Sunday, January 30, 2011

July 23 Trier, Germany

We took the morning train to Trier. What a fantastic place! It starts
with the large Porta Nigra (Italian for “Black Gate”) and only gets better.
The Hauptmarkt is an open square with lots of activity. Dolled up nice for
the tourists, to be sure, but still very pleasant. The remains of the small
Jewish quarter are there, but it is more the location since the space itself has
been in continuous use since Jews were expelled in the early fifteenth
century. We had gelato, and then walked up to the Roman amphitheater.
We walked under the wood floor of the arena, saw the holding area for
animals and gladiators, and went up to the rim of the upper seating area,
which is now grown over with soil and vegetation. We had a nice chat with
a young Air Force wife from Ramstein Air Base who was there with her two
small children and her sister who was visiting from the States. Her husband
is currently TDY (temporary duty) to Afghanistan, and we wished her all the
best. We walked back to town and had a nice lunch: salad and vegetarian
sandwiches!  Had to do something to make up for the gelato!
Main market street in Trier

The Prince Elector's palace and garden.

Roman amphitheater.

Moselle wines begin here.

We next went to the house where Karl Marx was born, which has
been turned into a very nice museum of his life and his words. One of the
messages was that the oppressive governments in the twentieth century
Communist states were not things of which Marx would have approved.
We walked farther on, returning in the direction of the Hauptmarkt,
and stopped for coffee and cake. Refreshed once again, we headed to the
Dom, or Trier Cathedral. There has been a church on that site since the
Edicts of Tolerance were passed in 313 CE. The current cathedral building
is Romanesque and about 1,000 years old. There are some Gothic additions,
and also a Baroque church that is adjacent to it. Very nice inside, but
interesting to see that there are no stained glass windows anywhere! Just
clear glass in a grill pattern. Tradition says that the cathedral is on the site of
a house donated for the original church by Saint Helen, mother of the
Emperor Constantine.
I forgot to mention that we visited a throne room built for the Emperor
Constantine, a building now in use as a Protestant church. I don’t know
which denomination.
This fellow in the Hauptmarkt was one of the best street acts we have ever seen.  He had several squirt nozzles to use on spectators, and those were welcome since it was a warm day.

After eight hours of walking, and having had a fantastic time, we went
back to the Hauptbahnhof and took the train back to Luxembourg.
Trier is top notch. Like Sevilla, or Venice! Wow!

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