There is a legend from the beginning of the 12th century, according to which the city of Trier was founded by Trebeta, the son of the Assyrian King Ninus, who later married Semiramis. When Ninus died, Trebeta was banished by his step-mother Semiramis and went to Europe, where he founded the city of Trier around 2000 B.C.
So, Trier turns out to be much older than Rome (for more info on its connection with Rome, see Part I) as it is also written on the façade of the Red House in the Trier Market that dates from 1684:
ANTE ROMAM TREVIRIS STETIT ANNIS MILLE TRECENTIS… / Before Rome, Trier stood 1300 years…
I’ve already reconciled myself to the fact that I can’t take presentable photographs of the Trier Head Market due to the constant crowds that wander about it – before you, behind you, under your nose, in front of the camera…. And due to the market stands, the tables of the restaurants, and so on. That’s why I have to disregard the aesthetics in that case. But there is one thing that cannot remain unnoticed – it is considered to be one of the most beautiful markets/squares in Germany. It was built in the 10th century by the Trier Archbishops (see Part I).
The most outstanding edifice is without a doubt the so-called Steipe. The powerful Trier Archbishops had had constant opponents in the person of a wealthy and influential citizenry who had built edifices as status symbols as a sign for their competition with the clergy. Such a building was the Steipe from 1430 that was used for meetings and festivities.
Another ‘building-protest’ was the Market Church of St. Gangolf. Its history began in 964, but in 1507, the height of its spire was increased to 62 m. in order to exceed the height of the Trier Cathedral (see part I).
Petrusbrunnen/Fountain of Saint Peter, the patron saint of Trier, was an archbishop’s commission. It was crafted by the great master Hans Ruprecht Hofmann in 1595 (see part I and Prüm).
Near the Head Market is the so-called Judengasse/Jewish Lane from the 13th century that had led to the former Jewish quarter. Yet in 1349, the Jews were accused of having caused the plague and were banished from the town. (Bear in mind that Trier was in more recent times the birthplace of the prominent Karl Marx, who was also of Jewish descent.)
Dreikönigenhaus (draikønigenhaus), or House of the Three Magi, named after a painting representing the worship of the Three Wise Men that once had stood at the house, is a defense living tower from 1230, in which type of living towers the wealthy and influential families had lived at one time.
Although I have another favorite, very beautiful church in Trier that awaits its turn a long time ago, I think that this is the proper time to show the former St. Irminen Monastery, as we’ve already spoken of that mysterious woman in the previous publication.
On the Moselle bank, there were in Roman times cereal storages that the Merovingian King Dagobert I donated to the Trier Archbishop for the construction of a Benedictine female monastery in 645-659. From the Latin word Horreum/storage, later derives the addition to Irmina’s name – of Oeren, who then became the second abbess of that monastery.
In 1768-69, the Baroque church was built and was named after Saint Irmina.
The Roman bridge over the Moselle River from AD 144-152 is the oldest one not only in Germany but also in Europe north of the Alps.
One of the two treadwheel cranes along Moselle River. The one is from the 18th and the other from the beginning of the 15th century. This one is the Old Crane from 1413 – an important economic landmark of Trier, and one of the oldest installations of that kind in Germany.
That is all from Trier for now. More – in part 3.