The Villa Otrang
The Villa Otrang, around 30 minutes' drive from Trier, is one of the largest and best preserved Roman villas north of the Alps. Visitors can tour the splendidly well-appointed country estate, with numerous mosaic floors decorating the roughly 66 rooms of the generously sized building. The villa is a grandiose testament to Roman history, and is also an exemplary source of information about the preservation of ancient monuments and archaeological work. The building was constructed in the 1st century CE, and extends over an area of approximately 379 metres in length and 231 metres in width. Its discovery in the 19th century was followed by the safeguarding and study of the preserved building fragments.
The archaeological finds prove that the villa was substantially extended in the middle of the 2nd century, associated with the increasing prosperity of the region. As well as the impressive manor house, the site also comprised several baths, a heating system (hypocaust) and a temple area. A yard area and smaller farm buildings have also been found, providing evidence of agricultural work. The Villa Otrang was occupied into the 4th century, and was then partly destroyed by the Franconians. The floor and layouts that were discovered and exposed in the 19th century were damaged during the Second World War. A complementary restoration of several mosaics, the heating system and the replica south wing with a viewing terrace started in the 1960s. The villa estate and the sites of archaeological excavations are nowadays open to visitors.