Historic Travel-the Moselle River

After leaving Paris we took a tour bus to Luxemburg and then into Germany where we boarded boats to take us across Deutschland. For the first couple days we traveled down the Moselle. I knew I would be stepping back in time as these villages were founded centuries before America was discovered by Europeans. Yet what I was not expecting was going so far back. Many of the ruins we visited along the Mosel were not German but Roman.

Our first stop was Trier, the oldest city in Germany built in 16 B.C. by Caesar Augustus. The city began as a walled city, most of which is now gone, and the bricks and stones were used to build new houses. The Black Gate is the only one of the four still standing and you can still see a few places where the medieval wall still exists (the tower looking building in the pictures). During the Holy Roman Empire period Trier also became a major pilgrimage site as one of the churches bought the bones of the 13th Apostle Mathias and buried them in the church. The picture of the tunnel led to the Jewish quarter of the city. Jews were not allowed to leave the quarter except for certain times of the day where they could come out and shop. It reminds me of my Holocaust Class at William and Mary taught by the director of the Holocaust Museum, where we spent the first part of the semester looking at the history of Jews in this area. His argument was that the Holocaust did not sneak up on anyone, the Jews had been mistreated for centuries.

The Pink home was the house Karl Marx grew up in. He was born in 1818 in Trier and lived most his early years in this home. Even though the Germans are not fans of Marx, or more like not a fan of communism in practice, they had a celebration in 2018 of his birth. When the Chinese found out about the celebration they built a statue to donate to the town. The celebration was controversial, but the leaders said they did not have to like him to recognize his importance, so they held the celebration and accepted the statue even though they made the Chinese build it smaller and did not put it in the center of town they way they wanted it.

One final note on the area. So far as we have traveled in the Rhine Land region, I have found the people to have almost a French lifestyle. This is a major wine growing and drinking region and most of the people are Catholic. As we sailed along the river every little town has a Catholic church or two and so far, I have only seen one large Lutheran Church. Before Germany was unified into a nation in 1871, each region was the religion of their prince. Back during the Reformation most of Northern German princes started following Luther but the southern ones remained loyal to the Pope.

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