In Roman times, forts were built along the Upper German-Raetian Limes to allow troops to control the frontier. This part of the Limes has now been recognized as a World Heritage site.
Every fort included administrative as well as storage buildings, barracks for the soldiers, stables, and the commander's house. Civilian settlements (vici) sprung up close to the forts.
The grounds of the Ruffenhofen fort have not been built on since antiquity. As a result, the foundations of the archaeological structures have been preserved underground - in contrast to the situation of many other Limes forts. With an interior area of c. 3.7 hectares, the fort in Ruffenhofen is the largest fort between the military bases of Aalen and Weißenburg. Originally made with wood, the fort was modernized as a stone construction in AD 150/160.