The other sides of Trier were, of course, religion (there are some major churches, cloisters, and cathedrals in the city), as well as, quite unexpectedly, the legacy of Karl Marx, who was born in Trier.
For churches, beyond the religious institution that was incorporated into Porta Nigra that now houses the city museum and a beautiful courtyard, there are the magnificent and UNESCO listed Saint Peter’s Cathedral and Liebfrauenkirche. These intricate, imposing churches loom over the city and the Hauptmarkt. They really are magnificent, including on the inside, and especially in the courtyards and cloisters within. I spent a lot of time taking in the beauty and quietude of this space (until it was invaded by one of the many school groups that we saw all week!).
For Karl Marx’ side, there is a statue of him right in town, near the bus station, and his childhood home is now a museum about him, his ideals and writings, and the many different interpretations of his beliefs. If there is one thing that I took away from his museum it was this: the man had many conflicting ideas that never really came to a conclusion that could be implemented. He contradicted even himself, and what he laid out was sometimes incoherent. What the world did with his ideas, of course, history has already brought judgment on. Dictators and freedom fighters alike have twisted their own interpretation of his teachings, ending or beginning at the points most convenient for their own ends.
The museum was quite good in this sense, and his home had some interesting quirks and details, in addition to the garden behind. This would wrap up our time in Trier, with some history lessons. What a great city! Too bad we didn’t get to do any wine tasting, but that’s for the spring.