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.
1. Local people have much respect to French and Italian cuisine, so you should definitely visit the restaurants that specialize in these cooking directions. 2. If you go to someone’s house,...
Sightseeing in Trier usually starts with a visit to the main place of interest - Porta Nigra (show on map
) (view photos )
, 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.
For centuries Porta Nigra has served a variety of purposes. The gate between the two towers was filled by land. The street from the side of the city rose directly to the second floor. The lower church was located there. It served as a parish church for common people. The church on the third floor was closer to the sky and it belonged to the monastery built nearby. Despite this, common people often called Porta Nigra the structure of the devil – the gate was erected without any cement or mortar as it was common to the Romans.
Rest in Trier will not be complete without visiting local restaurants that will surprise their visitors by high level of service and wide choice of dishes. Kartoffel Restaurant Kiste is one of the...
In fact, it is surprising that the whole structure has not fallen apart with time, despite the fact that almost all iron shackles and liquid tin, which were used by the Romans to keep the stones together, were stolen. By order of Napoleon, all church extensions disappeared from Porta Nigra in 1804. The old gate has returned to its former glory and the original look. Its old size - 36m wide, 30m high and 21m in depth – was also returned. In 1876, the entrance through the gates was cleared, and an ancient Roman street was found. Today, Porta Nigra is open to tourists.
The Imperial terms.
The oldest city in Europe is home to numerous notable places and buildings. Archaeological excavations never stop on the territory of Trier. You can see the priceless discoveries of scientists in the...
The Imperial terms (Kaiserthermen)
were built in the IV century. Today, everyone is welcome to visit this sight. Roman terms are more like our modern saunas. People were supposed to wash in them moving from very cold to very hot rooms. In the end a visitor of these terms was required to dip in a cold pool. Then a visit was ended with a massage and gymnastics. However, the terms also had another important function - they served as a meeting place. There was even a large library in them. Slaves and freedmen did the massage and cleaning. By the way, the imperial terms in Trier were never used for their main purpose even by the Roman emperor, for who they were built. When the Roman era was over, the baths were used as a castle of a Frankish duke, and later - as a bastion of the medieval city wall.
The oldest Roman building in Trier, the Amphitheater
, is located in Olewiger Strasse. It was built in 100 AD from limestone. However, in the Middle Ages the amphitheater was used primarily as a quarry, where locals got the material for construction of their buildings. That is why only small remnants of the amphitheater have survived till our days. However, even these details give us an approximate idea of the original look of the structure. Its eastern part was carved in a steep slope of a mountain, and its western part was artificially raised. The arena was 75m long and 50m wide. Approximately 25,000 Romans and Trevors could watch gladiators fighting in this arena. In the III century the amphitheater was a part of the defensive wall of the city. At that time the north gate was the main entrance to the city. One can see a wonderful view of the amphitheater when walking up the hill in Vikingen Strasse.
The Roman bridge.
If you make a walk on the South Alley/Kaiserstrasse, and then turn right and go along the Mosel, you will see the Roman bridge (Römerbrücke)
, all the basalt piers of which (except for two piers) are the originals of the IV century. The second and the seventh piers were replaced after the bridge had been detonated in 1689 by French troops. The first wooden bridge on the site of the Roman Bridge was built during the reign of Emperor Augustus. The size and stability of the Roman bridge allow using it even these days as a part of the infrastructure of the modern city.
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