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Monday, July 18, 2011

Tour Trier With Us

This bad boy is called the Porta Nigra... Black Gate.  It's the only remaining city gate (of four) from the city dating all the way back to the second century.  I think.  Don't quote me on dates... our walking tour guide threw a lot of them at us :o)

Anyways, the rest of the gates were taken down during the middle ages and used for building materials, but a monk decided to live out the rest of his life as a hermit in the gate... so when he died his buddy priest (who he went to Jerusalem with) wanted to preserve the gate, so he incorporated it into a new church building.

Funny thing is, Napoleon didn't like churches, so when he came through he decided to demolish the church.  But he liked the gate.  And that's why we get to look at it today.

Speaking of the French, the reason it's black is because the French have burned Trier down more times than they can remember (according to our guide ;o) ) so the soot from the fires have turned the city-side part of the gate black.

Speaking of fire, Trier was hit really bad by ahem, us, during World War II.  Thankfully, though many historic buildings were destroyed or badly damaged, the gate was unharmed.  Yay! 

Here you have the Dom Cathedral.  Very impressive.  Unfortunately, I don't have much actual info to share  because our guide was very soft-spoken... noooooot the greatest attribute to have when giving guided tours of ancient cities ;o)  Anyways, it was beautiful.  But somewhat "busy", so a little overwhelming to look at.

This is the main Protestant church.  Constantine built it as his throne room... then he felt bad because the Archbishop's presence in Trier made everything predominately Catholic, so he donated it to the Protestants as their church when he left the area.  Unfortunately, the building was badly bombed in the war.  But the left wall and the front are all original.  And the rest is reconstructed to look like the Romans would have built it.

Kaiserthermen, or Roman Baths.  The above structure has always been "known" because it was used as part of the city gate for a long time.  The bottom part (that we got to walk through) which revealed the actual structure of the baths wasn't revealed until after the war.  We bombed the buildings on top of it and then when it was excavated, they discovered the Roman ruins!  Not that there's anything good about bombs, but there you go.  Apparently Constantine had these puppies built but they aren't exactly sure whether or not they were put into use. 

And here's Constantine's amphitheater.  Apparently it used to hold 20,000 spectators who could watch him feed his enemies to hungry wild animals.  Yum.  But we got to walk all around and under it, which was kind of cool.  Not sure why there was water all over (we had no tour guide at this point).

This bridge has five of the original seven arches that the Romans built.  They just paved over it and now it's a main road into and out of Trier.  So.  Cool.

And that's pretty much that.  It was so lovely to walk around and see so much history all in one place!  And it goes without saying that it was nice to not have to think once about babies, their diapers or nap schedules, their strollers or moby wraps, or their hungry tummies.  Both of them had a fantastic time with friends... even Momma-freak Sammy!

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