Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Quick Day in Trier (A Stop on the Way to Luxembourg)

We love being able to take quick trips from Stuttgart to different nearby places.  Kristin really enjoys visiting new countries, so we decided to check Luxembourg off the list.  It is a quick three and a half hour drive from our apartment, so we hopped in the car one weekend for an adventure -- with not a bit of planning ahead of time.

Looking good for being 2,000 years old.  (The gate, not Kristin.)
Along the way we stopped in Trier, Germany (very close to Schweich, Germany -- which we will visit with a certain Schweich one day).  Trier is one of the oldest cities in Germany and features some well-preserved Roman buildings.  The buildings are impressive today, but even more so when you realize they are more than 2,000 years old.

The Porta Nigra is the largest remaining Roman city gate north of the Alps.  It is a pretty fantastic welcome to the city.   
Flowers .... and do not enter signs.  Historic.
We then grabbed a quick lunch and checked out the Trier market.  The architecture was much more French than German, a nod to the historical back-and-forth ownership of this part of the world.

Would you like spargel (asparagus) with that?
The High Cathedral of Saint Peter is the oldest cathedral in Germany, which dates back to Roman times.  The foundation is from the 300s and the current building is about 1,000 years old.  It was added to in a piecemeal style that resulted in a single large building with multiple different types of architecture.

Where's Matt?
Need a bigger building?  No need to find some matching bricks or architecture.  Bring your own style.

The Basilica of Constantine is a huge 4th century church.  It is a gigantic open space with towering ceilings.  It is hard to imagine such a large and airy structure was built so long ago.  The engineers in the 300s had really figured out a lot of construction structural basics.

Let's be honest, this thing looks like a huge gym, not a church.  Kickball, anyone?
And if you've got a Roman building in Trier, you may as well add on some crazy architecture to it.  In this case, the Palace of Trier.  The bubble gum pink definitely goes with the old Roman red.  The gardens are lovely and it would be a fantastic place for a picnic.    

It was getting late, so we only took a quick spin through the Rheinsches Landesmuseum.  The museum is filled with archeological finds, especially from the Roman period.  My favorite part was the mosaic floors that had been reconstructed in the museum.  You definitely need more than the 45 minutes we had before it closed for the evening. 
After a delicious dinner at Le Bouquet Garni in Luxembourg and a quick walk through Luxembourg City at night, it was time to turn in for the night at our nearby hotel.  We couldn't wait to explore Luxembourg by bike the next day!

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