Trier is an historian’s dream. Everywhere you turn you are tripping over antiquities and glorious architecture. I even look out of my window at building works where thousands have been spent on conserving the roman artefacts found there. So much on offer to feed my heritage addiction, where to start?
I went with chronology. Love a timeline. Let’s go Roman. First place to aim for: Porta Nigra a Unesco World Heritage (see we are all at it) Site.
Built in the 2nd Century AD it is the best preserved and largest Roman city gate North of the Alps. It is MASSIVE…
Confession: I found the stairs quite scary. Not that good with heights me.
Looking up was enough to make me dizzy. As to it’s name Porta Nigra blame those medieval wags who had noticed that the stone had turned black…. I bet it had a much grander Imperial name sadly that has been lost in the mists of time.
It had to be done. My little old legs cried out ‘Please, please’ so I went all touristy and boarded …
… for a tour around the ancient sites of Trier. Stop laughing you lot! Well this ancient site (you should have seen my hair this morning!) found it really handy to get a ‘floor plan’ of the city and it was easier for me to toddle to the places on my must visit list. Stopping only for Kaffee und Kuchen – who wouldn’t?! – I made my way back to the Basillica of Constantine which was ENORMOUS.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site – I am racking these up today – it is the largest hall from antiquity still surviving. The Emperor Constantine I – he who converted to Christianity – commissioned the building in around 310 AD. It formed part of a larger (!!!!) palace complex.
Bombed during the war the reconstruction left the walls bare without their nineteenth century embellishments and to my mind this creates a very powerful space, awe inspiring. I was sitting musing on this and getting all philosophical when I clapped eyes on the mighty organ pipes covering most of the entrance wall, my gaze then wandered to the organist’s eerie reached by a rather spindly looking spiral staircase. Hope they have a good head for heights.
As photography is not allowed inside the Basilica I thought I would make a small jotting for you dear readers. Now this seemed to attract attention and a couple of people came over to peek at my artwork. Strangely they took one look and scuttled away without comment…can’t think why….
Michaelangelo I ain’t. But you get the idea.
To regain my artistic nonchalant air I wandered through the beautiful ornamental gardens behind the Basilica to the Roman Archaeological Museum. Once again I was left open mouthed at the SIZE of the museum’s interiors. Here are some of my highlights:
It was wonderful to look through the galleries, it was very quiet with hardly any visitors. It felt very special.
I love the way this smiley bear is covering the eyes of the wild boar, ‘Don’t look she can’t draw for toffee!’:
Hoodies are definitely nothing new:
As this figure of a Celtic Trevari confirms.
I may have eaten rather well on this trip but really…
Today has been a day of grandeur and magnificence. There were moments when I felt like a wee Cumbrian Brigante tribeswoman brought before the might that was Rome. I loved it.
Now dinner beckons and tonight I am translating the menu before making my selection. Thank goodness for translation apps! Yesterday’s meal was a vegetarian’s serendipitous delight (whoever said the German’s don’t do food for veggies? They blinking do) but tonight it will be nice to show that I appreciate the chef’s menu by making considered choices rather than just stabbing a finger at unfamiliar words hopeful of a tasty result.
Until next we meet,
P.S. I hope I am not raising expectations too much as I may not be able to write a post everyday but I will try my best Wifi and other commitments allowing.
P.P.S. Want to see my reward for being an Eco-friendly guest?
Good isn’t it?
P.P.S. The quest for wool. Just as I thought I would never see a wool shop I saw two in one street so will be checking them out tomorrow. The ripple scarf-shawl-thingy must go on.