My first visit to family in Germany where my Son-in-Law is stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base in South West Germany,
I was fortunate to be shown around to local castles with the last weekend being spent in Bruges, Belgium. Midweek I hopped a train for the day to Cochem to see a castle and just enjoy the day,
The first morning, I accompanied my daughter and grandson to Himmerod Abbey.
Founded in 1134 by St. Bernard and going through good times and bad for the next 883 years, it was closed due to the dwindling number of Monks and financial concerns. Only 6 Monks remained when it was closed in 2017. The Monastery is once again open and a part of the Archdiocese of Trier. Click here for the history on the Monasteries website if you either use Google Chrome OR speak fluent German.
Lying in ruins a number of times over the centuries, as Monasteries fell in and out of favor,
the final reconstruction was completed in 1960 after being halted in 1934 by the National Socialists Party who confiscated the Monasteries assets. Numerous political and national factions controlled the region throughout its history,
Click on the photograph above to be taken to my Gallery of Abtei Himmerod.
The next morning off we went to Trier, home of the furthest North structures from the Roman Empire and the oldest Cathedral in Germany. After getting the messiest hot dog I have ever had for lunch we set off to explore.
First place we headed was the Cathedral but in the Market Square I noticed a gate. Asking my daughter what it was she admittedly was at a loss so in we went to explore. Below is what we found beyond a few century old headstones and crypts. The church of St Gangolf. A beautiful, quiet place built over a thousand years ago and the second oldest church in Trier. Gothic in nature and lit by natural light, Simple yet elegant,
Following St Gangolf we moved on to the High Cathedral of St. Peter also known as the Cathedral of Trier. Said to have been commissioned by Emporer Contantine the Great in the 4th century it was left in ruins by the Franks, then rebuilt. In 883 it was destroyed by the Vikings. Rebuilding began in the 10th century with the final Apse not being completed until 1196. Throughout the centuries the church continued to be rebuilt and embellished, according to the fashion of the period with Gothic vaults, Renaissance sculptures and Baroque chapels, but the overall style of the building remains Romanesque with a Roman core.
The Seamless Robe of Jesus, the robe said to have been worn by Jesus shortly before his crucifixion, is the best-known relic of the cathedral. It is kept in an annex chapel a peek of can be seen below.
Seemingly contained in the same structure with a separate entrance is the
Church of our Lady, built in the 13th century and standing upon the original Roman Columns many feet below the surface.
A Roman double church originally stood here. The southern portion was torn down around 1200 and completely replaced by the Early Gothic Church of Our Lady.The exact date of the start of construction can no longer be determined, however a painted inscription inside on a column in the church reads: "The construction of this church was started in 1227 and ended in 1243" however, it is currently thought construction began in 1230 by Archbishop of Trier Theodoric II Around 1260, the building was probably finished. In 1492, a high peak was placed on the central tower, which was named because of its high technology and degree of craftsmanship The high peak was destroyed in a storm in 1631. Subsequently a hipped roof was built, which was destroyed in the Second World War. It was first replaced in 1945 by a roof and then by a steeper one in 2003.
The Cathedral and The Church of Our Lady entrance
Click on any of the photos to be taken to the Trier Gallery
The Black Gate built in the 2nd century by the Romans and the only Roman gate North of the Alps.