Eight questions for...

Yasmin Nicholson, student

When I visit the World Heritage Sites of Trier, what should I definitely not miss?

An absolute must is a visit to the Porta Nigra. The so-called "Black Gate" is the emblem of the city. Its dark coloring gives the Porta Nigra its name. It was built in light sandstone in the second century AD, but in the intervening 1,800 years, wind and weather have darkened the color of the stone. Today the Black Gate is the best-preserved Roman monument that Trier has to offer.

What do you particularly like here?

I am always impressed by the Roman Amphitheater, which was built between 160 and 200 AD to hold 20,000 spectators. Gladiators once fought for their lives here. The underground cellar complex beneath the imposing arena still exists and can be explored. Gladiators and lions supposedly awaited battle in those vaults. When visiting Trier today you can watch one of these matches, which are restaged in great detail during the annual Roman Spectacle.

Do you have an insider tip?

I recommend an adventure tour through the emblem of the city of Trier, the Porta Nigra, where you can go on a journey back in time through the centuries. It begins with the construction of the building as the north city gate around 200 AD and ends with an appearance from the French Emperor Napoleon who restored the gate – after it was used as a church in the Middle Ages – to its original form in the 18th century.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

Above all I was fascinated by the highly sophisticated Roman architecture. Considering the technological limitations that Roman architects faced almost 2,000 years ago, you really become aware of what architectural masterpieces these are.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

The tourists' high season is in the months from April through October. But a visit to the World Heritage city is well worth it outside this period too. Guided city tours and trips are available all year round.

What else should I see here?

You should definitely see the Cathedral of St. Peter and the Church of Our Lady. The Church of Our Lady is a significant High Gothic building, and the Cathedral of St. Peter is one of Germany's oldest episcopal churches. With its origins in the period around 320 AD, the cathedral houses one of the most important relics of antiquity: the so-called Holy Shroud. According to legend, this is a piece of the clothing worn by Jesus Christ. The mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine supposedly brought the piece to Trier.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

The "Mehlkniedel with Griewen", a flour dumpling with bacon and homemade apple sauce. Just as highly recommended are the delicious pancakes with sour cream, sauerkraut, liver- and blood sausage, which can also be served vegetarian. A glass of white wine from the region would go well with that.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

Speyer Cathedral, whose crypt is the largest columned hall in Europe.

Yasmin Nicholson

has known the World Heritage city of Trier since childhood. She grew up just a few kilometers north of the city in the village of Schleidweiler.

The German-American went to high school in Trier, and has been studying Culture and Tourist Management in Cologne since 2010. In 2012 she completed an internship at the Tourist Information Office in Trier.

 

Trier

78 km

Völklingen

158 km

Lorsch

51 km

Speyer

66 km

Maulbronn