Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Paris to Swiss Alps: Trier (3/28/2017)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
We have been very fortunate to have warm and sunny weather so far on this trip!
The red sandstone cliffs in the morning sun
The Viking Hild
Breakfast is part buffet, and part ordering from a menu. Most people take their meals in the dining room, but some take advantage of the more intimate setting of the Aquavit Terrace, although with a limited menu.
Whenever we left the ship, we were given a "boarding pass" which had to be returned when we came back, so that the crew knew we were again on board. We were also given a card with the letter of our tour group.
This morning the local guides met us just off the ship, and they led us into the city of Trier, perhaps the oldest city in Germany. The area was settled by Celts in the late 4th century BCE, and they were conquered by the Romans. The city was founded by Augustus Caesar in 16 BCE, and in 459 CE it was seized by the Franks. Trier was one of the seven elector cities of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1473, the University of Trier was founded. (It was dissolved in 1797, but started again in 1971 using buildings where the Nazis trained soldiers.)
France claimed the area in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. After the Napoleonic Wars, in 1815, it was passed to Prussia. Trier became part of the German Empire in 1871. It was heavily bombarded during World War II.
Trier became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
First a motor coach took us on a drive around town.
Alte Krahnen/Trierer Moselkrahn/
Old Crane or Trier Moselle Crane (1413) for
transferring cargo from ships on the Moselle River
Baroque Alter Zollkrahn/Jüngerer Moselkrahn/Old
Customs Crane or Younger Moselle Crane (1774)
Römerbrücke/Roman Bridge (144-152 CE), the oldest bridge in
Germany, with original pilings, nine bridge pillars and 18C arches;
the arches and roadway are held together with clamps, stone color
is black as it is basalt from the Eifel mountains
On March 2, 1945, General Patton's tanks captured the bridge so quickly that it was not blown up. The (empty) charge chambers are still visible from the up-river side of the bridge.
Emperor Constantine holds a crown with a cross,
atop a column at the foot of Kaiserstrasse/
Imperial Street on the Moselle River
Passed the Barbarathermen/Barbara Baths (2C), presumed to be the 2nd
largest after the Trajan Baths in Rome; used as a "quarry," so little is left
After passing the Roman Amphitheater, the bus climbed the narrow hairpinned road to the top of Petrisberg/Peter Mountain. Most of the Viking bus drivers seemed to come from Eastern European countries, and had no problems maneuvering, even backing up, through narrow alleys and around tight curves.
View of the Amphitheater below with the city around it
The Trierer Amphitheater (c. 100/200 CE) has dungeons beneath it for those sentenced to death by beast, and the beasts were kept along side them. Spectators would enter through tunnels, spewing out through openings called vomitoria to enter the theater. Stairs in the center lead to the cellars, which were later used as refuge from barbarians. The amphitheater was later used as a quarry, and a vineyard.
We headed back downhill.
The Kaiserthermen/Imperial Baths (4C), the most intricate baths of
the Roman world, needing two stories of subterranean pipes, furnaces,
and slave galleys to keep the water at 47 degrees C/120 degrees F
The Romans bathed naked (not always separately), could engage in sports, sit in cold, tepid or hot baths, swim, get a massage, have the body hair removed by tweezers or wax, and be cleaned with the help of scrapers, pumice stones, or fermented urine. They could relax, gamble, do business, or go to the hairdresser's, libraries, reciting rooms, or pubs. The main calderium/hot bath was large enough for a theater of today. There were six boiler rooms (now part of the city wall) to heat water for three semicircular pools, and for the hollow floor heating systems for pool floors and a vaulted hall. Also included were a tepidarum/lukewarm bath, and a frigidarium/cold bath, and sports grounds outside. Constantine left Trier before ever using the baths.
We were dropped off for the walking portion of our tour, starting through the Palastgarten/Palace Gardens.
Roman remnant with the hint of human figures carved on the surface (KSS)
Graffiti is everywhere in the world.
Trier Stadtbibliothek/City Library (1955-1960, designed by Alphonse Lytle)
Palastgarten/Palace Gardens
Kurfürstliches Palais/Elector's Palace (1615 North and East wings,
later 1756 West and South wings finished by Carl Caspar von der Leyen),
with sculptures by Ferdinand Tietz
The South pink and gold rococo wing is seen
from the Palace Gardens, now government
offices and event space (KSS)
Aula Palatina/Konstantin Basilika/Constantine Basilica (310 CE),
was built as a throne room; it is the largest surviving single room
structure from Roman times, and the largest intact Roman
structure outside of the Pantheon in Rome
When the Romans moved out in 395 CE, petty kings, then 12C archbishops used the Kurfürstliches Palais/Elector's Palace, which was enlarged after 1614. The throne room was used as a basilica. In 1856 it was given to the Lutheran church, and became the leading Protestant church in Trier.
Holes between windows were vents for five
furnaces that created hot air to be circulated
under the floors for heating (KSS)
The Constantine Basilica was a feat of Roman engineering, with a 65-m/213-foot arch over the apse. The windows of the apse or throne area were smaller to give the illusion of the emperor appearing larger, while the windows of the nave were larger, to make the common man feel smaller. Originally the ceiling had wooden triangular trusses, but now has a coffered ceiling, each section being nine square meters/97 square feet. (No photos allowed inside.)
When leaving the Lutheran Basilica, the worshipers
would first see the large statue (1859-1866, by
Christian Wilhelm Schmidt) of the Virgin Mary,
constructed through donations by the supposed miffed
Catholics worshipping in much smaller buildings
Postal motorbike (KSS)
Toy shop window with FischerTechnik,
the German version of Legos (KSS)
Instead of a wrought-iron sign for the
medieval illiterate, a stone relief sign?
An arch capped by a Crucifixion sculpture,
marking the entrance into the archbishop's district
Pedestrian areas are great for little ones (KSS)
Kesselstatt Palace (1740-1745, by Mainz architect
Johann Valentin Thoman) is a typical town palace
The former Bernhardshof abbey house accommodates
an old-fashioned wine room, Weinstube Kesselstatt
A replica of the Neumagener Weinschiff/wine ship, a burial
monument (c. 200 CE), now in the Rheinischen Landmuseum/Rhineland
Museum, providing dated proof of Roman wine trade along the river
Liebfrauenkirche/Church of Our Lady (1235
in early Gothic style), with a floor plan like
a 12-petal flower to symbolize the Virgin Mary,
the 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 Apostles
Liebfrauenkirche's typical Gothic portal
The 12 supporting columns are painted with an apostle on each, and
all 12 can be seen if standing on a spot marked with a bronze star
(this photo is not taken from that spot!)
Side chapel showing some of the post WWII
stained glass windows (KSS)
Trierer Dom/Trier Cathedral (c1270) is the oldest established bishop's
church in Germany and north of the Alps, with a 12C Romanesque façade
When Christianity was legalized in 312 CE, Constantine's mother, Helena, allowed part of her palace to be used as the first church on the spot where in 326-330 CE a cathedral was built. It burned in 336 CE, to be replaced by complex with four basilicas joined by baptistery, built on 20th anniversary of Constantine's reign along with the first St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
The outline of the basilica complex across
the huge square from the present cathedral
Constantine's church was four times larger than the present cathedral. After periods of extensive damage over the centuries, the remains were enlarged beginning 1035 in Romanesque style, to be completed in 1270.
A granite column from the Roman era sits in front
of the church, where one should sit and rub her
behind on it for good luck! (KSS)
There is a legend that the cathedral builders tricked the devil into hauling huge columns to the building site by telling him that he was building the biggest pub in the world. The devil agreed to do the job, but as he was bringing the last of the four columns, the devil saw that the bishop was getting ready to consecrate the new building. The devil was so angry, he threw the column to the ground where it broke and remains to this day.
Walderdorff Palace (1765, designed by the architect
Johannes Seiz as the cathedral deanery)
A modern façade on sternstrasse
A half-timbered façade
About 80 percent of Trier was damaged during WWII bombings by the British and Americans, with mostly the Roman structures surviving! The cathedral and some churches also suffered damage. Much of what we see are reconstructions.
Hauptmarkt/Main Market Square, with the star feature on the right,
the Marktkreuz/Market Cross (958 CE) covered in scaffolding!
(Note the tower to the left, of St Gangolfkirche)
St Petersbrunnen/St Peter's Fountain (1595) shows
the patron saint of the cathedral and the city (KSS)
St Peter, at the base of the fountain, is surrounded by the four cardinal virtues of good city government, Justice (sword & scale), Strength/Fortitude (broken column), Temperance (wine and water), and Wisdom/Prudence with a mirror and snake (the last two virtues seen above). Actually, the original statues and the Market Cross are in the City Museum, with replicas here in public view.
On the left is the Rotes Haus/Red House (original
built 1684, reconstructed 1968-1970), designed by
Wolfgang Stuppeler for the cathedral secretary and
later the guild master of bakers, Johann Wilhelm Polch;
on the right is Steipe/"arcade columns" (1483, 1970) that
was the city council's assembly and banqueting hall,
as the archbishop did not allow them a city hall
The façade of the Steipe has statues of four Trier city patrons: James the Elder, Helena, Peter, and Paul. St James is the patron saint of pilgrims, as Trier is a staging point for the Camino de Santiago (to Santiago de Compostela)/Way of St James. On the corners of the Steipe are two knights, the one on the left has his visor open and watches over the citizens in the market, and the one on the right has his visor down as he faces the cathedral, an act of defiance symbolizing the animosity between church and state in the Middle Ages.
St Gangolfkirche/Church of St Gangulphus (15C)
was the townspeople's church
In 1507, a tower was built for the earlier St Gangolfkirche, to be used as the fire-watchman's tower, and at 62 m/200' it was taller than the cathedral's tower. Supposedly it was built with the message, "Stay awake and pray." The archbishop responded by building a taller tower and finished the quote with "For you never know the hour when the Lord will come."
Pillory for violators of medieval curfew
Because I had gone out of the way to see the pillory, I was left far behind the group, and Kent started worrying instead of paying attention to what the guide was saying!
Judengasse/Jews Alley, where records show
there was a Jewish community as early as 1-2C;
the Jews were expelled in 1418 and few returned
in 1600, and fewer returned after the Holocaust
Dreikönigenhaus/House of Three Magi (c. 1230,
in Venetian style) was before there was a
city wall, so it had an upper story door
reached by a ladder or retractable stairs 
We missed where the Karl Marx House was located on Simeonstrasse, so I had to "grab" a photo.
Karl Marx Wohnhaus where he lived from
age one to 17 when he left for college,
now a €1 store! (Marx's birthplace is
elsewhere in Trier and is a museum)
Porta Nigra/Black Gate (186-200 CE), the best preserved Roman gate
north of the Alps, and the oldest defensive structure in Germany; it is
held together by gravity and iron clamps embedded with molten lead (KSS)
Porta Nigra is the only remaining gate of four in a four-mile city wall. It survived because it was used as a church. It is black due to medieval pollution, and because of the name, there is no plan to clean off the walls.
The east tower, where the Greek monk Simeon walled himself inside
in 1028; he died in 1035 and was buried there 
A double church was built in the gate to honor St Simeon, but the upper story was destroyed by Napoléon in 1803.
Ancient door hinges
Ancient clamp
At Porta Nigra, we were given about 45 minutes of free time.

Next: Trier on Our Own.

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