Saturday, October 3, 2015

Trier, Germany

Trier is a city of about 105,000 people located 50m miles northwest of Saarbrucken on the border with Luxembourg in the Moselle valley. It was founded by the Romans in about 16 BC. With the growth of the Roman Empire it became impossible to govern the Roman Empire from Rome; Trier became one of four Roman capitals. Trier was the capital for the Empire north of the Alps. At its height it had between 75,000 and 100,000 residents. The Roman Emperors Diocletian and Constantine both lived there.

The city was surrounded by a large wall with a gate on each of the four sides. There is one gate still standing, known as the Porta Nigra. This has survived partly because it was converted to a church and partly because Napoleon chose to preserve and restore it. The photo below shows the Porta Nigra from the street.

The photo below shows the openings in the gate closeup. There was a portcullis on each side which could be dropped trapping any bad guys in between. The guards could then rain rocks, etc on them.

Below is the main square.

The Cathedral of Trier is shown below. This was begun during the Roman Empire and added upon numerous times over the years, but never taken down. It is a real hodge-podge .

This is a shot of the Cathedral nave.

The two photos below show an ante room between the nave and the cloister walkway added to the cathedral.

The gate or arch shown below is over a side street off the main square.

This large building shown below is the Basilica of Constantine. It was originally built as part of Constantine's palace group and used by him as a throne room. Constantine was the first roman Emperor to become Christian and it became used as a church. Roman basilicas were large rectangular buildings used as meeting halls by the Romans. When Christianity was accepted as a religion by the Empire many of them were used as churches and the word basilica now refers to many Roman Catholic churches. It is now used by a protestant church that chooses to keep the interior plain.

The Imperial Baths were started by Constantine around 300 AD. The first photo is a wide view; the green field was used for athletics as part of the complex. The next four shots are of the tunnels and rooms below the surface where water was to be heated and transported and so forth. The last photo is of some of the above ground walls. The baths were never finished.

The next photos are of the Amphitheatre. This was built between 100 and 200 AD. It held approximately 20,000 spectators. Animals were kept in rooms along the lower edge and beneath the floor. Gladiators were also part of the show. Reminds me of the NFL--sometimes I don't think we've made much progress.

This young lady is waiting to present the flowers she has picked to the champion gladiator.


  1. All the structures are wonderful, but the pictures of the baths are my favorites.