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Trier sights

Trier is the oldest city in Germany, founded in the 1st century BC. The Roman father, Octavian Augustus, was a member of a Celtic tribe, the Travers, who lived in the area. Therefore, the first name of this city is Treverorum. Many of Trier’s sights are associated with that time.

Top six sights in Trier

For the first two centuries, Trier grew rapidly and soon became a major center of trade. But already in the 3rd century it was destroyed by the Germanic tribe of the Alemians. Later the city became the residence of the Roman emperor, so many temples and palaces were built there. Many new buildings and structures were built in the city under Emperor Constantine. Trier flourished, and in the 5th century fell under the rule of the Franks. In the early 13th century Trier received the Magna Carta along with a number of rights and privileges.

At the end of the 18th century, Trier was conquered by French troops, and its inhabitants were granted the most advanced French citizenship at the time. But after the Napoleonic wars, the city came under Prussian rule. Today it is part of the FRG.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Peter

This Protestant cathedral in Trier is the oldest church in Germany, an example of Romanesque style. Its construction began in the 3rd century on the orders of Emperor Constantine, who promoted Christianity throughout the world.

St. Peter's Cathedral in Trier, Germany

In the 9th century the cathedral was completely destroyed and plundered by barbarians, but at the end of the 12th century it was restored by the faithful. In the 18th century, the bishop decided to add Baroque elements to the interior of the cathedral.

During the war with Nazi Germany, the church was damaged by bombing, but after a major restoration it was re-consecrated in the mid-1970s. Soon it was included in the famous UNESCO list and today it is under state protection.

Port of Nigra Gate

This gate is a trademark of Trier. In Italian they are also called “Black Gate” and are also included in the list of cultural heritage of UNESCO. Porta Nigra were built in the 2nd century AD. in the heyday of the Roman Empire.

Porta Nigra Gate - Trier, Germany

Today they are considered the oldest fortifications in Germany. Trier in ancient times was surrounded by a strong fortress wall with four gates, only one has survived to this day – Porta Nigra.

Interestingly, when the gate was commissioned, it was made of pure white stone blocks held together by iron braces, but after 2,000 years the gate has darkened considerably. Today there is a museum in the depths of Porta Nigra.

Church of Our Lady

This church is next to the cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The Cathedral of St. Peter, together they form a complex called the Cathedral of Trier. This church is the oldest German church built in the Gothic style and is also a UNESCO site.

Church of Our Lady of Trier, Trier, Germany

The foundation of the Church of Our Lady is part of the ancient basilica, built during the time of Emperor Constantine. The new church was built by unknown architects from Lorraine, who added to it the Gothic style that was then already prevalent in France.

In the Church of Our Lady for a long time buried the highest church hierarchs of Trier, gradually it accumulated hundreds of coffins. However, during the occupation of the city by Napoleonic troops, most of these graves were destroyed.

Imperial Thermae

The ancient Romans built giant baths in Trier, which emphasized the status of this imperial city, because it was called the Northern Rome in the first centuries of our era. The imperial thermae of Trier is one of the largest in the world.

Imperial Thermae - Trier (Germany)

The baths were built in the 3rd century under Emperor Constantine, but were never used for their intended purpose. The age of Christianity came, and believers in Christ considered such public bathing to be paganism.

The baths were used at the discretion of the next owner: as a cavalry barracks, a fortress wall, a bastion, etc.

Today, Trier Thermae is on the UNESCO list of cultural monuments, an archaeological park is organized there.

House of the Three Kings

This house was built in the early 13th century in Moorish style, and got its modern name much later. In medieval times, Kings were called Magi, who on Christmas Day came to worship the newborn Christ.

Trier Landmark in Germany - the House of the Three Kings

In those early days, the lives of ordinary citizens in Trier were constantly exposed to danger, so they fortified their houses in the hope of protecting themselves against brigands, soldiers of another state, nomadic tribes, uninvited guests, etc.

The front door was on the second floor and the only way to get into the house was by a ladder, which was immediately removed by the owners if there was any danger. The last restoration of this house was done in the 1970s.

Roman Amphitheater

It is another symbol of the ancient Roman presence in Trier during Antiquity. The Roman Amphitheater is located on the outskirts of the city, outside its historic part. According to archaeologists, it was built in the 1st century AD.

Roman Amphitheater in Trier, Germany

The amphitheater has an oval shape, the spectator stands are arranged in three tiers. They could accommodate about 20,000 spectators at a time, who loved to watch gladiatorial fights, bullfights and mass executions in those days.

In the Middle Ages, the amphitheater was destroyed in some places, partially dismantled to use its walls and grandstands for building houses. The preserved part of this structure was included in the UNESCO list of cultural monuments.

Video overview of the sights of Trier

Trier sightseeing map

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