Sightseeing in Trier
Trier's principal tourist draw, besides its Romanesque cathedral, is its Roman ruins, chief among them the four-story Porta Nigra (Black Gate) which is the largest Roman building in Germany and one of the best-preserved. It dates back to 180 AD and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. As part of the city’s defenses, it has a set of double gates with an inner courtyard, leaving potential attackers exposed to assault from above and from all sides. The building is constructed out of sandstone blocks, weighing up to six tons each, colored black from centuries of pollution. It was built without mortar and some of the original iron clamps attached with lead to the stone can still be seen. Note the holes in the stones where clamps were dug out during the Middle Ages when people recycled the lead.
Städtisches Museum Simeonstift
Adjacent to the Porta Nigra is the Städtisches Museum Simeonstift (Municipal Museum in the Simeon’s College), Simeonstiftplatz. Parts of the building date back to the 11th century, with the original oak floor of 1060 still being used in the cloisters. The museum mainly features exhibits relating to Trier from the Middle Ages to the present. It also has more than 300 Coptic textiles dating from the third to the ninth century.
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