyes of the public. Visitors have the opportunity to look over the shipbuilders' shoulders from the very first plank. In addition, young guests can let off steam on the large adventure playground, the huge bouncy cushion or the water playground. This makes the visit an exciting experience for the whole family!
In and around Xanten there are many traces of the boundary wall that marked the outer border of the Roman Empire. The numerous sites - such as the amphitheatre in Birten - not only provide important information about the military and economic significance of the Limes; they also tell exciting stories about the social life that settled around the Vetera military camp on the Xanten Fürstenberg.
MONASTERY MUSEUM - THE TREASURES OF THE CATHEDRAL CITY
There were canons in Xanten for more than a thousand years. Who were the canons? What were the numerous treasures such as chests, chalices, vestments, sculptures and books that have come down to us from this time used for? How were they made?
The unique pieces still fascinate us today. For example, the heavy books bound in leather: they preserve handwritten texts on parchment. The small boxes made of silver or ivory: their precious contents are relics of revered saints. The same goes for the precious fabrics for the vestments: they come from Byzantium, Italy or France.
The magnificent St. Victor's Cathedral has a long history of construction. Models show how it has changed its appearance over the centuries. The museum includes the Abbey Library and the Abbey Archives. They preserve unique sources on the history of Xanten and the Lower Rhine.
SAINT VIKTOR'S CATHEDRAL - THE MEDIEVAL AGE IN STONE
On the Lower Rhine, where church spires and sky meet, the stone witnesses of the Middle Ages are among the special landmarks.
For centuries, the towers of Xanten Cathedral, visible from afar, have been a destination for believers and art connoisseurs alike. For about 1000 years, a community of clergymen performed their service there in prayer and remembrance of the martyrdom of Saint Victor and his companions. People sought the proximity of the saints "ad Sanctos" and stayed. This "ad Sanctos" gave rise to the town's later name: Xanten. Thanks to the great attraction of the place, the monastery received valuable donations. Xanten Cathedral is the largest and one of the most richly furnished Gothic churches between Cologne and the North Sea. The five-nave basilica houses numerous art treasures: Luminous stained-glass windows, late-medieval carved altars, precious tapestries and filigree goldsmith's work bear witness to the high level of skill of the medieval craftsmen.
The church forms a unique architectural ensemble with the cloister and the adjoining residences of the former canons, the cathedral building lodge and the abbey museum. Entering the immunity district opens up a world of its own.
SIEGFRIEDMUSEUM - MYTH OF THE NIBELUNGS: SIEGFRIED OF XANTEN
In the most important medieval manuscripts of the Song of the Nibelungs, the home of the king's son Siegfried is in the Lower Rhine town of Xanten. In much older sagas he rises from the mists of history as the invincible dragon slayer and owner of the legendary Nibelungen treasure. Through betrayal he must die and becomes a tragic hero.
Nibelungenlied - Fascination and Curse
The Song of the Nibelungs belongs to the canon of world literature and was included in UNESCO's World Documentary Heritage in 2009. The medieval poem inspired numerous artists, writers and composers over the centuries. However, the Nibelungs were also politically appropriated and abused. Like the legendary Rheingold, the Nibelungen myth has a cursed and a dazzling side.
Xanten and the Song of the Nibelungs
Through Siegfried, Xanten is forever linked to the Nibelungen. The Siegfried Museum houses exhibits from 600 years of Nibelungen reception on the remains of historical buildings, some of which have been built over, and shows how topical the old tales still are today. The story of love, loyalty, hatred and betrayal is timeless.
WELCOME TO THE CLIMATIC HEALTH RESORT OF XANTEN
The Xanten of today - a modern medium-sized town, nestled in the varied natural and floodplain landscape of the lower Lower Rhine. Well-developed and networked cycle paths and footpaths enable visitors to enjoy the landscape both on two wheels and on foot.
The numerous water areas are not only the habitat of rare animal and plant species. In designated areas, water and leisure sports enthusiasts also get their money's worth.
The air quality in the region is excellent - which is why the town of Xanten is allowed to use the title "climatic health resort".
BISLICHER ISLAND NATURE RESERVE - UNIQUE FLOODPLAIN LANDSCAPE
There is a lot going on on Bislicher Insel: numerous storks, great crested grebes and kingfishers are raising their young. The now rare lapwings can also be seen here enjoying family life. In addition to the largest cormorant colony, this nature reserve is home to the only breeding sea eagles and spoonbills in North Rhine-Westphalia. Smaller species, such as the endangered musk tick, a typical beetle of the floodplain, also find their habitat here. The 1,200-hectare nature reserve is located in a loop of the Old Rhine and is characterised by dredged lakes created by human activity. Beavers - as furry architects - are also constantly reshaping the landscape. In winter, you can see their tracks particularly well. But it is not only because of the beavers that a visit is worthwhile in the cold season: thousands of coots and white-cheeked geese come to Bislicher Insel to spend the winter, as do numerous species of ducks.
A visit to the exhibition "AuenGeschichten" (Floodplain Stories) in the NaturForum answers many exciting questions: Which goose species live on the Lower Rhine and what do their voices sound like? How do beavers, nutria and muskrats differ? How many earthworms does a young stork eat? Which frog croaks how and what exactly is a floodplain?
XANTENER NORD- UND SÜDSEE - HEALTH, WATER SPORTS AND LEISURE FUN
The leisure centre extends around the Xanten North and South Lakes. The extensive network of cycling and hiking paths offers exercise in the fresh air. At five locations, the pillars of health according to Kneipp - water application, life order, medicinal plants, nutrition and exercise - can be experienced. The barrier-free natural pool with a protected swimming area offers bathing fun and beach flair. Its sandy beach stretches over 1,000 metres. The water ski circuit next door measures a similar length and is also very popular with wakeboarders.
Many other water sports complement the unique diversity of the Xanten leisure centre for a break from everyday life by the lake. Starting from three recreational harbours, boat rentals, boat moorings, a sailing school as well as opportunities for diving, wind and kite surfing, stand up paddling and much more are available.
From the start of the season in spring, the harbours of Vynen and Wardt on the Xanten North Sea and the Xanten South Lake water ski cableway are open - daily from May. The Xanten harbour in the immediate vicinity of the town with its large promenade, adventure golf course and "Plaza del Mar" restaurant at Xantener Südsee is open all year round. Many of the leisure centre's locations are barrier-free and certified according to the "Travel for All" labelling system.
SPA PARK XANTEN - AN OASIS FOR THE SENSES
In Xanten you are always close to the Kurpark! This is because the town's green belt, the former defence ramparts, has been transformed into the Kurpark. The spaciousness of the barrier-free park with its partly natural, partly designed planting invites you to take an extended walk around the town centre.
The heart of the park is the graduation house with its beneficial salty air. Here, brine water evaporates through black thorns and enriches the surrounding air with beneficial salt. The adjacent Kneipp facility offers health-conscious Kneipp enthusiasts the opportunity to tread water. Exercise and playgrounds for young and old encourage sport and fun in the fresh air.
Klever Str. 23