Porta Nigra, Trier, Germany

The Porta Nigra is the most advantageous starting point for a city test. Porta Nigra is the best-preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps – an incomparable link between the ancient past and today’s modern city.

The Porta Nigra itself dates back to a time (around 180 AD), when the Romans liked to build public buildings out of large squares (the largest ones here weigh six tons). The sandstone blocks from the nearby Kyll Valley were cut to size by a number of mill-driven bronze saws (some sawings are still visible) and placed without mortar. However, two stones each were joined horizontally through iron clusters, which were poured out in lead. Such a staple is still visible in the interior of the gate near the eastern spiral staircase; Rust marks of many former brackets can still be seen outside, because in the Middle Ages deep holes were carved, in order to rob the metal and melt.

Visit Germany. Epic German Adventure route © Monika Newbound

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