Trier, Germany is frequently referred to as the “second Rome.”
This may seem like a bold statement. Until you realize that Trier in Germany has a whopping 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Which consist of Roman monuments and churches. So, get your gladiator uniform on to visit Germany’s oldest city dating back to B.C. 16! Of all the 70 cities and towns the Roman Limes cover, if you could only visit one, make it Trier.
The History of Trier in Germany
Trier is Germany’s oldest town and ancient Roman capital. Who brags about being inhabited for 1,300 years before the Romans arrived. A stop here offers you a look at Germany’s oldest Christian church, one of its most enjoyable market squares, and its best Roman ruins.
The Romans built up the city as the capital of Gaul. Trier functioned as the administrative centre for most of the Western Roman Empire. Therefore, this town is perfect for you that enjoy archaeological and architectural attractions.
Trier, Germany; Tourist Info
International tourists tend to overlook The old city of Trier. Certainly worth a visit though, so don’t miss out! What’s most amazing about this old town is the picturesque environment. And the incredible good conditions of the Roman ruins. The buildings are still standing tall 1500 years later.
Things to do in Trier
Trier is a relatively small town so it’s easy to get around. I would recommend getting a hop on hop off bus pass With this ticket, you can visit all the main sights while listening to audio commentary. A free headset is also included.
Or if you enjoy city walking join this tour where you will learn all about the must see sights. https://www.viator.com/tours/Trier/Trier-Old-Town-Walking-Tour/d25744-17382P12
Porta Nigra (Black Gate)
“Black Gate” is one of the most famous Roman monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Porta Nigra is the best preserved Roman City Gate north of the Alps. And is the start of many tours in Trier. This impressive Roman structure was built in A.D. 180. Built of huge stone blocks weighing up to six metric tons each. If you want to further explore inside the gate it’s allowed for a small fee.
Amphitheatre of Trier in Germany
Up to 20,000 spectators used to watch bloody battles in the Amphitheater, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Amphitheater dates back to 2nd century A.D. Animals and gladiators would fight until death on this arena. For the amusement of the 20,000 spectators.
Hmmm, reminds me of the book and movie The Hunger Games. The Amphitheater is still used today. But for much tamer entertainment in the form of open-air concerts. For me, the most interesting part was the cellar underneath the amphitheatre. The prisoner cells were located there, for both humans and animals.
While the amphitheatre is no doubt impressive. I was disappointed by the lack of signs. Which made it difficult to fully appreciate the magnitude of it. It’s also nowhere near as impressive as the Colosseum in Rome but is still worth a visit. Just keep your expectations in check.
Roman Imperial Throne Room (Konstantin-Basilika)
The Roman Imperial Throne Room has an impressive claim to fame. – It’s the largest surviving single-room preserved structure dating back to Roman times. Measuring it at 27 m (90 ft) wide, 33 m (108 ft) high, and 67 m (220 ft) long.
Built to show the magnificence and strength of the Roman Emperor. While its size is impressive (perhaps he was overcompensating?), the Imperial Throne Room is pretty simple with minimal adornment. Today it’s used as a Protestant Church. The only one in Trier. Somehow I have a feeling the Emperor would want to send someone straight into the Amphitheater for this!
The Imperial Baths date back 1600 years. This is my favourite UNESCO World Heritage Site in Trier. You can enter the subterranean labyrinth, which is the largest Roman bath north of the Alps. Here can you see the underground heating used to heat the hot baths.
So here’s a fun fact; The Romans used to bathe naked publicly (long before the Germans). Alternating between hot and cold baths.
But they didn’t just come to the baths for bathing. You could play sports, gamble, and get beauty treatments. Guests could choose from scrapers, pumice stone or… fermented urine. I know which one I would NOT be choosing. Those calluses would just have to stay put if that was my only option!
Walking through the Roman UNESCO World Heritage Sites I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Germany and not in Rome.
Roman ruins are not just limited to Trier, you can also visit the Roman Limes in Aalen.