We set off quiet early from Koblenz the next day, continuing our journey towards Trier, the oldest city in Germany. On the banks of the river Mosell, Trier is not only the birthplace of Karl Marx, but has been an important trade hub since the time of the Romans. The monuments that are part of the UNESCO world heritage site include the Roman monuments, the cathedral of St. Peter and the church of our Lady.
Upon arrival, we decided it was a good idea to do an English walking tour through the city. We started the tour at the Porta Nigra, which has been standing there since the Romans conquered the city. Situated at the northern entry to Trier, the gate has seen many uses. The obvious one being as a gate, it was also used as a church at one point, which led it to almost being destroyed by Napolean. Our guide also emphasized that the gate is not dirty. Apparently, during his time as a guide, several tourists asked him why the city didn’t make an effort to clean it. It is because of the chemical composition of the sandstone.
Clockwise from top: Model of the city, Saint Peter in the Market Square and the Electoral Palace.
During the Walking tour, not only were we treated to some funny anecdotes, but were also made privy to the veiled strife between the church and the merchants through the various statues erected around Trier. The 75 minute tour took us through the market place, the cathedral of St. Peter, the church of our Lady, ending at the Electoral Palace. The palace, which is adjacent to the Aula Palatina, is not completely symmetrical when viewed from the front. The reason for this, as told by our guide, is that the walls of the Aula Palatina were too strong for the 16th century builders to demolish!
Clockwise from top: Ruins of the Barbara baths, view beneath the amphitheater, fighting pit of the amphitheater and inside the Porta Nigra.
After the tour, we decided to continue walking around Trier, looking for the other Roman ruins. We made our way towards the Amphitheater which was a part of the city wall. Below the Amphitheater are cellars which were used for exotic animals, as well as, prisoners. We ended the day with a visit to the Barbara baths.
Clockwise from top: Archivolt and tympanum of the Cathedral of St. Peter, the inner garden of the church of our Lady, window to the side chapel of the relic, ceiling of the side chapel and the organ of the cathedral.
The next day, we decided to revisit some of the monuments we learned about on the tour. We went inside the cathedral of St. Peter as well as the church of our Lady. The organ inside the cathedral has been by far one of the most unique ones I have seen. It is also home to several relics, the most important of which is the Seamless Robe of Jesus. At the time we visited, it was not on display, but can be viewed on certain special occasions.
Before leaving Trier, we decided to buy some wine from the region. We stopped at the winery, Weingut Gehlen, and bought a couple of bottles of white and rosé.