Trier and Bernkastel Germany October 9 2013 The day started early and was planned to be a long day since one of the locks we were to go through was under construction. What that meant is that it would only open during specific hours during the day. So two days’ of shore excursions were melded into one, and tomorrow will be spent cruising the entire day. The morning started out – as usual overcast, but

 this time portending rain. Our guide from yesterday, Frankie Kahn, met us and entertained us with stories, facts, and the evolution of words in various languages.

best place to buy priligy online Trier is Germany’s oldest town, named for an Assyrian prince who named it after himself (Treberis) somewhere around 2000 BC and over the years it evolved into its current name. In 16BC the legions of Julius Caesar set up an encampment here. At one point it was one of the four capitols of Europe, second only to Rome. At one point even Emperor Constantine made his home in Trier. As the home of a Roman Emperor, Trier was constructed with all the usual buildings: palaces, temples, amphitheater, public baths – and that is why Trier has more Roman ruins than anywhere north of Alps. Trier was the first per planned city. Its main roads run north/south and east/west. At the intersection, the Romans placed their forum. From that point a grid network of lesser ways was established with structures of lesser importance.

In current day, Trier is the home the largest manufacturer of Camel cigarettes, though owned by the Japanese Tobacco Co. International.

Along the way, we noticed that fall was coming to the Moselle Valley; leaves we’re starting to turn. Many of the older buildings of Trier were converted monasteries and cloisters in medieval times that recycled the walls and building materials of the Roman city.  In fact, the Roman city was twice the size of the Medieval city. Many advances of the Romans were discarded in Medieval days and not reintroduced until the early 1900’s like indoor plumbing, etc.  Only one of the three Roman bridges crossing the Moselle is still standing. During WWII, the allied forces released war prisoners housed nearby and together they were able to prevent the Germans from blowing up the bridge.

We headed to the earthen work amphitheater, so we drove across the top. Archeologists believe the amphitheater held almost 20,000 citizens, and hosted activities like Roman amphitheaters across the old Roman Empire. We got panoramic view of the city from there, including the amphitheater below and the Roman baths. A church dedicated to St Matthias is found here, a destination for pilgrimages throughout Christian history. In case you are not familiar with St Matthias, he is mentioned once in the Gospels – he was chosen to replace Judas. Trier is also the birthplace of Karl Marx, the founder of modern socialism. The house in which he was born features a signed first edition of Das Kapital.

Our walking tour began at the Porta Nigra, the Roman City gate constructed of sandstone and among the last remnants of the wall that used to surround Trier. We visited the city’s old Jewish quarter.

We visited the Imperial Roman Emperor’s Throne Room, all that’s left of the 306 AD Emperor Constantine’s Basilica, an impressive handmade brick structure, that proved over time to be highly resistant to destruction. Over time the structure gave way to other purposes and groups would try to expand the structure by taking down walls. However they found that extremely difficult. In fact, only two original walls are intact. In Roman times, the structure was heated with a complicated radiant heating system, the floors covered with black and white marble including Carrera from Italy, the walls with a reddish-purple marble or stone from Tunisia.  Today the structure houses the city’s Protestant church. We ventured on to the square where the monumental cathedral (St Peter’s Dom) stands next to a simple?? Parish Church of Our Lady. The cathedral is said to be house the Holy Tunic, the robe said to be worn by Jesus at the crucifixion.

By now, the sun was peeking through the clouds, so we searched the market square for a Rathskeller to enjoy lunch out on a terrace. After lunch, we returned to the bus and headed to Bernkastel. On the way, Frankie discussed winemaking and various vineyards and wineries along the Moselle. We stopped at on overlook to see an entire bend in the Moselle and the village or town enclosed in the bend. By now the overcast skies were back!

Bernkastel is the most picturesque town we have encountered. Bernkastel is on the north bank of the river; the town of Kues on the south. The bridge between the two was built in the 1900’s. In terms of governance, the two operate as one. The castle at Bernkastel is in ruins at the top of the hill, the Castle Landshut built in 1277 and burned in 1692. The most interesting site in Bernkastel is the Marktplatz, an ideal medieval town square with tall half-timbered houses with carved facades with shops on the street level. At one end is the town hall or Rathaus, center of government. In the center is a 17th century St Michael’s fountain, which during the annual September wine festival flows with wine. One of the town’s original gates still stands. Nearby we found the Doktorkeller, the best of the wineries here locally, known for its fine wine and the wine that gave rise to the legend. Legend: hundreds of years ago, the archbishop was ailing and failing fast. Local physicians were unable to help him get better. The archbishop was given wine from this small vineyard and he was brough back from the brink of death and he declared the wine his doktor. Doktorkeller means Doctor Cellar. Our guide led us to the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler winery where we tasted four Moselle Reislings. All were pretty sweet and not to my liking, though I did drink the entire tasting of the fourth, the sweetest, since it was the pride and joy of the family.  We wandered the town, I purchased a glass Christmas ornament of a bottle of Moselle wine made exclusively for a shop in town. I had to choose between a cuckoo clock ornament and a bottle of wine ornament – I let Mike choose. We strolled on to the River Queen, boarded and stayed on board for dinner and the night. We were scheduled to castoff at 4 in the morning.


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