Germany off the beaten track

Würzburg: Mozart Festival in the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Residenz" (Residence) © Oliver Lang

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Attractions in Trier

Your tour of Roman-era Germany

As Germany's oldest city, Trier began as a metropolis of the Roman Empire and enjoyed prosperous medieval and Renaissance eras as well. Today the city's glorious history can be witnessed at every step on a stroll through the bustling Old Quarter.

/assetimage_1372_241w180.jpgThe ancient city's most famous relic is the Porta Nigra, the beautifully preserved fortified gate from the great age when the city was known as Augusta Treverorum. Trier contains the largest collection of ancient Roman buildings outside of Rome itself, all concentrated in a centralized and pedestrian- friendly area.

Come gaze in wonder at the size and majesty of the Konstantin Basilika (Constantine Basilica) that was built to express the  magnificence and might of the emperor. It was the throne room of Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century, and it is the largest surviving unsupported room of antiquity. Behind the medieval facades of the "Dom" (Cathedral), architectural styles from the 4th through 18th centuries can be seen. It had been a Constantinian Palace, torn down after Constantine?s last visit to Trier and replaced by the largest Christian church in antiquity. Today, sections of the original walls and architectural features can still be seen. Perhaps one of Trier?s most charming areas is its former Domstadt (Cathedral City), a mostly intact medieval district. A warren of narrow alleys runs between medieval houses in this former city-within-a-city.

Explore the expansive ruins of the Kaiserthermen (Imperial Baths), remodeled during the 4th century as a barracks for more than 1,000 soldiers. And in the Amphitheater, sit in the same terraced seats occupied by fans cheering for gladiator and animal fights some 2,000 years ago. Be sure to visit the Rheinisches Landesmuseum (State Museum), an outstanding archaeological museum with Germany's most extensive Roman collection.

/assetimage_1406_240w176.jpgWhile the stunning ancient architecture is the city's strongest draw, travelers should also take in buildings like the baroque St. Paulinkirche (St. Paulin's Church) and the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Beloved Lady), Germany's oldest Gothic church. Trier's expansive Kurfürstliche Palais (Electoral Palace) built as a "wing" to the "Basilika", is considered one of the finest examples of Rococo style in Germany, and its Baroque Palastgarten (Palace Gardens) are a peaceful green oasis in the middle of the city. Another popular attraction is the Karl Marx Haus (Karl Marx House) birthplace and museum.


St. Paulin's Church, Trier

St. Matthias

City Museum Simeonstift

Porta Nigra, Trier

Palace Gardens

Karl Marx

Imperial Baths, Trier

Forum Baths, Trier

Electoral Palace, Trier

Top Tip: Pilgrimage of the Holy Robe

From April 13 –May 13 the Holy Robe (Christ’s Seamless Tunic) will be displayed in Trier’s cathedral. This has only taken place three times in the 20th century (1933, 1959, 1996).