Thermen Museum Heerlen

It’s raining and windy here (really? never) and you have guests in town who don’t want to spend their European vacation in your living room… or may be the kids are just restless and need to get out. Here’s a little something we did on a blustery day not long ago that ended up being really pretty cool.

Thermenmuseum
Coriovallumstraat 9; Heerlen
T: 045-5605100
W: http://www.thermenmuseum.nl

Open: Tues-Fri 1000-1700; Sat-Sun 1200-1700
Closed: Jan 1, Carnival, and Dec 24, 25, 31

Cost: Adults 5E, Kids 4-12 4E

Parking: There are several public covered lots nearby. The museum itself is on a main road very near the pedestrian only centrum area.

Background: In the 1940’s, when the war was still raging in this area, a Roman pot was discovered in an empty field as it was being plowed. The area was excavated and an entire Roman bath house was uncovered. Due to lack of funding to properly protect it, it was covered up and not re-excavated until 1977 when it was again uncovered and the current building was built over the top of it to enclose it and protect it. As recently as 2003, more Roman artifacts have been found and they are all housed here.

The Museum: Smallish in size, you can spend a good 2 hours here. There is an introductory movie shown as you enter on the first floor. It is available in English. Also on the 1st floor is a room with the newest Roman finds – currently the sarcophagus found in 2003. The first room upstairs is a large open room that encases the bath house. You’ll walk across on a tall platform. Push the English button and you’ll have a tour of the bathhouse in English that will tell you about how it was made and used. As rooms are described, they are lit up. Past this room is a series of smaller rooms that house all the things found in the area – vases, pottery, jewelery, and other artifacts. It’s very nicely done and interesting. My 4 year old even enjoyed herself.

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