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Ancient, medieval history and the Nibelungen saga - they all come together in Xanten. The Romans settled here over 2000 years ago. They founded the legionary camp Castra Vetera, which later became the Ulpia Traiana colony. In the 5th Century, the colony was destroyed. Today, it was partly restored and can be visited in the Archaeological Park in Xanten. You can see i.a. the town walls, the amphitheatre, the baths and the Roman temple.

After the Romans came the clergy, which shaped the foundation of modern Xanten. This period is reflected in the medieval town centre: the Gothic St. Victor's Cathedral, the Kleve gate, the Karthaus (former Carthusian monastery) and other historic buildings such as the Siegfried and the Kriemhild windmill. The last two names refer to the legends of Xanten. According to the legend, Siegfried, the hero of the Nibelungen saga, was born here.