Weekend in Trier

Trier has more history to learn from than most other cities in the country

Photo by Antonio Ponte

Trier is very likely the oldest city in all of Germany. Situated less than an hour from the Luxembourg City airport, it offers many attractions for countless tourists from all over the world every year. Especially for those interested in learning more about the old Romans, Trier has more history to learn from than most other cities in the country.

Tourists that have just arrived in Trier, or Augusta Treverorum, as the Romans used to call it, should plan an extensive shopping trip in the beautiful pedestrian zone. Situated in the oldest part of the city, it features hundreds of modern stores that offer unique and high-quality travel gifts, unlike the common and generic souvenir shop. In and around the pedestrian zone are many traditional or modern places to go out, such as fancy restaurants or small comfortable corner bars. Bitburger beer has a heavy influence on the local gastronomy as it is produced only 45 minutes away and is currently Germany’s most tapped beer. If simple bars do not suffice, fancy clubs like the “Forum” or the “A1” will suit even the biggest night-owls. Trier offers countless interesting locations and building for sight-seeing. The house, in which Karl Marx was born, offers an amazing insight into the life of one of the most influential communists that ever lived. Or you could visit the imperial baths and the amphitheater built by Roman emperor Constantius and his son Constantine. The bath complex, still partially intact, is the largest surviving of its kind outside of Rome itself. The wineries in the area are a perfect way to bring a long day of sight-seeing to an end.

The most important attraction in Trier is without question the Porta Nigra.


The most important attraction in Trier is without question the Porta Nigra. This roman building, that remained largely intact to this day, was originally constructed between 186 and 200 AD to function as a city gate.

The gate was initially one of 4 entries into the city. Unfortunately, the Porta Nigra is the only one that survived wars and time. The name, which translates to “black gate”, is not actually the first name the building had. It originated in the medieval ages after the sandstone darkened and gave it the look it has today. Strangely, the original name of the gate has been lost and is now unknown.

In the early middle ages, the increase of construction and the changing infrastructure led to many building being completely or partially deconstructed to harvest the materials. The Porta Nigra was one of them, traces of vandalism are still visible. In 1208, the Greek monk Simeon moved into the ruins and spent several years here. After he passed away and was sanctified, the ruins were transformed into a church in his honor. Simeon is well-known in the area to this day. 8 centuries later, Napoleon decided to have the Porta Nigra restored to its original Roman form. The black gates beauty and its historical importance eventually made it a USESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. In 2017, it will even be featured on the back of the 2 Euro coin.

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