The Porta Nigra is a huge blackened Roman gate on the northern edge of the old city. Its name means "black gate", and it comes not from Roman Latin, but from the Middle Ages, when its grey sandstone had taken the distinctly black shade it has today. The gate is the only one remaining of a system of four, and was saved from destruction twice, for the different reasons but the same cause.
While the other gates were being torn apart by locals looking for building material in the Middle Ages, Porta Nigra was converted into a church after it had been the resident of a sanctified hermit for the last years of his life. St Simeon gained the town a church next door to the Porta, Simeonstift, but the gate itself was transformed. It was saved again later, when Napoleon order the church to be destroyed, only to spare it by having it converted by to its original Roman form.
Today the gate looms large over the main street to the market place from the north, and it's upper floors can be visited for excellent views of the town and nearby countryside.
Römer Express, the little tourist train, runs daily nearly the whole year round. It departs from in front of Porta Nigra. The tour takes 35 min, and recorded information is given in English, French, Chinese, Russian as well as German.
April - October: every 25 min between 10.00 and 18.00 (2 trains)
November, Decenber and March: every hour from 10.00 to 17.00 (Sat and Sunday every 30 min)
January - February: Sat and Sunday 10.00 - 17.00 (weatherpermitted)
Price: adult 7 Euro, children 6 - 14 years 4 Euro.
The mighty Porta Nigra is nearly all that remains of the old Roman fortifications except for some stretches of the city wall. It is said to be the largest city gate north of the Alps and is a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Porta was built in sandstone somewhere between 180 and 200 AD. It was the northern gate of five in the defensive wall.
The stone has later been darkened in colour due to pollution - that gave it the name Porta Nigra already in the Middle Ages. The slabs were cut by bronze saws powered by mill wheels. Instead of using mortar two stones each were held together horizontally by iron clamps whose bent ends were embedded in holes filled by molten lead. Many of the stones, weighing up to 6 tons, were later (mostly in the early Middle Ages) reused for building other edifices. But in 1028 a Greek monk, Simeon, had himself walled up in the eastern tower as a hermit until his death a couple of years later. He was buried inside the gate and declared a saint. Two churches were built into the gate in honour of him, one of them being the monastery Simeonstift. They were torn down in the beginning of the 1800s.
The Porta Nigra can be visited inside, opening hours as follow:
April - September: daily 9:00 - 18:00
October and March: daily 9:00 - 17:00
November - February: daily 9:00 - 16:00
Entrance fees (as of 2011):
adults: 3 Euro
children under 18: 1,50 Euro
pensioners and students over 18: 2,10 Euro.
If you want to watch the Aventure Performance in Porta Nigra, follow this link which shows the information for 2011.
This huge structure dates back to the 2nd century, and was one of the town gates.
It is possible to get inside it, but I was happy enough to just see the exterior.
For 700 years it was a church - St Simeons.
Is it the most important sight in Trier?
I don't know, but I do know, it is VERY IMPRESSIVE!
We didn't have time to do the tour with a Roman centurion showing the way, but maybe, you will have!
The gate dates back to A.D. 180, when the Romans often erected public buildings of huge stone blocks.
The biggest block here weigh's 6 tonne's! Wow!
That is a monster to move around!
The slabs were cut by bronze saws and put together without mortar, the two stones each were held together horizontally by iron clamps, whose bent ends were embedded in corresponding holes by molten lead.
One clamp is visible inside the gate near the eastern spiral staircase.
The inside where traces of the double church, Roman stone masons' marks, and date inscriptions are visible can be visited.
ADMISSION IN 2012...Adult's 3 euro's
April - September: daily 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
October and March: daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
November - February: daily 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
March 2012: Each Saturday: 3:00 p.m.
April to October 2012: Each Friday: 3:00 p.m.......Each Saturday: 1:15 and 3:00 p.m.
Sundays and holidays: 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
July to October 2012: Each Wednesday: 3:00 p.m.
November to December 2012: Each Saturday: 3:00 p.m.
Admission is about 15 minutes before start of the performance.
Website for adventure performance's.....
Duration: about 1 hour and 15 minutes
Prices: Adults 11.50 euro's
Under Roman rule, Trier was a fortified border city surrounded by high walls. Today, the only remnant of those walls still visible is the Porta Nigra, or Black Gate. Completed in the second century AD, it's the most important Roman ruin in all of Germany. During the Middle Ages, a monk named Simeon lived here, which is why it survived (unlike the other gates, that were taken down and their materials reused). A church named St Simeon was added, with a small monastery occupying the top floors. But Napoleon took down the church in 1803. Today, it retains its medieval appearance. It is probably the best surviving example of Roman military architecture today.
The Porta Nigra ( black gate) stands some 100ft high at the foot of the City, it was built by the Romans, in the 3rd century. It is thought to have been built around 180 AD, making it the oldest City gate to still be standing.
Now it is a U.N.E.S.C.O. site.
You can go into the building but I'm not sure of the price.
According to the tourist literature, the Porta Nigra is the largest surviving Roman city gate north of the Alps. It's hard to believe this structure is around 1800 years old.
The Porta Nigra is striking, for sure. You may purchase a combination ticket for both the Porta Nigra and the City Museum, which I highly suggest since it is only 6 Euros.
Climb the steps of the Porta Nigra and you will have a nice view of Trier.
the porta nigra (black gate) was built by the romans in the 2nd century AD. this massive gate is the oldest defensive structure in germany. during the middle ages it was named porta nigra because the sandstone blocks of the gate had weathered and turned black. in the 12th century the porta nigra housed the church of st. simeon. the church was in operation until the early 18th century. the porta nigra is open to the public for a small fee.
The Porta Nigra -- or Black Gate -- is a massive stone gate on the northern end of the Trier Walkplatz. Itwas built by the Romans as the northern gate to the city in about 100 AD. The stones were connected with massive iron bands rather than mortar. The Porta Nigra, along with three other gates and extensive walls provided defense for this In the middle ages, a Greek hermit named Simeon occupied the gate as his home. Later, this gate was turned into a massive church. Finally, during Napoleon's conquests of Europe, the church was demolished, leaving the gate near its original Roman form, as you see it today.
Today the Porta Nigra is Trier's most well known historic attraction. It also marks the northern end of the pedestrian walkplatz -- an area known for its food, drink, shopping, and history.
During the annual Christmas Market, a stage is set up in front of the Porta Nigra. Be sure to catch the "Oompa Bands" playing classics like "Sweet Caroline" on their tubas!
The Porta Nigra is open to the public, no charge to wander through the gates and about 2 Euro to tour the upper floors.
I can't leave out the impressive Roman Gate. To walk through it is to enter the past. There is a museum which we didn't visit, and the opportunity to enter the gate and get a higher view. We did have dinner overlooking the square though and it was one of the better places we ate on our trip. Very scenic.
Just learning how large the Porta Nigra is, is a bit overwhelming. The massive structure is some 36 meters long, 23 meters wide and 30 meters high. It was constructed using sandstone blocks without any morter.
When we walked inside the Porta Nigra we saw rough pillars and tablatures of the internal decoration which are in fact only roughly finished. We also saw some traces of destruction on the northern side of the gate. We learned that stones were taken out for reuse of other buildings in Trier. In addition, iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Fascinating history!
The gate is today closed for cars. One of the main streets of Trier goes right near it and therefore the fumes of cars have damaging the stones for decades. Still the Porta Nigra is in remarkable condition.
The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors. During the summer season guided tours are offered by an actor dressed up as and portaying a Centurio (a Roman army officer) in full armor.
The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 180 and 200 A.D.. We thought that was quite amazing! Such an old building preserved so well. Unbelievable! Not many people know that it was converted into a church (St. Simeon's) around 1040 and was restored to its original state in between 1804 and 1817. For us a good reason not only to have a look at the outside, but definately inside as well.
Once inside we were amazed by its beautiful galleries. We also had a good view at the narrow courtyard that seperates the two gate openings on either side. Just being inside the Porta Nigra gave us a very good sence of history.
Not only is Trier the oldest city in Germany, it is also a Roman City. Facing the threat of an Germanic invasion, the Romans finally built a city wall around A.D. 180. There is still a lot of evidence of this and the Porta Nigra is almost perfectly preserved.
Porta Nigra means black gate and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name orignated in the Middle Ages due to the darkned colour of its stones. Weird enough the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals usually refer to it as "Porta".
It trully can't be missed whenever you enter the old town from the northern side. It's really very impressive and when we heared from the locals that today it's the largest still standing Roman city gate north of the Alps, we have no reason at all to doubt that remarkable fact.
This is the very symbol of Trier and one of the finest Roman Relics anywhere. Built toward the 2nd centruy AD as a massive fortified gate, it was converted into a church about 1040 and restored to its original appearance by Nepoleon after 1804, when Trier was a part of France. No mortar was used in its construction; instead, the stone blocks are joined by iron clamps. The name, meaning black gate, derives from its present color - the result of centruies of pollution.