Travel In Trier Germany
For hundreds of years Trier was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in Europe. In the third century, Emperor Diocletian made Trier, a Roman imperial residence and it?s capital and ruled the continent, from Scotland through to Spain and across to what is now Bulgaria.
Trier is the oldest city in Germany. Emperor AugustusTrier founded Augusta Treverorum, later called Trier; around 16 B. C. It is Germany's oldest city because of the several fascinating Roman remains scattered throughout. It is a pretty town with steep and narrow pitched roofs, a pedestrianised centre and ice cream-coloured buildings, and has not been over-run by tourists. It is located in western Germany, on the banks of the River Moselle and Saar near the border with Luxembourg.
Still standing from this historic era are the Porta Nigra, a massive Roman gate and fortification, the Amphitheatre, and three thermal baths. The Roman antiquities are best seen during the off-season, because by the middle of June they are prepared for the outdoor performing season.
The Roman Porta Nigra gate dates back to A.D. 180 when the Romans often erected public buildings of huge stone blocks, with the biggest weighing up to an incredible six metric tonnes
The stone blocks were spared from recycling because a Greek monk called Simeon walled himself up in the eastern tower as a hermit in 1028. After his death in 1034/5, he was buried inside the gate and made a saint. In his honour, two churches were built into the gate (demolished around1804-1819).
Beyond the medieval city wall lays the Amphitheatre. Cruel animal and gladiator combats were performed here with immense popular public entertainment.
The arena, built in the 2nd century A.D.had an astonishing seating capacity of about 20,000.
With its crystal-clear acoustics, the Amphitheatre serves as a venue for the Antiquity Festival and is used today for occasional open-air concerts. Underneath the arena is a vast cellar where, in Roman times, prisoners sentenced to death were kept alongside exotic wild animals like African lions or Asian tigers. A moveable platform took them up to the combat arena for the final showdown.
The so-called Basilica, Constantine?s throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. The Romans wanted the architecture to show off the magnificence and mightiness of their emperor.
The size is truly amazing, even by today?s standards: 27 m (90 ft) wide, 33 m (108 ft) high, and 67 m (220 ft) long - with an adjoining hall outside even 75 m (250 ft).
The Roman building was built with colourful marble, mosaics, and statues and made very comfortable by a hollow-floor heating system. However all this splendour and technology were destroyed in the 5th century by Germanic Franks, who built a settlement inside the roofless ruin.
Later on, the archbishop used it as his administrative centre and three palace wings enlarged it after 1614. Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.
The Barbara Baths were built in the 2nd century as what was then the largest Roman baths. Although only one third of the original facility has been excavated, a tour of the passageways takes an exceedingly long time.
The extensive ruins were used as a castle in the Middle Ages, then torn down and recycled as building material until the remains were used for constructing the Jesuit College in 1610.
Only the foundations and the service tunnels have survived, but the technical details of the sewer systems, the furnaces, the pools, and the heating system can be studied better than in the other two baths.
Lastly, The Archaeological Museum (Landesmuseum) near the Imperial Baths is well worth a visit. It has the richest collection of Roman discoveries in Germany; it is so rich, in fact, that only a small part of the collection can be exhibited.
The inner courtyard, used as a storage place for sarcophagi, columns, capitals, paving stones, and building blocks is in itself worth looking at, if only because of the painted replica of the 23 m (76 ft) Igel Column, a Roman burial monument about 8km/5 miles outside of Trier. On the inside, a series of burial monuments and display patches of original Roman paint on scenes of everyday life in Roman times (school, hunting, hairdressing, feasting, dancing, rent collecting).
The museum displays magnificent mosaics such as Roman chariot drivers, an exquisite glass collection, the most valuable piece of which is the cage cup from nearby Piesport-Niederemmel, pagan and Christian finds, and, above all, one of the premier Roman coin collections in the world. Stone age, Celtic, Merovingian, medieval and early modern artefacts and artwork are other notable treasures of the museum
Travel by Train
Germany's efficient national rail service provider is Deutsche Bahn and this is one of the best railway networks in Europe. The efficient railway service, which includes high-speed InterCityExpress (ICE) trains, offers comprehensive travel across the country with numerous mainline stations.
Travel by Taxi
Many of Trier's taxis is made up of Mercedes Benz sedans and provides a convenient comfortable way to travel. Prices are based on metered mileage and there is a minimum charge. There are numerous taxi stands throughout the city and beside all main train stations.
Travel by Car Hire/Rental
Traffic in Trier has increased in the last few years and although the city can become somewhat congested at peak times, a car provides a very convenient way to travel outside of the city. With many one-way systems in the city, Trier can be a difficult place to drive, although there are plenty of large roads in the centre that are easier to drive in.
Major roads are prefixed with a 'B' and the motorways are prefixed with 'A' which stands for Autobahn. Parking in shopping areas can prove difficult at the weekends, so it is advisable to arrive early. The minimum age for driving in Germany is 18 years old, and traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.
Seatbelts must be worn at all times and children under 12 years old are forbidden to travel in the front of the car without a suitable child restraint.
Car rental companies are well represented throughout Trier and to rent a car you must show a full national driver's licence and be over 21 years old, although some companies may make exceptions. Luxembourg and nearby Belgium are within easy driving distance.
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