Tongeren claims to be Belgium's oldest city and when you approach the town you are reminded of this by the Roman walls in the middle of the fields. Roman Tongeren was an important stop on the road that ran from Cologne to the French coast and must have been an important administrative and agricultural centre. Outside of town, they have found the remainders of huge storehouses for grain. The Gallo-Romeins Museum tells the story of the Roman civitas, but it goes further back in history. In fact, the museum looks back at three waves of settlers of the Limburg area: the stoneage hunters, the celtic tribes and finally the Romans. It is not a museum with a huge and sensational collection of objects, but the exhibition is didactically well designed and interesting. In each room, there is one lead object, that in an amplified version, can also be touched. Models and short video clips put the objects into context and show for what and how they were used. Archeologists provide scientific interpretations of specific elements, without however insisting on a single truth. There is also in each room a media station that explains kids basic concepts of what is on display in the exhibition. All in all, a very cleverly made museum that well deserved the European Museum of the Year Award 2011.
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