Tag Archives: Architecture

Day 13: Trier, Germany’s Oldest City

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Trier’s history is one of the most fascinating stories in Europe. Beginning with the rule of Julius Caesar in 50 BC when he ordered Roman walls to be erected to protect its soldiers and citizens to destruction in World War II, it transcended the presence of Constantine, who held court in the reception hall in 300 AD; the monk who lived in medieval times in the Porte Negra; the rape, pillage and trading of the Vikings; and the arrival of Napoleon.

The major buildings include the Porte Negra, the only remaining Roman wall today; the Basilica, where it served as a pilgrimage church during the Crusades; and the Reception Hall where Constantine met his guests.

Photos from top:

1. Map of Trier, with the Moselle River inning through it;
2. The Basilica
3. The Konigstherme

Day 11: Reconstruction of Reims

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The magnificent Reims Cathedral is still under construction and funds continue to be raised to complete the portions that were destroyed in WW 1. The Rockefellers were big donors in the past.

Having just visited Westminster Abbey and the exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on this trip, I can appreciate the scale and proportion of this Gothic cathedral.  The community of Reims must have been extremely proud and passionate about this monument. It is no wonder that any destruction of such an iconic value to a community is devastating and unrecoverable unless it is rebuilt in its entirety.

Being a champagne producing  area certainly fueled the economy of Reims and therefore its ability to fund such an elaborate structure. Walking through town, I noticed many fine patrician buildings dating from 1889 and earlier.

We did take a champagne tour at Casanova-Martell. Champagne is made from three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunière. The juice provides the sugar and the skin provides the yeast. We had a delicious tasting of three champagnes.

Photos, from top:

1. The exterior of Reims cathedral, still under construction.

2. The Nave of the cathedral

3.  The vaulted ceiling, of which portions were bombed in 1914-1918

4. The Rose Window at the South end

5. The Marc Chagall windows at the apse