Photographer's Note

Porta Nigra rnrnIn 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier's numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. The clerestory level and church tower were deconstructed, and the inner courtyard was reinstated. However, the apse was preserved in a truncated form, and the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. The terrace surrounding the ground floor level was removed.rnrnLocal legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.rnrnIn 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings.The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. It also has crowning cornice and parapet on its top.rnrnThe gate is today closed to cars, but stands right next to one of the main streets of Trier. In addition to the general pollution, the exhaust fumes of the passing cars have been damaging the stones for decades. Generally, however, the Porta Nigra is still in remarkable condition.rnrnThe Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors. In summer, guided tours are also offered by an actor dressed up as and portraying a centurion (a Roman army officer) in full armour.

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  • Copyright: Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11841 W: 23 N: 18877] (117884)
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  • Date Taken: 2021-11-16
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  • Date Submitted: 2021-12-25 11:21
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Additional Photos by Costantino Topas (COSTANTINO) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11841 W: 23 N: 18877] (117884)
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