Somewhere near the South-Eastern border of Germany, close to Luxembourg, there is a small town of incredible peace and beauty called Trier. Set on the banks of the river Mosel, in a popular wine region, Trier might actually be the oldest city in Germany. Founded by the Celts and conquered by the Romans in the 1th century BC, the city keeps an accurate record of its ancient history. My first time there was at a winter school in January so I didn t get the chance to see the city prepared for Christmas celebrations, however I did have a taste of the traditional cold winter weather. Nevertheless, it would be hard to miss the incredibly well preserved Roman ruins and the charming old town, in any season. This year I had the chance to visit Trier in December and I enjoyed all the festive spirit and food also. And the gluh wein, of couse. We use to boil red wine and add some spices to make glue wine, but in Trier we tasted mulled white wine and it was excellent, unfortunately I did forget to ask for the recipe.
But before heading for the Christmas Market, take the time to explore the city for a while. It is indeed a small town, so you can easily walk from a point of interest to another, passing through 2000 years of history. Start at Porta Nigra, one of the best preserved Roman city gates and move forward to the Constantine Basilica, a huge Roman basilica commissioned by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, with an almost 70 m long throne hall. Also in Trier, there are the ruins of a Roman Amphiteater and those of the Imperial Baths. Don t forget, a little bit outside the city center about the Roman Bridge still there, over the river Mosel, one of the oldest bridges in Europe that continues to be crossed by traffic.
If you feel the cold is getting to you, have a hot chocolate, an Apfel strudel, get into the shopping mood or feel free to stop by one of the several city museums. Perhaps the most famous place to see in town is the house of the socialist philosopher Karl Marks (1818-1883), a museum exhibiting Marx’s personal history, original letters, poetry and photographs along with a collection of rare first editions and international editions of his works.
But no matter how charming the city is by itself, the night brings the best of it with all the luminous decorations, all over the old town. The Christmas Market is open also during the day and is set all over the main square (HauptMarkt). Let your inner child enjoy this moment, as it is said that only with the heart you can really sea the truth. Angel decorations, candy bars, teddy bears, wooden carvings, painted ceramics and many other wonders can be found in the Market so give yourself time to explore what it has to offer, as Germany is one of the countries that really know how to get into the Christmas spirit.