Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Long Weekend in Trier, Germany

Trier, Germany, is about a 2.5 hours from Frankfurt. So when we had another long weekend in May....we took another weekend trip. Trier has the distinction of being the oldest city in Germany. Trier was also inhabited by the Roman Empire during the first century (and was used as one of the Roman Empire capitals).

Trier sits on the Moselle River valley and is a highlight stop for the "old people river cruises" (as described by Clarissa when we saw a boat dock and unload....lol.

We stayed near the river and saw lots of cute houses and restaurants.

Our first destination was Porta Nigra (Black Gate), which is the best-preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps!

As you can see, the gate was undergoing some renovations so we could not go up in the gate but we could still admire its size and great condition.

We headed into the city center by passing some fun lego brick traffic barriers.

We wandered around the town square before heading to the High Cathedral of St. Peter in Trier, the oldest episcopal church in Germany (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Construction is said to have started around the 330s and has been rebuilt and added onto since. So it contains a multitude of architectural styles.

The church is said to house the Seamless Robe of Jesus, but if you remember from when we visited Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Georgia , they claim to house the shroud also. Regardless, there was a sanctuary chamber that houses a robe. It was crowed and the glass not easily seen through, but it was very ornately decorated and you could climb up some stairs to visit.

Outside from a courtyard the different architectural styles are much more noticeable. 

Very pretty church organ pipes - I don't think I've ever seen a floral pattern before.

After the church, we meandered around the city on our way to the Roman baths (Kaiserthermen in German, also called the Trier Imperial Baths). 

Until we found the gate in the city wall.

This, now grass filled, area was the piscina (semi-circular heated pool).

Part of the Alderburg Castle - built onto the baths in the 12th century.

Before getting covered up for the castle, this semi-circular area was piscina II - another heated bath. 

The kids resting in the porticus - a large open square.  

I think the most interesting thing, was from this view point on the city wall, there was an artist rendition of what it looked like back in the day. The thing that was hard to visualize was this whole area was covered with a roof (which makes winter bathing much more believable). (Yes, all the people figurines are enjoying the baths nude).

I think the neatest part was being able to explore the service passages underneath all the baths. The staff would be able to access the numerous furnace chambers that warmed the floors and the baths.

We wandered around the passageways for a while. It was so fun to just to wander the imperial bath ruins by ourselves, we could touch walls that have seen so much! Any ruins we've seen in Italy is much more guarded and restricted.

After leaving the Roman baths, we refilled our water bottles (it was a warm day) and rested. We found some gelato on our way over to the Moselle River. They had the cutest lights and a fun twist to the statue on the wall.

We found the Roman Bridge. An old wooden bridge was built to cross the river in 18/17 B.C. In 45 A.D. a stone bridge was built down river a bit from the current location. The pillars for the current bridge were built in 150 A.D.

We kept walking along the river to two old treadwheel cranes. From the bridge we first happened on the "Old Crane" (Alte Krahnen) that was built around 1413. 

We walked a 130 feet and happened up on "Younger Moselle Crane" (Krahnen) built in 1774.

The new crane was operational until 1910 and the old crane was renovated and is still operational. Only problem is due to river having catchments installed to supply cities with water, the water level is no longer high enough to allow usage of the cranes.

On the opposite river bank, St Mary’s Column sitting atop the Pulsberg mountain. 

The next day, we drove over to Luxembourg which is less than an hour away from Trier.....(stay tuned!). The following we day, we headed back to Frankfurt.

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