let me show you round

Today’s blog post is feature by the week 47 photography prompt by www.52photosproject.com and by the gorgeous weather and my friend who agreed to go out for dinner tonight. Well, yesterday, if you consider “now” the moment the blog was posted.

A place I would show you in my town

When I first read the prompt I knew what I picture I’d use, but I spontaneously decided to grab my camera and head into town after work.

Which I did.

Trier is1 mostly known for its historical heritage. There are nine world heritage sites within the city limits alone.

Not exactly surprising if you knot that Trier is probably the oldest city in Germany2.

The historical city center has a mixture of new things in old houses, among others a coffee shop in a 13th century house.

But  the most well-known landmark, the thing every tourist gets to see and the one thing I would absolutely show you is the old Roman city gate, the Porta Nigra.

Trier has a very rich Roman heritage and was the capital of the Roman empire for large parts of the 4th century, and the largest city north of the Alps.

In that period the Romans were rather busy and built loads of stuff like baths, the largest amphitheater outside of what today is Italy and of course the Porta Nigra, the “black gate”3.

This northern city gate, originally also called Porta Martis – Gate of Mars4 was probably built around 180 AD. Building it took about 4-5 years, unfortunately it was never finished.

The Romans used around 7200 blocks of local sandstone, the largest weighing about 6 metric tons.

In the middle ages a Sicilian monk took up residence in the gate, allegedly died and got walled in there. The archbishop of Trier, going by the kind of funny name “Poppo” got him declared a Saint and had the gate converted to a rather strange looking church.

We can consider ourselves lucky that Napoleon came along in 1802, closed the church and decided to restore the gate to its former glory, except for the eastern tower that had been destroyed during the conversion to a church.

The Prussians finished in 1815 what Napoleon had started and 1986 the Porta Nigra, the emblem and pride of Trier, was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.

And it really is impressive, I can only recommend to any visitors to check it out, go in if you have the time or maybe even book the special guided tour “The Secret of Porta Nigra”.

Call me, it’s German, you might need a translator for that one.

 

Footnotes
  1. not counting the awful dialect and the highest density of shoe stores you could imagine []
  2. allegedly even founded 1300 years BEFORE Rome by some Assyrian prince []
  3. no, it’s not the gate of Mordor []
  4. the Roman god of war, because the North would’ve been the direction of the enemy []

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