Along the banks of the Moselle River in south-western Germany, surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards, sits Trier, Germany's oldest city. Founded in 16 BC in honour of Rome's first Emperor, Augustus, the settlement quickly became both a strategic position for the Roman army as well as cultural beacon for the Empire in its more northern provinces. By the 4th century, with a population between 75,000-100,000, the city known as 'The Rome of the North' was one of the largest and most important in the ancient world. Today, ruins of the Trier's amphitheater, chariot-racing stadium, imperial palace and bath complex are still be admired by architecture lovers and history buffs alike as part of the city’s designated UNESCO World Heritage-listed Site.
While Trier offers a wealth of Roman attractions, none are perhaps as recognizable or impressive as the Porta Nigra (the black gate). Constructed in 170 AD, and once a gateway to the ancient city, it is now the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. Standing as a true testament to the architectural prowess of the Romans and the importance of the region to the Empire, the Porta Nigra is a definite highlight to those exploring along the Rhine and Moselle.