Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Roamin’ - Thursday 5th October

In Trier, one never suffers from the impression that one is the first to set foot in the place.  It’s been here for a seriously long time, and while one wet and chilly ride on the little tourist train is not enough to make one an expert, it does leave a lot to codjutate on over goulash and sauerkraut and dumplings in a very warm cafe.

For instance there’s the fact that it’s a city pretty much since before “BC” was adopted as a measure of centuries.  It was indeed the capital of the western Roman empire and still has many buildings still standing from those early centuries, the dominant “Porte Nigre” or “Black Gate” being among them although it wasn’t even given it’s name until sometime in the middle ages when pollution began to take its toll. It was saved from demolition in those years apparently as it was the refuge and eventual tomb of a hermit-monk who later became St Simeon.  Then there's the protestant cathedral which was once Emperor Constantine's throne room.   Amid all this first few century cogitation the city also turns out to be the birthplace of Karl Marx.

Most surprisingly perhaps is the Cathedral is said to be the trustee of the original “seamless robe of Christ”, which was donated by Helena the mother of Constantine the Great in 329.  At least three or four other versions of the same garment have bobbed up in other places apparently, which quite possibly gives rise to some suspicion that one or even more of them may not be the real thing.  This one was coated in rubber apparently in the eighteenth century, to prevent further decay.   Sadly it is not on display, quite possibly to remove the potential for its theft for use as a raincoat on the walk from the station to the boat in a freezing gale.

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