Porta Nigra

Top choice in Trier

Trier's most famous landmark, this brooding 2nd-century Roman city gate – blackened by time, hence the name, which is Latin for ‘black gate’ – is a marvel of engineering, since it’s held together by nothing but gravity and iron clamps. In the 11th century, the structure was turned into a church to honour Simeon, a Greek hermit who spent six years walled up in its east tower. After his death in 1134, he was buried inside the gate and later became a saint.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Trier attractions

1. Stadtmuseum Simeonstift

Adjoining the Porta Nigra, in the 11th-century priests' residence Simeon's College (retaining an original 1060-laid oak beam floor in the double-storey…

2. Museum am Dom Trier

0.21 MILES

Trier's cathedral was built on the site of the palace of Helena (the mother of Emperor Constantine). The prized exhibit here is a 4th-century Roman…

3. Hauptmarkt

0.22 MILES

Anchored by a 1595 fountain dedicated to St Peter and the Four Virtues, Trier’s central market square is surrounded by medieval and Renaissance…

4. Rotes Haus

0.24 MILES

On the Hauptmarkt, the Rotes Haus was the house of the bakers' guild master and secretary of the cathedral chapter, Johann Wilhelm Polch.

5. Spielzeugmuseum

0.24 MILES

Upstairs in the historic Steipe building on the Hauptmarkt, the Spielzeugmuseum is chock-full of miniature trains, dolls, wooden soldiers and other…

6. Domschatz

0.24 MILES

To peer into Christian history, from late Antiquity through to Romanesque, Gothic, baroque and the 19th and 20th centuries, head to the Domschatz. Along…

7. Trierer Dom

0.24 MILES

Looming above the Roman palace of Helena (Emperor Constantine's mother), this cathedral is Germany's oldest bishop's church and still retains Roman…

8. Liebfrauenbasilika

0.26 MILES

Germany’s oldest Gothic church was built in the 13th century. It has a cruciform structure supported by a dozen pillars symbolising the 12 Apostles (look…