Arriving in Trier in the early afternoon gave us plenty of time to explore this, Gloucester’s partner city. Edward had been here once before, on a school exchange trip, but remembered little. For the rest of us, it was new ground.
Our hotel room offers a splendid view of one of the main attractions, the Porta Nigra.
The travelling companions wasted no time in securing the best view in the house, of course.
So, taking the advice of the tourist office, we started our walking tour here, naturally.
Strolling through the pedestrianised streets was a delight. So many interesting buildings with a wealth of details.
The lovely medieval marketplace promised plenty of choice for supper later, but for now, we resisted the temptation to sit and relax and kept on through to the other side. There was more to see!
The recurring theme of “liebfau…” is apparent and our next stop was in the Liebfraukirche.
It’s a beautiful space, open and airy. The modern, light wood pews are comfortable and provide a good place to sit and observe.
The ceiling is beautifully decorated.
The modern stained glass is very different to that in Zurich but I find it equally effective.
Of course, the small chapel dedicated to the Liebfrau herself was the brightest, most lavishly decorated corner.
As is frequently the case, I’ve only discovered the significance of these paintings of the apostles since I’ve been back and finding some links to illustrate this post. Now, of course, I wish I’d looked for the black stone.
Next stop was the cathedral next door, based on a Roman structure. Another breathtaking space, Edward and I left the other two sitting gazing at the magnificent basilica and climbed the stairs to the small chapel behind the altar where a relic is kept.
From here, there was a stunning view of the whole nave, including the rather over-exuberant baroque arch at the West end of the cathedral. The proportions of this huge space are difficult to gauge from the photograph: The altar can be seen roughly in the centre of the picture, with the wooden pews either side of the central aisle beyond it.
Our next stop was another Roman masterpiece – the Basilica of Constantine. Brick built, this was another enormous, light filled space (no photographs allowed inside). Still standing in its original form, it was restored by the same King of Prussia as built Hohenzollern Castle, having previously been part of the Archbishop of Trier’s castle.
Just across the way were the Roman Baths, but feeling a little weary by now and being familiar with hypocaust and other such bath-associated structures, we passed that one right by. I couldn’t resist putting my rather sunburned-stripy foot by that of Constantine.
(I think the sculptor had exaggerated its size, don’t you?)
As we returned to the hotel for a short break before supper, we spotted the markings on the door which I’ve blogged about before, though here in a street with modern, metal doors, a degree of imagination has been called for. Each chalked sign that Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar have visited is written on a small piece of chalkboard paint (or is it tape?) rather than on the door itself. Clever!
Dinner – our last German supper for a while – was a hearty plateful at the Domstein in the Marketplace
followed by enormous icecreams at the Eis Cafe just down the street. Yes, our eyes were bigger than our tummies and only one of us finished.
I’m not telling you who
Tomorrow, we’ll leave Germany behind and head into two different countries. I’ll bet you can guess which ones?