Temple of Kessel

The temple of Kessel was built at the place where the rivers Maas and Waal meet. It is probably the largest pagan temple ever built in the Netherlands. Herman Clerinx (see source) recounts how Nico Roymans made reconstructions based on found parts of the temple, Latin texts about architctecture and examples from abroad.

The temple was big, especially for this area, with 6 meter high columns. It was probably built by Batavians around 100 CE, and was taken down in the 4th century. The Batavians may have been helped by the Romans, since many of them served in the Roman army.

Before the temple was built, it had been an open-air sanctuary of the Eburones in the 2nd century BCE. Offerings were made there, of coins, weapons, animals and possible even humans. This is based on a find in the river Maas in 1992: several skulls, among them a skull in a Celtic pot.

It is not known which god was worshiped in this temple. However, since the temples of Elst and Empel closeby were most likely dedicted to Hercules Magusanus, this was probably the case for Kessel, too.


Clerinx, Herman. Kelten in de Lage Landen. Davidsfonds. 2005.