See the Black Gate from Luxembourg
From Luxembourg, in Germany’s Trier, the Porta Nigra, or the Black Gate, is under an hour away by train. From the mid-range hotels in Luxembourg City’s Gare Quartier, near the railway station, the Porta Nigra is a great first stop on a day trip from Luxembourg City. There are also several places to stay within a mile of the Porta Nigra, in hotels and apartments ranging from basic two stars to opulent five-star luxury, all offering a spectacular stay near the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Porta Nigra – or just Porta, as the locals call it – was built by the Romans in the third century, and still stands as imposing as ever on the northern side of town. Mysteriously, though, as strong as it looks, the Romans never completely finished it by hanging actual gates.
Learn About Porta Nigra in Luxembourg
Visitors can download a free multilingual audio guide to Porta Nigra – if you forget to get it before your visit, just use the free WiFi access on site. Learn how Simeon the Greek used the Black Gate as his hermitage a thousand years ago, and how after his death in the walled-up east tower, Trier built the Simeonstift in 1037 to celebrate the hermit. The audio guide explores the Porta Nigra’s seven-hundred year life as a striking church, which ended only when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered it be restored to its original Roman glory.
What to See at the Porta Nigra
Since 1986, the Porta Nigra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has welcomed many a visitor in search of a bit of history, year round. Touted as the best place to start a tour of Trier, the Black Gate has its own Roman centurion tour guides in full battle garb to lead visitors through the three floors of the building. A hike up to the top floor rewards with amazing views across the city of Trier and beyond.
As the largest standing Roman city gate north of the Alps, the Porta Nigra and the museum alongside it in the City Museum Simeonstift are a fantastic starting point during a day trip to Trier from Luxembourg.