Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trier and Luxembourg

First I want to say these are two cities I would have never thought to go to when I lived in the States. With all the options of Europe who thinks of Trier, Germany? Living here you get so many suggestions of places to travel to and that is one of my favorite parts. People love talking about traveling and I am more than happy to listen.

The trip started with an absolutely beautiful train ride along the Rhein and Mosel rivers. With castles and vineyards lining the hills it was breath-taking. I am going to try and not write a itinerary of our trip (Justin said I tend to do this and I believe him), so I will just give you the highlights.

Fun facts about Trier
  • it is the oldest city in Germany (whatever that means) dating back to around 16 BC
  • it has the oldest Roman ruins outside of Rome
  • it has more than seven UNESCO World Heritage sites include three Roman baths, Roman amphitheater, Roman gate entrance (Porta Nigra), Roman bridge (still in use), and the Holy Roman Emperor Constantine's throne room.
  • it also is the home of the oldest Christian church and the oldest pharmacy in Germany
  • it has the longest running farmer's market dating back to the 10th century
  • it is known for its amazing wine
  • Karl Marx, the author of the Communist Manifesto, was born in Trier

So the city has a lot of old things, but it is full of so much culture and history. One of the things we love about traveling is all the real-life history lessons we get. It is truly awesome to see things you have heard about in school. We did our best to see as many sights as possible in two days.

The beautiful city of Trier. This is the hauptmarkt aka where the oldest farmer's market is held as you can see.

The Porta Nigra-you can see where it gets it name. The stones get darker every year.

The Porta Nigra from the opposite side


This fountain monument was dedicated to the city of Trier by the local craftsmen. It was really cool with different scenes of occupations from musicians to butchers.

We made a visit to the birthplace of Karl Marx and learned all about his life which was quite interesting.

St. Peter's Dome and Church of our Lady-both World heritage sites. St. Peter's Dome is home to the Holy Tunic believed to be worn by Jesus when he died.

Roman bath aka Kaiserthermen- Built by Emperor Constantine, but actually never used. It was the third largest bathing complex in the Roman world.

The amazing view from the Mosel river. This is when I really love the views of Germany, it is such a beautiful country when it is warm.
The Roman bridge as you can see is still used today. Now that is some serious civil engineering.

The Roman amphitheater-I liked the idea of imagining Gladiators fighting in this ring (not that I like the thought of all the bloodshed because I don't), but that something like this actually existed



Our re-enactments- Justin kicking some ass like a Gladiator and me as a tiger coming out of a secret side door.

Statue of a wine boat that carried the harvest along the river.

More wine guys.............and one beer guy!

Huge, well-preserved mosaics from the area were on display at the archeological museum.  This one depicted a victorious chariot racer with his name and the name of his lead horse included in the middle.  Apparently this sport was even bigger than Nascar back in the day.  Shake and Bake!

Weinstube Kesselstatt - a nice lunch stop with local wine and great food also a suggestion from one of my English students.

Trier I have to say is a city that if you ever get the chance to see you should. 

Luxembourg

One full day was plenty to take in the sites of this unique city, established in 967 as a central European stronghold.  Ironically, it was controlled by several countries including the Spanish, Dutch, Italians, German, French, and just about everybody else - not such an effective job at keeping people out.

We were greeted by a gospel group in Luxembourg City as the climax event of the "Louisiana Food Festival" which featured euro-style cajun cuisine and gospel music

Luxembourg City is practically a fortress built into a hill with a deep valley surrounding it and sweet bridges stretching across the gap.

Casements built into the fortress on the left are also a UNESCO world heritage site.

Robert Schumann hails from Luxembourg and helped to establish the European Union - originally it was started after WWII to prevent countries from stockpiling war-making materials such as coal and steel.

A cool building, we think is the Court of Justice, in the EU quarters.

Luxembourg City stained glass interpretation in the train station.

Thanks to amazing weather it was an awesome three days of walking around in the sunshine and learning more about Europe.

If you want to see more pictures from our trip to Trier, Germany and Luxembourg click here

-Marisa (with some Justin thrown in)
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