Trier Germany is only an hour from Landstuhl where we are currently staying. It is possibly the oldest city in Germany, founded on or before 16 BC. The history through the times in this city is incredible.
We piled in the Suburban and headed out to Trier at about 10am. The scenery was gorgeous. Along the way, there were tiny towns dotting the country side. The beautifully colored houses and chapels decorating the hillsides were just breathtaking. We passed through farm land, and quite a few vineyards. It amazed us all how these vineyards go right up the side of a vertical hill.
We came onto the Moselle River where boaters were out enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures. We even saw a few boats towing tubers. As we came into Trier, colorful homes hugged the side of the Moselle. It was picture perfect.
We also drove by The University of Trier. This school was founded in 1473! It was closed in 1898 by the order of French administration (Trier was at the time part of France). In 1978, it was re-established.
Trier is also the home of Karl Marx. His childhood home where he was born, raised, and homeschooled is now a museum.
We strategically located some parking online before we even got in the car. Finding parking anywhere here can sometimes be a challenge, especially in the tank we drive. The parking lot we found only allowed us to park for two hours and we were certain we would take longer than that. We paid for the full two hours and just hoped for the best.
First, we made our way through the 3 blocks of narrow streets to the Hauptmarkt (the main market). We read about this before coming, but I was astounded at how large this market is compared to others I have seen in Europe. Stores lining the streets were in great abundance not to mention the stands set up in the streets. Apparently many people from Luxembourg (on the other side of the Moselle) come to Trier to do their shopping. Their money goes much further. There were people playing music and mimes. The kids could not get over the mimes. Trier hosts one of the largest German Christmas markets. Each and every window in the square holds a light.
For the next 2 months, Trier also has brightly painted life size baby elephants all over the city. You cannot pass a block without finding an elephant. It is a charitable effort to draw attention to the plight of the world's dwindling elephant population.
We made our way to the Port Nigra, the large Roman city gate. Today, it is the largest Roman gate North of the Alps. It is incredible to think people were tarred shot with arrows off of this structure. Trier is not a city that has been exempt from brutal times.
We saw the Jewish Quarter (Judengasse), located right down an alley street in the middle of the Hauptmarkt. It was essentially a Jewish ghetto. This was at one time home to all the Jewish people of this area. The back alley street right off the Hauptmarkt has a large archway that once hung large doors and a chain to keep the people in this area. They most certainly were not allowed out in the evening. During World War II, the families living here fled to The United States or The Netherlands. Those that fled to the Netherlands more than likely ended up in a concentration camp. Some of those families that survived returned to this area and still live there today.
Our walk continued on to the Constantine Basilica (dating back to the Roman Empire), the Imperial Roman Baths (where apparently people used to scrub their bodies with fermented urine), the palace gardens, and the amphitheater. The amphitheater is surrounded by a protecting wall with openings for animal cages. It had a seating capacity of 18-20,000 spectators. Underneath the arena is a vast cellar where the death sentenced prisoners were kept in cells side by side with the wild animals they should fight with. A moveable platform took them up to the arena for the final fight. Brutal times.
An ice cream cone for the kids and a pint of beer for the hubby was the perfect end to our day. Well... almost. Maybe the 15 Euro ticket on our windshield for our over two hour expired parking pass was the kicker. But it was worth it. We were thoroughly impressed with how well the kids did keeping up with all the walking. It is quite promising for future trips! Needless to say, after all the walking, it was a sound night of sleep for all.
Daniel, Liam & Rowan on one of the elephants on parade.
Daniel & Liam at the Port Nigra
Family at the Hauptmarkt
Jewish Garden, a Jewish ghetto during WWII.
Walking the Hauptmarkt
Taking it all in in the basilica.
Rowan & Liam in the basilica
Patrick in the basilica
Ice cream at the Hauptmarkt
Approaching the Baths.
Climbing on some Roman ruins.
Liam at the baths.
Teddy in the amphitheater. Keeping things interesting.
Rowan at the amphitheater
Checking out a place where people once had to fight for their lives.
Up in the seating.
Palace Gardens with my girl
Photogenic Patrick in the amphitheater
Liam the Firecracker chasing ducks in the garden.
Liam actually caught the tail feathers of this duck. It
let out a loud quack/yell. Liam is not that quick, I am
pretty sure these ducks get fed all the time but don't
always have curly haired little boys trying to grab them.