August 4th ~ Trier, Germany
The ship had overnighted in Trier, so first thing this morning we headed out for a walking tour of the town. Once again the skies had opened up and we had a wet greeting, but umbrella in hand, we were not to be deterred this time.
Originally settled by the Celts in the 4th century BC, then the Romans late in the 1st century BC, making Trier probably the oldest city in Germany. Becoming the favored residence of several Roman emperors, she earned the nickname “Second Rome”.
“Nowhere else in Germany is the evidence of Roman times as vivid as it is in Trier” ~ GoGermany.about.com
Trier is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites which are lumped together as Roman ruins. The cornerstone being the Black Gate (Porta Nigra), which is where our walking tour started. This is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps.
Not surprising, it is named because of the dark coloring of the massive stones. The structure is over 1700 years old and the only one of the four originals still standing.
Another part of the UNESCO site includes the Basilica of Constantine, also called Aula Palatina, built by the Emperor Constantine back in the 4th century. Today it is used as the Church of the Redeemer. The Aula Palatina was built around AD 310 as a part of the palace complex.
More recent history includes being heavily bombed during WWII where much of the city was damaged or destroyed. Over 60,000 British prisoners of war (captured in Northern France and Dunkirk) passed through Trier en route to German prisoner-of-war camps.
Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier – both UNESCO sites
One of the more bizarre experiences on this trip, was to enter one church and exit from a different church.
First we entered St. Peter’s Cathedral (Trier Dom). Heavily damaged during the war, the Cathedral of Trier was reopened in 1974 and in 1984, they celebrated their 2,000th anniversary.
Then walking through the passageway, we entered Church of our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche).
The Church of our Lady is shaped almost round which is unusual.
“…whose cross-shaped vaulting with four corresponding portals in rounded niches is completed by eight rounded altar niches so that the floor plan resembles a twelve-petaled rose, a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the rosa mystica, and reminiscent of the twelve tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles.” ~ Wikipedia
And then finally exiting through this gorgeously detailed door:
Spotted this in a shop window, but have no idea what it is or how it is used. Any ideas???
Back on board for an afternoon of cruising. The weather was still unpleasant, but breaks allowed us to be up on deck periodically to get more familiar with sights along the Moselle River.
In the middle of the afternoon we were treated to a delicious spread of tea sandwiches, cakes and chocolate delights including a chocolate fountain with a variety of fruits to dip.
And just in case we had not already found enough to eat…
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for an abundance of chocolate. Bet I won’t get many who would disagree with that!