312 AD was an important year. The Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and soon after, while based in Trier (in present day Germany), started building an awesome church and other amazing buildings. Basically, Trier was the boondocks of the Roman empire, so the big shots living there got lots of money to fund amazing buildings so they could feel better about not being in Rome. (It’s like at my job, when my office was moved to the basement in a cinderblock room with no windows and I got to expense really fancy desk lamps).
Trier has blockbuster sights but doesn’t feel like a museum. In fact it’s quite lively and full of students. I have never seen so many people snacking in my entire life–if you want to munch a cone of French fries or wander around with ice cream Trier is your place. And if you’re over 50, you’ve got to wear a fishing vest and constantly shop for white asparagus. And ride a bike. So. Many. Bikes.
On the train to Trier we sat next to a friendly man and started talking about the Romanesque churches we visited over the last few days. It turns out he was on the way to work–he’s the director of a UNESCO World Heritage sight. So here we are, on tour of UNESCO World Heritage sights in Germany and we sit next to a m
How we got to Trier: train from Aachen.
Where we slept: Hotel Deutschherrenhof. Price: €75 for a double. Recommended: yes.
Porta Nigra: a Roman era gate.
Constantine’s Basilica, 395 AD, now an active Protestant church.
The oldest Christin church in Germany, the Cathedral of Trier.
Cloister of the Gothic Libebfrau church.
The uber-charming market square, area of intense snacking.
Can you believe this is supermarket food? We got this at the organic supermarket in Trier. It was all vegan and delicious. Most importantly, we got to eat the white asparagus which is the biggest deal ever this time of year.
This is the aisle of vegan sausage from the organic supermarket.
HOB woke up crabby this morning…
HOB’s girlfriend in Trier.
Great blog. I did a post of Constantine’s Building programmes awhile ago for my Byzantine History site. Did you see the Roman baths too ?
Thanks a lot, I didn’t know this Porta Nigra!
You’re welcome, glasmundo. The Porta Nigra is fascinating and it was made without any mortar!
Thank you Robert–your blog is great too! I’ll look for your post on Constantine’s building programs. We saw the Roman baths only briefly because we reached them right before closing time.