Harbor City, University City, Large City - Trier in Europe

(1945 to the present)

  • To conclude the channeling of the Moselle, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, President Heinrich Lübke of Germany, and President Charles de Gaulle of France (left to right) took a boat trip through their three countries in 1964. Photo: City Archives
    To conclude the channeling of the Moselle, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, President Heinrich Lübke of Germany, and President Charles de Gaulle of France (left to right) took a boat trip through their three countries in 1964. Photo: City Archives
  • For the city’s 2000th birthday, Trier (Lord Mayor Felix Zimmermann, left) was honored by the Council of Europe with a European Union flag, which hangs in the City Council assembly room in City Hall. Photo: City Archives
    For the city’s 2000th birthday, Trier (Lord Mayor Felix Zimmermann, left) was honored by the Council of Europe with a European Union flag, which hangs in the City Council assembly room in City Hall. Photo: City Archives
back
forward

Beginning in 1945, Trier was once again in the French occupation zone. In the following decades, Trier was developed into the most important French military base in Germany. At that time, 21,000 soldiers lived in various barracks in the city – it was the largest French garrison in the world after Paris.

But German-French reconciliation and the European unification process saw to it that the military and their families were no longer perceived as an occupying power but rather increasingly as guests and friends. The channeling of the Moselle begun in 1956 with the construction of the Trier river harbor up to 1964 was a German-French-Luxembourg joint undertaking and an infrastructure project of enormous significance.

The reconstruction of the Steipe, the building of a third Moselle bridge, which made the industrial park in Euren accessible, the regional reform of 1969 which brought the population up to over 100,000 through incorporation, and the refounding of the university were milestones of civic development in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With a series of large events, Trier celebrated in 1984 the 2000th anniversary of the founding of the city.

At the latest since the opening of European borders in 1995, Trier’s geographical position has increasingly proven to be an advantage: The city is no longer on the edge of Germany but in the heart of Europe. The distances to Luxembourg, France, and Belgium are short. As early as 1957, the first sister city partnership was established, namely with neighboring Metz in Lorraine in France. Trier now has nine sister cities on three continents. In addition, since 2000, the city is linked to Metz, Luxembourg, and Saarbrücken in “Quattropole,” a city network extending beyond borders.

After 54 years of uninterrupted presence, the last French military unit pulled out of Trier in 1999. They left as friends. The integration and conversion of large military facilities has been a difficult task for civic development, but the process has been completed for the most part.

Text: Ralph Kießling
Literature: Gabriele Clemens/Lukas Clemens: Geschichte der Stadt Trier, Munich, 2007

return to overview