"Porta Negra" Porta Nigra Tip by smschley

Porta Nigra, Trier: 43 reviews and 67 photos


Porta Negra or the Black Gate as some people call it is found right in the center of town and stands as the entrance to the old town. It is huge!!!! Its enormous dimensions make it a unique monument for its kind and time. Back in the 2nd century, when it was built, it presented a strong and effective defense to protect the Roman Empire against the Germanic tribe, and an impressive symbol of Rome’s might and power.

The Roman Empire was huge; it spread over the Middle East and from Africa to Britain and Germany. Towards the end of the Roman Empire, Trier, on the Moselle, was one of its capitals. There the Romans built a huge entrance gate around 180 AD, the Porta Negra, to keep the Celts out of the city. Master Roman builders piled up the stone blocks without using mortar. Iron clamps and the weight of adjacent blocks still keep the structure in place. The Porta Negra was preserved thanks to a Greek monk by the name of Simeon, who came to Trier in 1028 to seek a devout life of solitude. After his death, it was converted into a church, allowing it to be preserved. It was not until the arrival of Napoleon I that the Roman building had most traces of its past removed. The "Porta Negra" in Trier is perhaps the largest Roman portal still standing. The Gate has been called Porta Negra, or "Black Gate, as far back as the 11th century as this old Roman gate has been blackened by air pollution over the centuries

Directions: Downtown Trier

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 19, 2005
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