Trier (in Latin Augusta Treverorum ) is the oldest city in Germany, and was the largest city in the north of the Alps. With its prime location in the Moselle Valley (Mosel) , not far from Luxembourg, the city is a treasure trove of Roman ruins. Known as the “Rome of the North,” Trier served as the key city of the Roman northern territories. Trier boasts not one or two, but NINE (9) UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s also the birthplace of Karl Marx. For those of you looking for a great place to find Unesco sites in Europe then Trier is the best place to start.
Here’s more reasons why a visit to this wonderful city should be in your Bucket List!
An experience of Walking Barefoot
It was a wonderful day in Trier, and since its a very walkable city, after we parked the car, we head on with excitement. I was busy fumbling on my purse to get the cookies for my daughter when i saw this young lady walking barefoot on the grounds approaching Trier Haupmarkt. I have never seen someone like this on modern days, let alone in a city packed with tourists like Trier. Then i remembered that right in the heart of Black Forest in Germany, there is a Barefoot Park where one of attraction is to have a extraordinary experience of walking barefoot inside the park. It’s no surprise that Germany is leading the way for having more than 30 Barefoot parks!
Also, as we approached “Saint George’s Fountain “after we toured the insides of the Cathedral, we saw this small park for children to stomp their bare feet on the ground with flowing water. What a brilliant idea! Especially during hot summers that a child needs to let out their steam, this is a perfect place. Children love to run around barefoot, and feel the different textures under their feet .I tried it myself while my daughter gasp in excitement while running around barefoot.
This is really one of the quirkiest sight i saw in Trier.
Splurge on the grandeur of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
What makes Trier an ideal destination ? It boasts of 9 UNESCO world Heritage Sites, all in one vicinity! INCREDIBLE right? Walking through the streets of Trier is like being into a time machine transported to the ancient times of Celtic tribes, Emperor Augustus & the Roman Empire with its fierce Gladiators and Romans walking the city square in ancient robes. The city was the main center of Christianity north of the Alps, and was the residence of at least 8 Roman emperors over time. As Roman power ebbed, the French took over the city in 459. Later the territory became part of Charlemagne’s empire. In the 12th century, Trier became an important center for the bishops and archbishops, who were also electors in the Holy Roman Empire.
There’s the Porta Nigra ( The Black Gate ) which is built in 180 A.D., still standing tall & proud.This is without a doubt, the most renowned emblem of the historic Moselle town and an imposing Roman construction in the north of the Alps.
The largest construction materials used in Porta Nigra weighs approx. 6 tons, and in most cases,the stones were shaped using mill driven bronze saws.The Blocks were place on top of each other without using mortar. What an amazing structure! Next to the Porta Nigra is the City Museum (Stadtmuseum Simeonstift) and the Trier information center.
As we continued walking, we saw the “The Roman Imperial Throne Room” or 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.Its the first & oldest Protestant church with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.
A trip to Trier won’t be complete without seeing the Imperial Baths or known as Kaiserthermen , You can tour the large complex, including the underground areas. The incoming cold water was heated in altogether six boiler rooms, four of which are visible in the 19m (62 ft) high ruins which later served as a part of the medieval city wall. The 40° C/104° F hot water was then conducted into the three semicircular pools for the bathers.
Having a glimpse of the Roman Amphitheater gives you a picture where the cruel games of Gladiator with an animal becomes a sight of entertainment in the old times. The Arena, built in the 2nd century A.D. and had a seating capacity of about 20,000.Nowadays,with its crystal-clear acoustics, the Amphitheatre serves as a venue for the Antiquity Festival and is used today for occasional open-air concerts.
We had a drink in front of The Cathedral (DOM ) or Trier’s St. Peter’s Cathedral (Hohe Domkirche St. Peter zu Trier), like the city itself, is the oldest in all of Germany. Destroyed and rebuilt many times, the cathedral, built on the foundation of a Roman building, was once much larger than it is today. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the cathedral was damaged by WWII bombing raids and underwent an extensive restoration from 1960 to 1974.
Exploring the St.Peter’s Dom in Trier is a wonderful experience. One of the highlight is seeing The High Altar where the Holy Robe or (Der Heilige Rock) is placed. When you see the Hanging Pipe Organ, it could take your breath away. I was wondering how awesome it is to hear it playing. I felt so blessed knowing that I had the chance to see this church.
This is far by one of the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen. Inside, adorned with so many relics and religious pieces carved in beautiful architecture.
A visit to the Crypt and the Treasury Room is a must too. I had the chance to light some candles inside.
Children flocked outside where there is a man blowing bubbles which adds so much fun while we marvel at the beautiful church in front of us. Other highlights of our trip were marked by seeing the majestic Church of our Lady,we have learned that this is the oldest gothic church in Germany, built in the 13th century. A special feature is the cruciform floor plan.
Embrace the Striking City Market Vibes
This place is full of beautiful monuments, open squares & Markets which is adorned with beautiful Statues and facades. The Market Fountains and Steipes are all rooted from 300-year struggled for supremacy in this city. So much history in every structure.
Another fascinating Architectural detail i found is the existence of the Half-Timbered Houses. If you visit the largest plaza in the city, locally known as Hauptmarkt (Main Market). Interestingly enough, Trier has very few half-timbered houses which are so typical for German cities. The building style of the Romans was quite different; they preferred stone over wood. At the Hauptmarkt, however, you’ll find many more of the typical German wooden facades.
Finding our Paths to the Secret Garden
This is my first trip with a baby so we had to do so many stop overs along the way. What a relief to find a place to just breathe and enjoy some peace & quiet within the city. What i appreciate in Trier is that it’s totally Baby-Friendly. I saw tons of babies in stroller, and i love how the city is so pedestrian friendly. Many times we crossed the street that cars are stopping. We felt so welcomed. Another highlight is when we find this secret Garden (Palastgarten) just after the Constantin Basilika. Right in front of The Electoral Palace which is considered one of the most beautiful Rococo palaces in the world. This beautiful palace serves as a perfect backdrop facing the garden.
The Palace garden was intricately adorned with benches, with a pond in the central, with statues and with a beautiful fountain settled in the sprawling green with summer blooms. I have learned that the garden was designed by Johannes Seiz and the sculptures were crafted by Ferdinand Tietz. People lazily lying on the grass & basking out in the sun .A perfect secret garden experience!
There is so much more in this vibrant city along the banks of the River Moselle.Having a taste of the delicious & succulent dishes from the wide srrays of restaurants sprawled in the city will for sure satisfy your gastronomic appetite. Nature and leisure goes hand in hand while you feast your eyes on its rich Historical sights. Make sure not to leave Trier without sampling on its best wines & bread.
There is so much more to tell about Trier but im not gonna write that here. It’s up to you to create your own memories when you visit this place. If you want to plan your next Europe destination particularly in Trier, then this might help you. Check Here.
Do you want to know more why Moselle Valley should be in your list for Top places to visit in 2016? My post “Why I fell in Love with Moselle “ would give you more ideas how to enjoy yourself in the charming wine region of Rhineland Palatinate.