Friday, February 3, 2017

2014 Germany Trip - Roman Bridge (Römerbrücke) @ Trier (UNESCO World Heritage)

Location: Trier, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

<- previous: Electoral Palace and Palace Gardens

The Moselle was a considerable distance away from most of Trier's cluster of historical offerings but there was one UNESCO World Heritage Listed site there. I was willing to go out of my way to take a look at what the Roman Bridge had to offer, which unfortunately wasn't much.

The Roman Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The black blocks of stone serving as the pillars are basalt from the Eifel Mountains.

As generic sounding as the name is, the Roman Bridge is the oldest standing bridge in Germany still crossed by traffic, making this one of the most resilient engineering structure. Pillars of stone had replaced the original wooden structure, held together by clamps, whereas the red brick arches supporting an asphalt road were modern. The black color of the stones in the pillars was not due to age and weather, but was naturally that way as they were mostly basalt from the Eifel mountains.

Ancient does not equate useless. The Roman Bridge is currently used as a motorized roadway.

It was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status for as one of the standing Roman structures and because it was still well preserved but there was relatively little to marvel at. However it had played an important role in history as it was the bridge that crossed the main river in the region, so conquerors and defenders alike had plans to secure it in any battle. It was fortunate that the bridge was spared destruction during World War II as General Patton secured it quickly enough that the defenders had no time to blow it up.

It was however once blown up and damaged by the French in 1689 during the Nine Year's War, and when the bridge was restored, a crucifix and a statue of St Nicholas were added to the fifth pillar from the west, both of which could still be seen. The crucifix was on road level so was easily visible but the statue of St Nicholas was beneath the road level so you could only see it viewing from the river.

A crucifix decorating the bridge since the 18th century.

A closer look at Jesus

A column on the east end of the bridge

Not sure what the column stood for, perhaps I should have took a closer look...

Plaque commemorating the inscription into UNESCO World Heritage List

The serene Moselle River with random rowers spotted on the river.

For UNESCO World Heritage Site hunters and history aficionados, you would nevertheless go out of your way to visit the Roman Bridge. One may find the serene Moselle River a change of scenery from the famous areas crawling with tourists. Otherwise it may not be worth your time to travel off the beaten path for this bridge.

Environment:         A Roman bridge with ancient history
Suitable for:            History buffs
Visit worthiness:   4.5/10
Historical value:        5.0/5.0 
Architectural value:  1.0/5.0
Photographic value:  1.0/5.0
Landmark value:       2.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                 free
Opening Hours:             always open
Best Moment to Visit: anytime
Length of Visit:              <1 hour


Contact:                    -
E-mail:                      -
Address:                   Römerbrücke, 54294 Trier, Germany

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