Last Saturday, my friend Tatyana and I visited a friend of mine in Trier, the oldest city in Germany. To be honest, hearing how old the city was, I was not expecting much except for Roman ruins and empty streets. Yet, to my surprise, Trier far exceeded my expectations. For this post, I would like to give a special thanks to our local friends, Hannah and Klemens, who acted as our tour guides during the whole trip. On top of that, I will be discussing about cultural and natural preservation based on what I’ve observed so far.
A little background of these lovely couple. Both of them recently finished their Bachelor’s program in psychology. Klemens is currently waiting for his job, which starts next month, while Hannah is staying in her current job before the next school semester starts in October. Meanwhile during their break, they would visit each other’s families and friends.
I met Klemens during his internship at USF this spring semester, while it was my first time meeting Hannah that Saturday. It was such a pleasure meeting her; she’s poised, well-traveled, and has elegance in her manner. During our visit, I came to learn more of our difference in culture and life. One thing I found astounding is the amount of hours they work as students. I tell you, there are a lot of fascinating things we learn while sitting in a cafe. This may not be a huge one, but finding out that most students in Germany, in general, work less than 15 hours a week is flabbergasting. For Hannah, she typically works 6-10 hours a week. Compare that to most university students in the U.S. who works more than 15 hours a week just to pay their rent and bills. Another thing I find fascinating is how they have a hobby and they stick to it. Klemens, for instance, plays cello during his freizeit (leisure). This made me reflect on my hobby, if I ever maintain one. There are many more interesting things I learned from interacting with them, but let’s move on to the trip.
Growing up in Trier, Hannah is well-versed of the city sites. While walking through the city, they would explain to us the history of certain sites.
The second site was the house of the revolutionary socialist Karl Marx. I find it fascinating how they dedicate much of the town to him, including his statue, plaques of his quotes or biography on the street, and a banner showing pictures of his family or relatives.
The fourth one was a UNESCO Heritage site, the Basilica of Constantine. It is less detailed inside unlike the cathedral.
These sites I mentioned link to the UN Sustainable Goal #11, target 11.4, which proposes increased efforts to protect cultural and natural heritage. Trier has demonstrated itself accomplished in targeting this goal. It has definitely maintained its cultural heritage, especially those from the Roman period, by preserving the ruins and informing the history through tourism. There are plenty more sites to visit in Trier and for anyone visiting Germany, I recommend stopping by this quaint, small city to see for themselves.