Trier's Roman Ruins Walking Tour (Self Guided), Trier

It’s perhaps surprising to hear that there are significant Roman ruins in Germany: in Trier, which is in the eastern part of the country right near the border with Luxembourg. The Trier Roman ruins are particularly surprising just because of how many there are, and how well-preserved some of them are, especially one called the Porta Nigra. The Roman ruins, along with the Cathedral of St. Peter and the Church of Our Lady, together make up a UNESCO World Heritage site. ***PH***
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Trier's Roman Ruins Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Trier's Roman Ruins Walking Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Trier (See other walking tours in Trier)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Porta Nigra (Black Gate)
  • Aula Palatina (Basilica of Constantine)
  • Thermen am Viehmarkt (Forum Baths)
  • Römerbrücke (Roman Bridge)
  • Barbarathermen (Barbara Baths)
  • Kaiserthermen (Imperial Roman Baths)
  • Amphitheater
1
Porta Nigra (Black Gate)

1) Porta Nigra (Black Gate) (must see)

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is a large Roman city gate in Trier. It is today the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps and has been designated a World Heritage Site.

The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened color of its stone, the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades.

The gate is today closed for cars, but stands right next to one of the main streets of Trier.

The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors. In summer, guided tours are also offered by an actor dressed up as and portraying a centurion (a Roman army officer) in full armour.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Aula Palatina (Basilica of Constantine)

2) Aula Palatina (Basilica of Constantine) (must see)

The Basilica of Constantine, or Aula Palatina is a Roman palace basilica that was built by the emperor Constantine (306–337 AD) at the beginning of the 4th century.

Today it is owned and used as church by a congregation within the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. The basilica contains the largest extant hall from antiquity ranked a World Heritage Site. The room has a length of 67 m, a width of 26.05 m and a height of 33 m.

The Aula Palatina was built around 310 AD as a part of the palace complex. Originally it was not a free standing building, but had other smaller buildings (such as a forehall, an entrance vestibule and some service buildings) attached to it. The Aula Palatina was equipped with a floor and wall heating system (hypocaust).

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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Thermen am Viehmarkt (Forum Baths)

3) Thermen am Viehmarkt (Forum Baths)

Viehmarkt Roman Baths is a very interesting sight. It shows a part of the Roman baths complex and the remains of other Medieval structures, including a Capuchin monastery. Viehmarktplatz, where the baths were located, also used to be a cattle market. On the sight, excavations were done and now it is open for visitation. The sight shows a part of the history and development of Trier city. After some serious archaeological excavations, the site was enclosed in a glass cube, so as to better preserve it.
4
Römerbrücke (Roman Bridge)

4) Römerbrücke (Roman Bridge)

Römerbrücke or the Roman Bridge was built in 152 A.D. and it is the oldest bridge in the country. It is still functioning. The majority of the pillars are from the ancient times. Only the arches and the roadway are from the 18th century. Over the centuries, it survived many wars, including WWII. It is an amazing architectural monument and it is a UNESCO World Roman monument.
5
Barbarathermen (Barbara Baths)

5) Barbarathermen (Barbara Baths)

Barbarathermen was one of the biggest and most luxurious baths within the Roman Empire in the 2nd century. The complex was huge, rich and in addition to baths, it had an open pool and sports areas. The baths were functional until the 5th century. During the Middle Ages the spot was used as a quarry. Later, the standing walls of the baths were used to build a Jesuit college. Now the ruins are open for visitation and they still show the magnificence of the ancient sight.
6
Kaiserthermen (Imperial Roman Baths)

6) Kaiserthermen (Imperial Roman Baths) (must see)

Imperial Roman Baths (Kaiserthermen) are just ruins now. Still, the ruins show how big and impressive the complex was. The Trier Imperial Roman Baths were once one of the biggest in the world. The Baths from Trier were built upon the orders of Constantine I. The Baths consisted of hot and cold water; there were also sports grounds. They had subterranean passageways. Today the baths are open for visitors to explore.
7
Amphitheater

7) Amphitheater (must see)

Amphitheater or ruins of the old Roman amphitheater is a place worth seeing. It is huge and can seat about 25 000 people. The Amphitheater was built in the 1st century and was constantly in use. In the earlier centuries it was used as an arena for gladiator fights and other public presentations. During the 5th century, the sight became a place of refuge for locals from the Germanic invaders. Later the Amphitheater was used as a quarry. Today the Amphitheater is used for festivals and open air concerts.

Walking Tours in Trier, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Trier

Create Your Own Walk in Trier

Creating your own self-guided walk in Trier is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Trier Introduction Walking Tour

Trier Introduction Walking Tour

Set in the southwest of Germany amid the Moselle wine region, the city of Trier has been in place since the Roman times, attesting to which are a number of well-kept Roman structures, including the Black Gate (Porta Nigra), the ruins of Roman baths, and Römerbrücke - a stone bridge over the Moselle River. Among Trier’s other notable sights is undoubtedly St. Peter's Cathedral (aka Trier...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
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Karl Marx spent 17 years in Trier – for the man who was later driven from city to city, this first stint of his life would be his second longest in any one place. And though he spent twice as long in London, his hometown of Trier was perhaps the city that most shaped his story. ***PH***

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles