Grand Tour


 Kaiser Konstantin, Palastgarten Trier 

How about a "Grand Tour" in the heartlands of Europe, starting with Rome in Trier? Thank you Roger for sharing your impressions:

“…What is extraordinary about the Greater Region’s Roman ruins is how readily they have been adapted and subsumed into the everyday life of its inhabitants.

For the visiting British archaeologist interested in Roman remains, used to seeing nothing higher than knee-height, Trier comes as a bit of a shock.



There is the imposing stone gate of Porta Nigra, apparently miraculously transported entire from two millennia ago to fetch up improbably on the Mosel.

Then comes the astonishing Basilika where one can imagine so readily the overwhelming presence of a Roman Emperor, enthroned in state in the apse.



Both the amphitheatre and the Kaiserthermen offer ruins of enormous scale and power at once human in their detail, down to the imprint of a pair of compasses trapped against the shuttering of a concrete vault while it dried, yet imposing in their scale. 




For me, however, the real Roman Trier is revealed in the Dom and the Bischöfliches Museum. In the former you can glimpse in the Domstein and the sheer wall of the transcept with its huge blocked windows the enormity of Gratian’s cathedral, itself successor to the great Constantinian double basilica: a scale model in the Bischöfliches Museum shows how these fitted into the whole so that one is left in awe at the enormity of the project.


More touchingly in the same museum are the delicate ceiling paintings of the Constantinian palace demolished to make way for the Cathedral and, most movingly, the plain plaster wall from the altar where pilgrims carved their graffiti to commemorate their visit to one of the great early churches of Constantine’s Empire.

With such riches it is no surprise that the townspeople believe their city older than Rome itself! …

Roger White, Birmingham  

P.S.:

The pictures are found in the Palastgarten and "on the attic"... they might give the impression that rainy clouds in Trier are present as often as the church bells are ringing... well, we know it better!


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