Trier was founded in the XVI century BC by the Romans. They gave the city the name "Augusta Treverorum", which means "the city of August in the country of Treveri". This is the oldest city in Germany, the long history of which is depicted in numerous Roman, medieval and Renaissance architectural monuments. Eight of these monuments are classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Sightseeing in Trier usually starts with a visit to the main place of interest - Porta Nigra , which can be translated from Latin as “the black gate”. Porta Nigra is the northern gate of the city. It was built around 180 AD. At that time the gate was a part of the Roman city wall. The length of the wall estimated 6.5 km, its width was 3 m, and its height was 7.5 meters. The gate got its name later, mostly because of its black color – Porta Nigra was built from sandstone that got darker with time. Starting from 1028, Porta Nigra became the place of a 7 year long voluntary confinement of a Greek monk-hermit named Simeon, an accredited representative of the Archbishop of Trier. The residence of the monk was made on the lowest floor of the east tower. It had no windows and its entrance was bricked up by request of Simeon. Shortly after his death the monk was canonized, and in his honor Porta Nigra was rebuilt into the double church of St. Simeon by order of the archbishop. This is the reason why the Roman gate has managed to survive.
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