This is the eastern view of the cathedral in Trier (modern Germany). In the times of the Roman Empire the city of Trier was one of the largest Roman cities in northern Europe. At the height of its glory, around 3rd C. it is said to have been inhabited by around 70 000 people. It was an imperial residence surrounded by walls of which the famous ‘Black gate’, the largest antique fortified gate in the world, survives to this day and had numerous monumental public buildings like baths or amphitheater. The city also preserves a rich collection of Roman mosaics, sculpture and murals which can compete with those recovered from the large cities of the Roman Mediterranean. Despite being located close to the border with Germania from where the Huns and Germanic tribes often attacked Roman borders, Trier was sufficiently large and resilient that it survived the collapse of the Roman Empire and preserved its role as an important civic centre throughout the medieval period until the modern times. Regardless of the withdrawal of the Roman legions, the succession of the bishops and later archbishops of Trier goes from Eucharius, Valerius and Maternus in the late 3rd and early 4th C. through Modetus and Maximianus in the 7th C. to powerful medieval archbishops like Bohemond von Warsberg from the late 13th C. The cathedral of Trier, though damaged numerous times for example by Huns or the Vikings in the 9th C. preserves substantial parts dating from Roman and late Antique period. In the times when urban life collapsed in northern Europe, the city of Trier continued to function under the rule of Latin clergy and maintained links with the major urban centers of the Mediterranean. This surviving Roman city witnessed the rebirth of urbanism in the northern Europe and became one of the most important cities in the medieval Holy Roman Empire.
The parts of the cathedral visible on the photograph date mainly from the 11th C. though the upper part of the right tower is obviously later – note its gothic windows, much different the earlier Romanesque ones.