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Trier, the Other Ancient Rome June 10, 2013

Posted by dradford6 in Travel Log.
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My second weekend excursion from the GTL campus was a relatively short train ride to Trier, Germany.  This small city boasts the old capital of the western Roman Empire, and since I studied Latin for four years in grade school, I could not wait to see the ruins!

Being outside of Italy, it was surprising to me how numerous and well preserved the Roman ruins of Trier proved to be, from the excavated bath house of the ancient forum to the breathtaking amphitheater just outside of town, from the throne room turned church to the original Roman bridge over the river.  The most prominent of the Roman structures at Trier is the Porta Nigra, the so-called Black Gate of the ancient city that actually used to be white.  It to had once been converted to a church, but now stands as part of a museum housing other artifacts of the city.  I absolutely love Roman history, and this German jewel of a city provided more than I could ask for in that respect.

The excavated Forum Bath House

Part of the hypocaust, the heating system of the Roman baths

The imperial Roman Bath House

The Roman amphitheater

The old throne room, now a church

The Porta Nigra

Apparently, Trier is also the birthplace of Karl Marx, and there were little statues of him everywhere!

Karl Marx and the Porta Nigra

Little did I know that our small group of three would find just as much excitement in the city life of modern day Trier.  Our little hotel, Hotel Astoria, radiated with the most homey and welcoming atmosphere, complete with a fine, old-fashioned breakfast.  They even had fancy egg crackers for boiled eggs, which turned out to be more entertaining to watch as guests struggled to figure them out.

Kara in the Hotel Astoria breakfast area

Downtown Trier bustles with shoppers during the day as they go between the diverse open market vendors, cafes, and modern stores.  We happened to be there on a weekend during the celebration of the local police force, something I have never heard of before, and looked on as children had fun learning what it meant to be part of the city’s task force.  The big spectacle of the day unfolded right as we arrived at the Imperial bath houses, where the police helicopter landed for people to see.

One of the busy market streets

Police chopper landing at the Imperial Baths

Trier is more than a city with a rich past; it has a rich future.  The people seem happy, the hospitality is great, and the preservation of all that their city is in no way hinders it from moving with modern trends.

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