The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Roman Fest in Trier: Part I

Trier, Germany, which sits just inside the German/French border was at one time the capitol of the northern Roman Empire.  In short: it’s old.  Really old.  Every year they celebrate their history with a Roman Fest called Brot and Spiele (Bread and Circuses-why? no idea).  This is the first time we’ve been, but it won’t be the last. Nine of us (5 adults and 4 kids) piled into 2 cars and off we went.  BTW, we ladies stuck the men with all 4 children in their car (we did provide a DVD player with 2 screens).  M and S were so not happy with us, but we (the ladies) ALWAYS have the kids when we go off, and we figured, why shouldn’t they have them for a change?  It. Was. Awesome.  My car was a kid free zone!  Girl talk and bitching. Trier is about 120 miles from HD so we were in the car for about an hour and half.  Haha!


The original Roman gate to the city The Porta Nigra (Black Gate), buitl between 180 and 200 AD still stands and is a designated World Heritage site.  It is awe inspiring.  Here is the interior from the ground and us in front of it.

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We walked down the hauptstrasse from the Porta Nigra through the Kornmarktplatz.  It was market day (Saturday’s are in most towns).

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We went over to the Cathedral known as Dom St. Peter, which is also a World Heritage Site.  This place it HUGE and you can see hundreds of years of different styles of architecture.  The original church was built during the Roman period by the Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome.  The original church, damaged in the 4th and 9th centuries, was four times (FOUR TIMES) larger than the present structure.  Can you imagine?

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The last picture above is of the altar that houses the Seamless Robe of Christ, which he supposedly wore at his trial.  You can’t see it except on special occasions.

If you exit the Cathedral through the right transept, you enter the cloisters, which are also part of the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).  The nuns of the order are buried in the courtyard of the cloisters. 

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Isn’t that stunning?  I took about 150 photos just in the Dom and cloisters.  I won’t bore you with all of them.  We left the cool interior of the Dom and walked in the scorching heat towards the ruins of the Kaisertherme (Imperial Baths) where the bulk of the Roman Fest was held.  On the way, we passed the remains Constantine’s palace (today a Presbyterian church) and the Electoral Palace (you can see Constantine’s palace behind the Electoral Palace in the first photo.

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It was just a short hop over to the Imperial Baths from here and back in time.


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Ah, the smell of roasting meat, ale and unwashed bodies!

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After we ate (and drank a bit) in the shade, we headed over to the ruins of the amphitheater, where the gladiator show was to be held.  As this post is really long and picture heavy, I’ll save those photos for tomorrow.  Just to keep you interested though, here’s a little something for the ladies:

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Emily said...

Hm, thanks for the eye candy.
That is so interesting. I just love the historical architecture. And a kid free car ride...totally priceless!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I love Trier! It kills me that I didn't pay more attention when we were there...but I was only 15, so I was more interested in meeting cute boys. Sigh. I do remember Porta Nigra and the Electoral Palace very well though. Great photos!!!

otin said...

I took German in high school and I remember seeing many photos of Germany and castle type manors, the pictures always amazed me. The countryside was gorgeous!

Lauren said...

Great pics! I really want to go back to Germany someday! I haven't been there since my dad was stationed there 28 years ago...I was one, so it is really like I wasn't even there!

Kid free car = NICE!

satakieli said...

Beautiful photographs!

Now here's somewhere i can get the husband to take me if/when I win the little competition he and I have going. Person who wins gets to choose a Saturday for whatever they like.

I love old Roman towns, my grandfather knows a lot about that sort of thing and they used to live in a little Roman town near a castle in the south of england. I LOVED visiting when I was a kid!

This reminds me, I watched a BBC thing recently on the Roman invasion of Germany, it's really interesting (apparently they had a lot of trouble!)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Great pictures! Glad you had an hour of kid freeness

Sandy said...

Beautiful photos. Germany is on my to-go-to list. Thanks for the travelog.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! We lived in Germany when I was a kid (my parents were stationed at Ramstein, but we lived in a town outside of Landstuhl) and those pictures look exactly as I remember Trier being (with the exception of the guy in underwear...I don't think we say any sites like that when I was there).

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