Oldest Library in Germany excavated
"...The walls are comparable to other libraries of the Roman Empire, such as the one in Ephesus', says Dirk Schmitz, the head of the Cologne archaeological monument authority. 'It dates back to between 150 and 200 A.D. and, as was usually the case in Roman cities, is located in the ancient forum."
The German magazine Der Spiegel writes:
"About 1800 years ago there was a library in the centre of Cologne: archaeologists have now discovered its foundations during construction work and initially thought it was a completely different building. ...
'At first we thought it was the remains of a public meeting room,' says Marcus Trier, head of Cologne's heritage department. But the walls had had 'peculiar, niche-like structures' - niches in the interior walls that were too small for statues.....
After intensive research and comparisons with other ancient buildings, for example in Ephesus, the researchers suspected that boxes for parchment and papyrus rolls were stored in those niches. Which meant that the building was once a library.
The building, measuring twenty by nine meters plus an extension, probably had two storeys. 'There must have been several thousand scrolls in there to borrow,' says Trier.