And Time still stands still in Trier

Schroeders Stadtwaldhotel in Trier
We drove from Overath to Trier on a beautiful misty day with greenery all around us.
The trusted satnav guided us all the way,
We had taken a detour via Heidelberg so it was dusk by the time we reached our hotel,
Since satnavs give the shortest way we were a trifle disconcerted to find ourselves in the middle of a forest with narrow winding lanes. We almost turned back as we could see nothing except trees for miles ahead, when we suddenly saw a beautiful villa and beyond that our hotel.
To our surprise we found that our room was in that villa itself. The picture of the villa is given above.
It was an old fashioned suite with its own private sit out and secluded garden.

I would recommend everyone to try out this hotel and ask for the villa not the main hotel.
We had made the reservations via
The owner and the staff are extremely helpful. The meals are delicious and very reasonable.
It’s a 20 min walk across the bridge to Porto Nigro

From Trier Luxemburg is just 50 km away and we decided to take up Mayura’s invitation to visit her,
Mayura is a friend I made on Twitter and i am so glad that I did. We spent a lovely evening with her full of warmth and apnapan. And had the yummiest misal pao and Chocolate Fondue… a slice of home as we have spent many years in Pune.

With Mayura, who touched my heart with her love and affection.

an overview of Luxemburg

It was quite late by the time we drove back to Trier.

The next day was all about timelessness in Trier.
Trier is the oldest German city and is situated on the banks of the river Moselle.Known as the “Rome of the North,” Trier served as the key city of the Roman northern territories.
We drove from the hotel to the city though it was a 15 min picturesque walk but I didn’t want to get tired before I could explore the treasures of Trier.
The best thing about Germany is that each major tourist attraction has its own parking platz and the satnav can guise you there.
We parked and walked across to Porta Nigra or the Black Gate. The original Roman name hasn’t been preserved and as by the middle ages the stone had darkened it came to be known as the Black gate.
As a means of impressing the locals I can just imagine its effectiveness…

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD by the Romans as a part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city.Of these only Porta Nigra survives today.

According to an inscription on the red House (tho in the photograph it looks a dirty brown, its a lovely red color)
Trier is 1300 years older than Rome.

The Red House is on the left side with the inscription

“Thirteen hundred years before Rome, Trier stood / may it stand on and enjoy eternal peace, amen,”
My camera was too inconsequential to do justice to such timelessness.
the right hand side is the Steipe another important landmark in Trier.
The Steipe name from a Trier dialect word which means (arcade) supports. It was used ceremonial functions for the city councillors and dignitaries and contained drawing rooms and refreshment rooms.
Today its a cafe

Another inscription on the red House points to St Anthony the patron saint of the house.,who can be seen standing on the first floor. The red house is directly adjacent to Steipe.

Trier is a charming city, with its beautiful cobble stoned roads. the SimeonStrabbe is a pedestrians-only street runs between the Porta Nigra and the Hauptmarkt ( main market)square.

St Peter;s Fountain (1585) in the main square

IN SimeonStrabbe I felt that I had strayed into the pages of a fairy tale.

The Porta Nigra from inside the market square

we decided to go sightseeing the old fashioned way and took the special tourist mini-train (called the Römer Express) that takes visitors on a 35-minute tour of Trier’s old town.
It’s a lot of fun and reminded me of Darjeeling and Ooty toy trains. Though this isn’t a train in that sense,and my bones did get a little rattled.
The train starts from inside the gate so you can’t miss it.
There is also a museum on St Simeon near the gate but I didn’t see it, again because of paucity of time. I wanted to see more of the ruins and the old city.

There is also a hop on hop off bus

After our 35 min non-stop tour we got off and decided to start with The Trier Cathedral.
Both my husband and I are drawn towards all religious places of worship, be they temples or mosques but whether it’s from having studied in Christian missionary schools or the sense of peace we get therem churches hold a special fascination for us.

And the Trier Cathedral is indeed special.
Dedicated too St Peter it was built by Constantine at about the same time as the St Peters in Rome
he cathedral was destroyed and rebuilt many times, and today stands on the foundation of a Roman building, which was once much larger than it is today.

The exterior

The elaborate Baroque domed ceiling.

The baptism font

One of the two organs. having been part of the choir, this is an area of immense interest to my husband and now even I have started looking out for the organs.

A chapel on the side with a carving of the Last Supper on the base

The altar

The most precious Holy relic in the Trier cathedral is the seamless robe of Jesus, presented to the church by Empress Dowager Helena.
It is no longer on display and I could only photograph the photographs and not with much felicity as you can see.
More information for those who are interested on this site

I don’t know what relics were contained in this but I found a group of devotees crying, praying and kissing it much in the same way as we do in Imambargaahs

The Gothic Church of Our lady which stands next to the Dom

A wooden Pieta inside the church

Trier was an important seat of power for the Romans and the basilica was once the throne room. Roman palace basilica was built by the emperor Constantine (306–337 AD) at the beginning of the 4th century.
it’s an elongated, rectangular brick building which measures 220 feet in length , 90 feet width and 98 feet height with a vast semi-circular apse. It is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times.

The exterior

I found it ironical that a building associated with the founder of the roman catholic Church is now a Protestant Church of the Redeemer….

the altar

It was totally destroyed in the World War II and has been rebuilt. But the ornate decorations and statues have not been reconstructed and replenished.
Instead of the embellished walls we just see plain clay bricks and that was its charm for me



The Imperial Roman Baths built in293 AD.


The complex also served for socialising, gambling and relaxing



Some more levitation on the streets of Germany, this time in Trier.
Does make you wonder if Germans ate very fond of levity!

And isn’t it delicious irony that Marxism was born in the place where there is Germany’s oldest church !

Karl Marx the famous son of Trier, was born in this house in 1818. Today its a museum of his life-work-influence

His bust in the garden outside

The pink and white Rococo style Electoral Palace

The market church of St Gangolf


And its interiors

The Amphitheatre



The amphitheater used for gladiatorial contests, was partly dug inside the slope of the hill of the east of the city and built during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161)

Its pretty well preserved considering it was used for a while as a stone quarry.
Vineyards abound above the amphitheatre today

I would recommend Trier over Heidelberg though I found most sites doing the opposite.

And maybe for that reason or some other strange reason I couldnt fathom, we found not a single Indian there although we met many all over Germany

Comment List

  • shirazhassan 19 / 10 / 2012 Reply

    Beautiful piece. I envy you.

    • RaanaSafvi 19 / 10 / 2012 Reply

      Thx and I hope you go there too someday soon InshaAllah

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