Feel the history as you traverse the oldest bridge in Germany and take in the picturesque views of the Mosel River.
Trier’s Roman Bridge is an immense structure with a 2nd-century base made of stone pilings deeply embedded into the riverbed. Its arches and roadway were constructed with red bricks in the 1700s, when it served as an entrance to the city. Walk along the side of the bridge for a vista of the river, its green banks and the forest-covered hillsides in the distance.
Stroll along the pleasant shore of the river and pass beneath one of the arches. Step down to the pebbled beach and feed the birds bobbing on the water. The bridge serves cars and bicycles and has railed sidewalks for pedestrians.
Appreciate that the bridge is still in use after more than 2,000 years. Today, it has six stone bases for arches, although it initially had more and was originally topped by a wooden roadway. Look for the stone ledges that could have supported the wooden structure.
The Roman general Agrippa constructed the bridge as part of his road from Lyon to Cologne. One of the pieces of wood found here was dated to 17 B.C. Evidence suggests the bridge was rebuilt multiple times over the next several centuries.
Notice the black appearance of the stone, which consists mostly of basalt from the Eifel Mountains. The Romans showed off their ingenuity by connecting these large stone blocks with clamps, as in the nearby Porta Nigra gate. Consider the modern history of the bridge, which was captured so quickly as the U.S. Army conquered the area that it was not blown up along with the others.
Note that the German name for the site is Römerbrücke. It is free to enter and remains open at all times.
The Roman Bridge crosses the Mosel River a little west of the historic center of Trier. It is just west of the Kaiserstraße and Südallee promenades, where you will find the Bastion Südallee. Visit other landmarks around the area, such as the Hochbunker Trier World War II standing bunker, the Kaiserthermen Imperial Baths and the Cathedral of Trier.