Roman Monuments of Trier - Part II (RLP - Germany)

Continuing from my last post on the monumental buildings that still stand intact since the Roman times. From Imperial Baths our next destination was Barbara Baths.


Barbara Baths (Barbarathermen) is infact larger than Imperial Baths. How large? Size of 6 football fields!!! However this is in a more ruined state than Imperial Baths. Today it has the most comfortable set-up by the tourism department, to view the site. A wooden platform, that goes from one side to another, has placards explaining each and everything that you see at that point. This was built in 2nd C CE.
See the little pillars that hold the flooring? Below this was the floor heating of Hypocastum that I mentioned earlier. This place seems to have been filled with several sculptures which were inspired or copied from Classical Greek sculptures. These as well as pillar fragments & other archaeological finds are kept today in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum. 
By this time, it was already evening and our final stop was Roman Bridge, obviously because it has no 'closing time'! This was constructed in 144-152 CE. The stone columns belong to that era. However the arches and roadways were built in recent years. 
On the way back to our hotel, was the Frankenturm. Also a Roman Tower, but not under UNESCO. Its name comes from Franco of Senheim, who lived there in the 14th century. It was closed for renovation when we went, so unfortunately we couldn't see in or look at the view from atop here!

Next day  our first stops were Trier Cathedral and Church of Our Lady. I'll come back with a dedicated post about the 2 churches. Next we headed to Konstantin Basilica. This is nothing but a very large, single cubicle. It may not take more than a few minutes to 'see' it! However this is an architectural shocker! It is so large (32m x 61m and 36m tall) but doesn't have a single pillar in it!!! This is the largest building without columns, surviving since Roman Era! This was built around 300 CE and was the Throne room of Emperor Constantine the Great! Today, since the middle of the 19th century, it has been used as a Protestant church, the oldest in Trier.

The building is not only monumental, but was also completely painted. Today, bits & pieces of the plaster can still be found on the window sill, when you see it from outside. The architecture has 2 important optical illusions that add to the massiveness of the building. One, is the number of rows of panes per window. The upper ones are lower than the lowers ones that confuse the perspective for the viewer. Two, the ceiling - each square is actually 3ft x 3ft. But it doesn't feel so, thanks to the 2-step pyramidal structure, that visually increases the height! 
See the several holes in the wall? During the times of Emperor Constantine, the whole wall was decorated with engraved marbles that were mounted on it with iron hooks. When the building was destroyed, the marbles were taken down! The 2 types of bricks are evident in the wall as well - the originals are the wide thin ones (approx 32cm x 3cm), the same as see in Imperial Baths as well. 
Finally we headed to Rheinisches Landesmuseum. Its a very large museum and would take an entire day to see. Chronologically, the displays are from Paleolithic Era till post-Roman era. If you don't have that much time to spend, here are some things about Trier, that you shouldn't miss! 



1. Frescoes on the walls of Roman houses - Few of the retrieved wall frescoes have been expanded to give an idea of how the whole wall would have looked like. One of the fascinating piece is the entire lower panel of the wall of about  2ft x 6ft is almost completely intact, with its cranes and plants! There's another one which is decorated with multi-color spray painting! 
2. Roman sculptures & architecture - As I mentioned earlier, Roman Trier had several Roman architecture and sculptures, including copied/inspired ones from Classical Greek. Most that were excavated here, are here in display.


3. Roman Mosaics - This museum has the largest collection of Roman Mosaics in the north of Alps!
If you still have time, do watch 'In the Realm of Shadow', a movie about the Roman times in Trier!
Unfortunately we missed Igeler Column. It is located in Igeler which is the next railway station after Trier Sud on the way to Luxembourg. We could have gotten down there, seen the column and got on to the next train. However with the luggage (yes, traveling with toddler means, I have a suitcase, even if its just a 3 day trip) and hourly once train, it seemed complicated. So yeah, we chose to skip it.
All the sites mentioned in the earlier post & this, except the museum & Frankenturm are together are listed under UNESCO as Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St.Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier! 

To Get There:
Nearest Railway Station: Trier HBF
All sites are walkable from Trier HBF. Amphitheatre is the farthest at 1.5km. 
Buses are also available in the city.

To Stay:
Hotels at all price points are available in Trier.
Click here to read the review of the very unique hotel - Residenz am Zuckerberg Hotel.

Entry tickets & timings:
For all sites: €4 per site; 9:00AM to 4:00-6:00PM in winter & summer respectively
All sites are included in Antiken Card Premium (€18) (best for atleast 2 days stay). 
With Antiken Card Basic (€12) any 2 Roman sites and the museum alone can be seen (best for a day trip).
The validity of the cards are 1 year though. So if you're in nearby cities, you could anyways go for Premium & go back to Trier for another weekend within a year.
  
My complete Trier travelogue: Roman Monuments (Part 1 & Part 2), 

P.S: I was invited by Trier Tourism to experience the region for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

6 comments:

  1. I sadly didn't make it further west than Frankfurt when I was last in Germany. I'd love to check out the Roman ruins in Trier! The Roman Bridge reminds me a little bit of the St. Charles Bridge in Prague, but I'm sure it's less crowded! I love that you can still see the holes in the wall where they took the marble down. For some reason, seeing imperfections/holes like these just makes historical places come alive and seem real.

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  2. I've actually never heard of Trier. There is so much history to explore in the city though. I can't believe the Barbara Baths are so huge! It would be interesting to watch the 'In the Realm of Shadow' movie at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum to learn more about the history of Trier.

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  3. I love Roman ruins and visited many in Europe. However, I've never heard of Roman Baths the size of 6 football fields. If they weren't "Imperial" baths I would think they were for the population at large, maybe for an entire city. Konstantin's Basilica reminds me of Hagia Irene church in Istanbul, which was also built during the Roman's Emperor reign. Very similar constructions.

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  4. Jane Dempster-SmithAugust 15, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    I have never heard of Trier. I am amazed to learn that the baths are the size of 6 football fields. I enjoy looking at frescoes, glad to see that one of them is still intact. Those mosaic tiles are something else aren't they? Thanks for the information on visiting.

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  5. You have been to so many UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Trier is definitely on my list after your posts. It's so nice that the baths were so uncrowded. I love exploring ancient ruins. I'd also love to see the frescoes and mosaics. It's wonderful they have such large fresco intact!

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  6. Roman ruins are so intriguing and I am still in shock that these are in Germany! After your last post, I couldn't stop thinking about it! I'm thinking I need to plan a visit very soon. The mosaics are so beautiful and I would love to see them in person! And so interesting about the marbles being taken off the wall! It's so interesting and I would not have even thought twice about it had I walked by!

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