Travels: Trier, Germany — the capital of the Byzantine Empire (June 3, 2014)



  • Konstantin-Basilika
  • Porta Nigra
  • Marketplace
  • High Cathedral of St. Peter

During our trip to Holland and Belgium, we stopped by Trier located near the border of Luxembourg. Trier is Germany’s oldest city and was founded by Augustus in 15 B.C. The Porta Nigra and the Roman ruins are evidence of the Roman habitation.

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra is the only surviving gate and once housed a monastery. Much of the sights in Trier are a mix of Renaissance, Roman, and Gothic styles. In contrast to the ornate churches of Italy and Spain, the churches in Germany are more austere and are heavily influenced by the Gothic style. Continue reading

Travels: Luxembourg, the Gibraltar of the North (June 3, 2014)



  • City walls and fortress
  • Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
  • Cathedrale Notre-Dame

In 963 A.D., Luxembourg was officially established with the acquisition of the Lucilinburhuc (Luxembourg Castle) by Count Siegfried of Ardennes in the treaty with St. Maximin’s Abbey of Trier. Considered the “Gibraltar of the North,” the bastions and old city walls are well-preserved and hint of a strong military power during the days of the Holy Roman Empire.


Throughout history, Luxembourg would be inhabited by the Spanish, French, Austria, and Prussia, until they were finally recognized as an independent duchy in 1868. Today, the people of Luxembourg are trilingual, speaking German, French, and Luxembourgish. Continue reading