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

Trier is a tiny little, absolutely charming town in west Germany which can be completely explored by only walking. 
Its infact the oldest city in Germany founded in 17 BCE and its the first ever Roman town built outside of Italy! It was then called Augusta Treverorum. Today the town has quite a few Roman monuments and 7 of those together are listed under UNESCO.

We went to Trier by train via Luxembourg, a journey that's about 4hrs long! So we reached Trier only by noon. Our first stop, in the afternoon, was the very important Porta Nigra. It was once a city gate, part of the city wall of the Roman times. This was built in 170 CE. After the fall of Roman Empire this was used for various purposes over the course of time. 

By 11th C CE, it housed monk Simeon. After him, the site began to be used for religious purposes. A magnificent Gothic church was built, expanding Porta Nigra. Some of the wall relief sculptures & engravings belong to the Baroque art period. However by 1803, during French Revolution, the religious extensions were all demolished. Since the sculptures and engravings were on the wall itself, they were let be! 

From here, we decided to take the bus to farthest site and then walk back stopping at each site, till their closing time. So, we headed to Amphitheatre. An excellent idea by the tourism department now, is the staircase just opposite to the ticket counter as soon as you enter. That ways, you can go up to see the amphitheatre in all its glory before heading down to see the finer details. The original city wall, once ran along the edges of the amphitheatre, exactly crossing through this viewpoint!
The Romans made this arena but digging into the slate rock here. The dug-out material, formed the elevation around for seating arrangement. Below this arena is the cellar! During excavations, several logs and beams belonging to various lifting systems were found, which would have originally used in lifting participants & animals to the arena. The cellar even has a sewage canal!

There are small entrances on the sides of the arena, some of which lead to rooms below the seating area and some lead to the ancient entrances on the other side. These were originally the public entrance. Today its been recreated. The walls of this passage had been completely filled with frescoes in its heydays! Today most of the plaster is gone and very few spots of the colors are visible in whatever is left of the plaster.
Today, dramas happen here regularly which are not included in the main ticket. When we visited, a rehearsal was happening and it was indeed fascinating to see them fight, with their costume, in the ancient arena!

Our next stop was Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen). Infact this is the site, that got me interested in visiting Trier. It looks like a mini Colosseum, doesn't it? Rome and Baths go hand in hand! Their love for communal bathing, and extensive bathing with 4 steps is well known and I've already posted about it in my posts on Bath in England and Caerleon in Wales

Its construction began in 3rd C CE and was completed in 4th C, after a pause. In course of time, it fell into disuse as a bath & was used as a castle, as a city wall and a monastery. There is an extensive underground labyrinth which served as a water/steam passage system. There were towers here originally under which logs were burnt to provide hot water for Caldarium & Tepidarium. The smoke was let to pass through, below the pool, making the hot water pool's wall and floor too have a heating effect! That's called Hypocastum (heated from below)!
That's getting a bit too long for a single post. I'll get back to you soon with the continuation. Btw, all the sites mentioned in this post 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.

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.


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


  1. I love discovering Roman ruins. I didn't know there were so many in Germany, so it's great to have another option to go see them.

  2. I never knew that the oldest city of Germany was founded in 17th BCE. It is very unique that it is the first Roman city outside of Italy, may be those times Italy must be so vast. Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen) also is interesting thing to visit here. I must say in ancient world bath was given a very big importance be it a Roman bath or Hamams of Middle East or royal baths of India. It is always interesting to see such places.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this detailed post. It is very helpful for first-time travelers like me. Happy to know that the sites are within walking distance from Trier HBF. :)

  4. I love discovering and exploring sites with great history. This is such a great post! And how cool that this is the first Roman city outside of Italy? In Germany? So very cool! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I’d never hear of Trier so thank you for the introduction. It has so much history there, I’d love to explore the Porta Nigra and Amphitheatre. It must be cool to watch the Roman performances. The Roman Baths are great to imagine life back in the day. Great itinerary!

  6. I had no idea there were ruins from the Roman Empire in Germany! I will have to put this on my list for when I go to Germany as I would love to see the amphitheater. It's very cool you got to see the rehearsal for a performance for free! You're right, the baths do look like a colosseum! I never would have guessed it wasn't one.

  7. Trier seems to be a beautiful little town with a lot of history attached, making for a nice day trip option from many popular cities, which are just 3-4 hours away by train.A Romanian city that too in Germany ? Would be so awesome to explore this in person.

  8. I am super intrigued by the bath. Using an underground tunnel for the water and it's basic structure... Wow. Quite a small town with so many heritage spots. Bet you had a blast!!

  9. There are few things that I enjoy more in this world than Roman ruins! These look absolutely spectacular, I need to get there!

  10. What a beautiful heritage. I would be happy to see the baths, it's something I haven't seen

  11. The architecture is so interesting! I really need to make a point to visit more smaller cities in my travels, you discover so many unique places!

  12. I love visiting old ruins like this. It's fun to imagine what took place there a long time ago. I never read about Roman ruins in Germany before! I was in Germany last year and didn't come across them on any of the posts I read when planning the trip. I wish I had!

  13. Wow, I never knew a small town like Trier would have so many Roman monuments! The Roman bath sounds very intriguing with that underground tunnel. Honestly, I didn't think of visiting before but your post definitely put this town on my list!


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