Porta Nigra

Porta-Nigra-Platz, 54290 Trier, Germany

Considered the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps, the Porta Nigra has been designated a World Heritage Site.

More Recommendations

2,000 years in 2 minutes or less

In 2012, I visited Germany for business and decided to bring my 13 year old daughter along. She had been studying German for several years, and I felt this would be a good chance to allow her to practice it. My daughter also has an interest in Roman Archaeology. While I was aware of that fact, I was unaware that Germany actually has a fair amount of ancient Roman history extant, and suddenly a business trip with limited time for sightseeing because a quest for time to find these sites - since none of them were near where we were traveling. Trier was on my daughter’s hitlist. There are several Roman ruins within the city limits as well as a structural remain of Porta Nigra. Trier was nowhere near any of my appointments, so with a very limited window, we chose to get up very early, drive over an hour to get to Trier (where we would have 90 minutes) and then drive to my customer. The sites we actually visited were the amphitheater and Roman baths (cursory visits at best), but that left no time for the Porta Nigra. So as a sign of compromise, I promised her that when we drove out of the city, we would drive by the gate. This photo was taken from the front seat of the rental car, through the windshield, while driving past. Maybe someday she’ll have a chance to visit again with more time to dedicate to some of their fascinating sites.

Porte Nigra - impressive piece of antiquity

I visited Trier in 2006 and as part of the visit walked up to and into the Porte Nigra (Black Gate). You can walk up and touch the walls. An interesting fact is that you can still see the initials carved into the blocks by the stonemasons who laid them. This was how they were paid - by the number of blocks they laid - and to keep a record of this each mason carved his initials into the blocks. There is also a Roman bath in Trier that is worth a visit and also a bridge over the Mosel River that still retains its original foundation from Roman times. Trier is a beautiful city and I recommend making it a must see when in Germany.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at notification@afar.com.

Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR