Trier

It’s impossible to overlook the manifold historical aspects of Trier, a city built by the Romans and famous for buildings like the Porta Nigra, Trier Cathedral and the Imperial Baths.


Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra is the best place for visitors to begin their tour of Trier. The gate dates back to a time (about A.D. 180) when the Romans often erected public buildings of huge stone blocks (here, the biggest stones weigh up to six metric tons). The Greek monk Simeon walled himself up in the eastern tower and lived there as a hermit after 1028. After his death in 1034/5, he was buried inside the gate and made a saint. In his honor, two churches were built into the gate but were torn down between 1804 and 1819.

 

Main Market (Hauptmarkt)

The Main Market became the center of medieval Trier in 958. The archbishop moved the market from the river to the present site and the Market Cross commemorates the move to this day.The Market Fountain built in 1595 shows St. Peter, the patron saint of the Cathedral as well as the city, standing on top, surrounded by the four cardinal virtues needed for good city government: Justice, Strength, Temperance, and Wisdom. The secular building of the Steipe was located in such a position that the lord spiritual had the market in view and could see its defiant battlements and the knights facing the Cathedral.

 

Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen)

Going to the baths was an important part of Roman life. Over 1600 years ago, the Romans built one of the grandest and most impressive baths in the world - the Imperial Baths. You can still visit this gigantic bathing facility; go back in time to the Roman era, descend into the subterranean labyrinth and get a first-hand feel of history.

 

Amphitheatre

Beyond the medieval city wall lies the Roman Amphitheater. Cruel games with animal and gladiator combats were conducted here as a popular form of public entertainment. The arena, built in the 2nd century A.D., had a seating capacity of about 20,000. With its crystal-clear acoustics, the Amphitheatre currently serves as a venue for the Antiquity Festival and is also used for occasional open-air concerts. 

 

Roman Bridge

The Roman Bridge in Trier ist the oldest bridge in Germany. The pilings of the Roman Bridge from A.D. 144-152 (the arches and roadway are from the 18th century) are deeply embedded in the bedrock underneath the river gravel.

 

Kesselstatt Palace

The palace architect was Johann Valentin Thomann of Mainz. The whole splendour of the structure is concentrated in the middle section with its main entrance, oval windows and a balcony supported by richly decorated consoles, not to mention the exquisite rococo embellishment.

 

Barbara Baths

The Barbara Baths (entrance fee) were built in the second century as the then-largest Roman baths. Although only one third of the original facility has been excavated, a tour of the passageways takes a surprisingly long time. The extensive ruins were used as a castle in the Middle Ages, then torn down and recycled as building material until the remains were used for constructing the Jesuit College in 1610. 

The cathedral

The present Cathedral stands on top of a former Constantinian Palace. After Constantine's last visit to Trier in A.D. 328/9, the palace was leveled in 330 and replaced by the largest Christian church in Antiquity, about four times as big as the present-day church and covering the area of the Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady, the Cathedral Square, the adjoining garden and the houses, almost all the way up to the market. 

 

Basilika (Aula Palatina)

The so-called Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. The Romans wanted the architecture to express the magnificence and might of the emperor. Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo. The Basilika is of an unbelievable size: 27 m (90 ft) wide, 33 m (108 ft) high and 67 m (220 ft) long, with an adjoining hall outside boasting a further 75 m (250 ft). 

 

The Electoral Palace

Located directly next to the Basilika, the Electoral Palace is considered one of the most beautiful rococo palaces in Germany. The especially beautiful south wing, which can be admired from the Palace Garden, was commissioned by Archbishop Johann Philipp von Walderdorff in1756 and designed by Johannes Seiz. The sculptures were crafted by Ferdinand Tietz.

 

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum near the Imperial Baths has the richest collection of Roman finds in Germany; it is so rich, in fact, that only a small part of the collection can be exhibited.

 

 

Zurlauben

Many of the houses in this section of the city were built before 1800 and originally formed a small village where fishermen and their families lived. Also located here is the city dock for excursion boats, as well as cosy wine taverns and restaurants.

 

Church of our beloved Lady

The Church of Our beloved Lady is the oldest Gothic church in Germany and was built in the 13th century. A special feature is the cruciform floor plan. The medieval church, however, was no longer a long, three-aisled structure, but a church-in-the-round, whose cross-shaped vaulting with four corresponding portals in rounded niches was completed by eight rounded altar niches so that the floor plan resembles a twelve-petaled rose, a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the rosa mystica, and reminiscent of the twelve tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles. The apostles as well as the twelve articles of the Apostle's Creed are painted on the twelve supporting columns, completely visible only from one spot marked by a black stone.

 

Palace Garden

A crown jewel of garden architecture lies in the heart of the city: the Palace Garden. Baroque garden artistry is framed by exquisite examples of art and history: an enchanting park in which one can experience both the past in stone and the present in blossoms. A section of the garden corresponds to the style based on ancient Greco-Roman gardens. Along with classical literature and the fine arts, garden artistry crossed the Alps in the 16th century and also found a new home in Germany.

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