Over 2,013 years old to be exact!
So our final adventure of our trip was to visit the oldest city in Germany, Trier.
Trier lies in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, within the Moselle wine region close to the border of Luxembourg. It is the fourth largest city in its state after Mainz, Ludwigshafen and Koblenz, with an approximate population of 105,000.
It takes about an hour by car to Trier from Cochem but you could also choose to travel by boat, just as we did to Ernst.
We parked up and walked into the city, excited to be surrounded by cobbled streets and perhaps ancient stone buildings, but disappointment dawned as we strolled through the modern-esque city. We didn’t lose hope though, as we thought to ourselves that this MUST be the new end of the city!
And weren’t we right about that!
The first beautifully pink building we stumbled upon was the Palace of Trier with a well maintained baroque garden.
Next to the Palace stands the Basilica of Constantine or Aula Palatina, which was a Roman palace built in the beginning of the 4th century. Today, it is used as a church and is owned by a congregation within the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland.
Sadly in 1944, it was burned due to an air raid of the allied forces during World War II. The historical decorations from the 19th century were not reconstructed during the repair, leaving the brick walls visible from within. This place is HUGE and this is magnified by an optical illusion where both windows of the apse as well as the niches underneath become progressively smaller towards the middle, creating the impression of length.
Onto the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), which is one of the most important early Gothic cathedrals in Germany and falls into the architectural tradition of the French Gothic cathedrals.
Right next to it, standing as majestically, is the High Cathedral of Saint Peter in Trier , or Trier Dom, a Roman Catholic church. It is the oldest cathedral in the country.
As it was the weekend, the city square was busy with food stalls and crafts for sale.
Finally and quite ironically, the original entrance to Trier; The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate), the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. This is the oldest defensive structure in Germany and was erected in about 180 AD when the city was surrounded by walls. The entire structure is made with sandstone blocks connected only by iron rods with each block weighing as much as six metric tons!
There you have it! The end to our 3 day adventure in the Moselle Valley.
As mentioned before, if you do have a weekend to spare, I urge you to visit this peaceful and magical side of Germany.