As we near the end of our time here in Germany, we are realizing there are some places nearby that we'd still really like to see. Over the weekend we checked two of them off our list. :)
First stop was Trier, supposedly the oldest city in Germany.
This Porta Nigra (Black gate) is left from when the Romans ruled the town, about 200 AD. It was later used as a church for a time, but is now just ruins.
We had way too much fun tromping around the BLACK GATE in search of the dragon with fiery breath and pink polka dots. hee hee
The view of downtown from the Porta Nigra was classic medieval Germany. We noticed dates from the 1600s on many of the buildings as we walked around.
We checked out this cathedral in Trier. It is (again supposed to be) the oldest cathedral in Germany. (I thought the one we went to in Aachen was as well, but I rechecked- and apparently that is the oldest cathedral in Northern Europe.) At any rate, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Constantine commissioned its building back in the 300s. I hate to sound jaded, but we have seen SO MANY old cathedrals in the past 3 years, and we agreed this one seemed kinda unremarkable to us.
Karl Marx was from Trier. We skipped the Marx Museum, but found this 'Modehaus Marx' kind of amusing. It takes guts to use Marx's name for a capitalist endeavor. ;)
This is the Konstantinbasilika in Trier. It has apparently been turned into a church as well?? It used to be the seat of government for the ruling Romans.
After spending the afternoon in Trier we drove into France to visit Metz. Metz is not a major tourist destination, but some of my Kaufman ancestors come from there and since it is only 2 hours from our house, I have really wanted to visit.
The cathedral of St. Etienne in Metz is very central to the old town. My ancestors were Catholic, and while I don't know if they ever attended mass here, it was fun to imagine they did. It has been here since the 13th century, so they certainly could have.
Anyway, I loved this Madonna and child above the door. You rarely see Mary and Jesus portrayed as smiling at one another so warmly, but I'm sure it happened. :)
Inside the Cathdral of St. Etienne.
Outside the cathedral.
There was a flea market and open air food market going on outside as well. We 'perused the merchandise' and bought the kiddos a soft pretzel for the ride. It was a fun, simple little trip. :)