Trier and the surrounding area
With a population of approximately 100,000, the University town of Trier is a lively regional hub in the middle of Europe. The oldest city on German soil, Trier was once a metropolis of the ancient world. As early as 1984 the city celebrated the 2,000th anniversary of its birth and, in the first centuries A.D., it was the Western world’s most important metropolis, ranking alongside Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria. Even today the city still offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a stroll through antiquity – in particular to view the city’s hallmark monuments,
- the Porta Nigra, the grand city gate;
- the Constantine Basilica, the former throne room of Kaiser Constantine;
- the Amphitheatre, with formerly circa 20,000 seats;
- the impressive Thermal baths and
- the Römerbrücke (Roman bridge), which after nearly 2,000 years still “holds up” under the demands of modern-day motorised traffic.
One should not forget later architectural treasures such as the Dom (cathedral) and Liebfrauenkirche – recognised by UNESCO as cultural assets of the international community – the Kurfürst Palais (Electoral Prince’s Palace) and numerous churches and cloisters. Particularly on the main market square, many architectural details of middle-class design can be seen in the facades of the buildings.
The assortment of cultural events in the city of Trier’s theatre and the Tuchfabrik (“cloth factory”: a centre for alternative arts), in its concert halls, cinemas, regional museum and other museums (e.g. also Karl Marx’s birthplace) and galleries is exceedingly diverse. A wide variety of restaurants, cafés and Weinstuben (restaurants specialising in wines) await visitors to the city. Particularly in the summer months, at more than 40 wine festivals along the Moselle, wine-growers present their regional wines and Viez (hard cider), which is often enjoyed in the region.
Those seeking a little rest will find an ample amount of countryside in and around Trier. In addition to numerous gardens and parks in the city, the nearby hilly vineyards provide for inviting walks and hiking expeditions. The mountain ranges of the Hunsrück and Eifel regions with their multifaceted flora and fauna which encompass the wide valleys adjacent the Moselle make for interesting excursions through forests, meadows, fields and, in particular, the unique natural wonders of the Eifelmaaren (volcanic lakes). An enticing attraction during the warmer season would be a bicycle (bicycles provided by the Academy) or boat tour on the Moselle, which offers a variety of scenery along its banks and picturesque vineyard landscapes. Last but not least, the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – the city and the country – and nearby France await your discovery.