TRIER: GERMANY’S HIDDEN ROMAN TREASURE

Kevin Eagan - Jan 27, 2009
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When one thinks of Germany today, one tends to imagine a state built for business tourism, a gigantic Potsdamer Platz full of super-modern structures and people in business suits. It is true that Germany is the European centre of business tourism and hosts more business events than any other European country. However, those who forget the beauty of Germany’s smaller town tourism do so at their cost. The country is littered with quaint medieval towns and historical sites. One of them lies near the Rhineland and has been described by historians as Germany’s oldest town: Trier. As the popularity of Roman-tourism grows around Europe, this town is certainly worth mentioning.

The town is said to boast the finest Roman ruins north of the Alps. Although the Roman ruins of the towns are, in some places, 12 feet below the streets of today, it still provides a picturesque reminder of the history of the area. For those interested in spectacular scenery, it is possible to take unforgettable boat trips down the river to Coblenz. Indeed, nobody denies the beauty of the area itself. Train trips to Basel from Trier are also common.

The town is also reminiscent of its history of being a trade crossroads for France, Germany and Belgium. Its importance in the past relating to trade has, nowadays, been replaced by its importance in the tourism industry. It was a provincial capital during Roman times. This explains why towers, walls and gates surround Trier along with a load of Roman arches. Perhaps the historical elements surrounding the area explain why the people are so relaxed. The 100.000 population seems very unperturbed by modern lifestyles and the town has a very unhurried and unglamorous ambiance. This is a certain attraction for many visitors.

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