UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the QuattroPole cities
A variety of natural and cultural heritage sites in the cross-border metropolitan region have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status, including twelve architectural masterpieces and various cultural landscapes in the QuattroPole cities, nine of which are in Trier alone.
Military architecture and cultural heritage in Luxembourg
Metres-thick bulwarks, defensive corridors built into steep sandstone cliffs, imposing embrasures: The mighty edifices in Luxembourg are one of the city’s main tourist attractions and the reason why the city is still known as the “Gibraltar of the North” to this day. The buildings form the architectural framework of Luxembourg’s Old Town, which was granted UNESCO Cultural World Heritage status back in 1994. Tourists are now able to explore the casemates and the Chemin de la Corniche promenade that meanders along the defensive wall.
One-of-a-kind natural spectacle: Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve
The Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve is situated in the south-east corner of Saarland, on the border to France and Rhineland-Palatinate. The gentle rolling hills feature sprawling meadow orchards and fields of various species of orchid, old beech forests and an impressive pasture landscape, all with the Blies river, which lends its name to the area, running through them. The diversity of the landscape is what makes the region so unique: various habitats intertwine in a small space and are home to many rare species of animals and plants. The biosphere reserve was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2009.
Formidable art made of iron and steel: Völklingen Ironworks
The Völklingen Ironworks were granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1994. They are the only preserved site of its kind dating back to the heyday of the iron and steel industry in the early 20th century. Roughly 15 kilometres from Saarbrücken, a 7,000 metre long route takes visitors on a journey through an impressive monument to the art of engineering and industrial heritage: Machines in the blasting hall, blast furnaces in the freely accessible complex and the spectacular sloping lift wow visitors of all ages.
Following in the footsteps of the Romans: UNESCO World Heritage in Trier
Trier is Germany’s oldest city. And its variety of Roman structures make it an extraordinary testament to Roman civilisation. Still to this day, the Porta Nigra is one of the best-preserved Roman city gates to the north of the Alps. Made of large sandstone blocks in around 170 AD, the “Black Gate” serves as a striking backdrop for a variety of events. On one of the many interactive tours through the city, a “centurion” in his shining armour brings the Romans Emperors to life for people of all ages.
With the construction of the Aula Palatina, Emperor Constantine’s throne room, the Romans were demonstrating the emperor’s greatness and power: at 32.6 metres in width, 36 metres in height and 71 metres in length, the Aula Palatina has succeeded in this in the most sensational way. The Imperial Baths, the newest of Trier’s three Roman bath facilities, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Erected in the early fourth century, they formed part of the largest baths in the Roman Empire. The Barbara Baths, built in the second century AD, are also testament to an ostentatious Roman Empire. A visitor’s walkway leads tourists over the ruins, bringing the magnificent facilities to life in a new and impressive way.
The Roman monuments and the Christian buildings that have risen from their ruins, including the Liebfrauenkirche church, the Roman Bridge and Trier Cathedral, as well as the 23 metre high Igel Column, were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986. The Codex Egberti gospel book has also been listed as part of UNESCO's Memory of the World since 2004. The world-famous manuscript was commissioned by Archbishop Egbert of Trier in the late first century. It is the oldest picture cycle on the life of Jesus Christ and one of the gems in the vaults of the City Library Weberbach Trier.