"The Porta Nigra" Porta Nigra Tip by aeroanthony

Porta Nigra, Trier: 43 reviews and 67 photos

To touch a piece of history? Is that such an experience?

My first sight of the Porta Nigra is shown in the picture here. I was astounded and amazed. All of that magnificence and not one ounce of mortar. A quick walk through an underground tunnel took me to the other side of the street pictured. A quick jaunt only and I was standing beneath a structure that had stood there for countless street crossings.

When I laid my hand on the cold, untiring stone of the Porta Nigra, I knew at once the majesty of touching history. You see, my maternal grandfather was a genealogy buff and traced our lines past Charlemagne and on to a few lesser royalties dating back to ca. AD 300. The Porta Nigra, however, was built ca. AD 180?120 years prior to my furthest tracked ancestor was born.

In years, the structure was erected some 1,790 years before my birth?around 1,820 years prior to AD 2004. In a more familial aspect, depending on your current age, you can trace back approximately 90 generations to the time of the Porta Nigra?s construction. Ninety generations. Wars have been fought, cities have been razed, kingdoms have been built (and have fallen), and entirely new worlds have been discovered in that time.

The Porta Nigra was built prior to computers, prior to calculators, heck, prior to anything resembling modern mathematics. It was build prior to backhoes and cranes, prior to any semblance of mechanized aid. It was built by men at the end of ?Pax Romana? whose great-grandfathers may have witnessed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the fall of Pompeii?men who thrived under the rule of Marcus Aurelius (121 AD-180 AD) and would soon suffer under the rule of his son, Commodus (161-192).

All of that in the hearts and minds of the men who built this structure, and here I was in modern-day Germany with my hand on a piece of history?a piece of history carved from stone millennia before my great-great grandfather was even a glimmer in my great-great-great grandfather?s eyes.

Address: Next to Simeonstrasse.
Directions: Near the entrance to the old town.
Website: http://www.erlebnisfuehrungen.de/zenturio/einzelgaeste.php

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 15, 2004
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