|The Porta Nigra - The Black Gate. Built by the Romans in approximately 200 AD|
|Looks really cool at night. Manmade structures in the United States 1800 years old? Not so many.|
Hauptmarkt (Central Plaza or Main Market)
|The central plaza. In a couple of weeks this large open plaza will be crammed with stalls for the Christmas market|
|Narrow street connecting the central plaza (Hauptmarkt) to the Cathedral|
|Ornate fountain in the Hauptmarkt|
|The street leading to the right ahead is lined with high end shops. Still odd to me to see Bulgari in a shop front of a building built in the 15th century.|
|Sorry for the back end of the truck. They were already beginning to set up for Christmas market.|
St. Gangolf's Church
|Entrance to the Church just a portal between a leather goods store and a Gyro shop|
|Church construction begun in 1400s. Colors in the interior are late gothic.|
|The church was small, and Jeff had it to himself.|
|Ceiling decorations were striking. This picture doesn't do the colors justice.|
High Cathedral of St. Peter
|The Cathedral and the adjacent Church of Our Lady are large - hard to get a picture especially with the Christmas market stalls going up in the plaza in front of it.|
|The central nave from the east choir near the chapel of the Robe - more about that below|
|The central nave from the west choir. Notice the massive pipe organ on the left.|
|Ornate baptistry - children are baptized in the Catholic faith.|
|The west choir has a beautiful baroque ceiling|
|Large crypt in the west choir. Tenors to the left please. The sarcophagus contains the remains of the archbishop of Trier who lived from 1307-1354.|
|Relief depicting the final judgment of the wicked. Jesus is in the clouds with the angels and the wicked are cowering below.|
|Relief showing the Final Judgment of the righteous who look up with longing to the Master.|
|Just had to throw this in. This is the epitaph for some nobleman who reclines below the grim reaper. Macabre.|
|Jeff said that this is the nursery. It's actually a gated entry to a spiral staircase.|
|The Chapel of the Seamless Robe is in the East Choir of the Cathedral|
|People peering through glass and a gold gate at the enclosure of the robe.|
|Romanesque cloisters along the interior courtyard|
|The courtyard is mostly a cemetery for bishops of Trier|
Liebfrauenkirche - The Church of Our Lady
This 13th century Gothic church is beautiful. The original Roman basilica that preceded it was torn down to make room for this church in the 1200s. There are twelve columns with paintings of the 12 apostles. It is circular with four apses and 8 small chapels in between so that the interior design is in the shape of a rose petal. The stained glass is magnificent. And the acoustics are remarkable. They were broadcasting a single clear male voice singing a chant. Jeff sat down and listened for a while in quiet contemplation.
Lunch at the Weinstube
|Elder and Sister Stevens with Janet. They are doing records preservation in Wiesbaden.|
|Janet and Sister Stevens. We didn't drink any of that wine in the background.|
|What a wonderful group of people. We had a great lunch and played a fun game together.|
Next Stop -- The Roman Imperial Baths
|Walls made of brick and stone more than 1500 years ago|
|An artist's rendering of what the baths were supposed to look like. They were never completed as baths as designed.|
|It was a raw day.|
|Best part were the underground installations for heating and piping water to the baths.|
|Entering the catacombs|
|The installation underground was extensive and is still undergoing excavation|
|A large granite column near what would have been the "frigidarium" or cool baths|
|Look at the thickness of this archway. No wonder things lasted so long.|
|The brick and stone work is magnificent. Much of it was plastered and painted originally, but most of that exterior is gone.|
|From an observation tower at the site. It is quite large.|
|Large walls under restoration|
To the Roman Amphitheater
We walked about 10 minutes to the Roman Amphitheater. It was built for shows including gladiators. None were there on the day we visited. However, after we paid the 5 Euros for admission and walked into the center of the amphitheater, our good friend Elder Jarrard broke into a very loud rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. It echoed in the arena, and made everyone laugh. We love Elder Jarrard. He always makes everyone laugh.
|One thing that was never an issue in Europe when Jeff was on his mission - graffiti. It is everywhere. But at least it's creative and colorful graffiti.|
|Model depicting the amphitheater that could seat 18,000 spectators on stone benches.|
|Chiseled from solid stone. Entry to a cell for actors or gladiators|
|Site of Elder Jarrard's performance|
|The stone for the benches was mostly removed in the middle ages and harvested for building material elsewhere|
|These were paving stones into which deep grooves were cut by wagon and chariot wheels|
Constantine Basilica - Emporer Constantine's Throne Room
The Basilica of Constantine of Aula Palatina is awe inspiring. It is a Roman palace basilica that was built by the emperor Constantine (AD 306–337).
Today it is used as the Church of the Redeemer and owned by a congregation within the Evangelical Church (the Evangelical Church in Germany is one of two state-supported churches). The basilica contains the largest surviving hall from antiquity and is ranked a World Heritage Site. It is 220 feet long, 85 feet wide, and an awe inspiring 108 feet high.
The Aula Palatina was built around AD 310 as a part of the palace complex and was equipped with a floor and wall heating system. I kept thinking about people coming from warm, sunny Rome to gray, damp, cold Germany. I would go for heated walls and floors, too.
During the Middle Ages, it was used as the residence for the bishop of Trier. In the 17th century, the archbishop Lothar von Metternich constructed his palace just next to the Aula Palatina. Later in the 19th century, Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered the building to be restored to its original Roman state. In 1856, the Aula Palatina became a Protestant church. In 1944, the building burned due to an air raid of the allied forces during World War II. When it was repaired after the war, the historical inner decorations from the 19th century were not reconstructed, so that the brick walls are visible from the inside as well.
|The size is amazing|
|Imagine this pipe organ in the enormous space|
|After the bomb damage and fire in 1944, some heroic statues of Christ and some of his apostles were damaged beyond repair. But they rescued the heads.|
There was more to see and do in Trier, but we had to call it a day.
The long history of this country and these places is remarkable. Wrenching change seems ahead for Europe with the flood of refugees migrating from Africa and the Middle East. This seat of western civilization is trying to come to grips with the changing demographics. We're posting this a week after the fact, and we were at a devotional this evening with a man who was sent by the Church emergency response organization to assess conditions with refugees across Europe and how we can help. The church is already providing supplies for things like personal hygiene kits that the refugees and church members work together to assemble for distribution to those in need. The church doesn't regard religion or politics. We just seek to care for the poor and needy as best we can. We hope for improvement, but there are now 60 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes. It's heartbreaking. The Master said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto these, ye have done it unto me."