Trier, Germany

Grassy slopes distinguish Trier’s unusual earthen amphitheater
Grassy slopes distinguish Trier’s unusual earthen amphitheater


LOCATION Trier is located in the west German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the Luxembourg border



Jan: 36°F (2°C); Apr: 48°F (9°C); Jul: 66°F (19°C); Oct: 50°F (10°C)

The Romans did not build all their amphitheaters out of stone. In Trier, the most important Roman city north of the Alps and once briefly capital of the Western Roman Empire, they dug up a hill – using the slope itself to create one side, and heaping up the earth dug out of the arena to create the other.

The great basement beneath the arena has been fully excavated and is open to visitors. To descend into its dank, stygian gloom is to feel the chill that must have come over the animals, contestants and martyrs who awaited their fate here. The arena’s acoustics remain impeccable and the space is now used for concerts and an annual re-enactment of gladiatorial contests.

Practical Information

Getting There Trier is easily accessible by train or by car via Germany’s A1 motorway.The closest international airport is Luxembourg, 25 miles (40 km) away; Frankfurt am Main airport is 95 miles (150 km) away. The arena itself is just outside the old city walls, and can be reached on foot or by bus.

When to Go Any time, though November to March will be cold. Check the tourist office (see website below) for events in the amphitheater

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