Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chapter 14: Ancient Trier

We took another day trip today, this time about an hour's drive to the west of Ramstein to the oldest city in Germany: Trier. The weather wasn't quite so cooperative as yesterday: the drive was a foggy, drizzly one through the forested hills and wine country, and our walk through the old city was chilly and wet. Trier's old city is not as compact as Heidelberg's, and there was a lot we were not able to see. Also, being Sunday, many attractions were closed.

Trier is located near the borders of Luxembourg and France and attracts many visitors from the neighboring countries and features plenty of shopping and good eating in the town's center, interspersed with ancient buildings that date back to Roman times. Trier existed as an important city over a thousand years before it was settled by Romans and is notable for being the birthplace of early Christian theologian Saint Ambrose. Emperor Constantine spent time there and built a great basilica that now features Protestant services. It is an impressive structure which we saw only from the outside. Every door we tried seemed to be locked.
Constantine's Basilica
Later baroque addition to basilica

We did manage to visit two adjacent Catholic cathedrals, known together as the Liebfraukirche. One of the sanctuaries dates back to early Romanesque times, and the larger adjacent church is from the later middle ages. Unfortunately my i-phone pictures do not begin to capture the scale of these buildings.

Somewhere in Trier there is an ancient Roman gate, theater and bridge, and we did not get to see them. There is much more to see, and I'm sure we will revisit this interesting city, perhaps on a nicer day. Like last week in Homburg, people were out in numbers for their Sunday walk, which is a regular feature of German life. Weather does not seem to deter them, so neither did it deter us.

And, of course, clicking on any of these pictures will open larger images.

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