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Main Market (Hauptmarkt)

Anyone expecting dear guests will make their living room look nice and open their doors wide. This, too, is why the Hauptmarkt puts its best side on show. As the city’s living room, it’s filled with colourful flower stalls six days a week, enhanced with the aromas of fruit and vegetable displays, and pulsating with commercial hustle and bustle, while also at peace in itself, fully aware of the centuries-old history surrounding it. 

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The pedestrian malls open out into it or radiate out from it on all sides – it’s all a matter of perspective. And it’s worth constantly changing this to discover new things: On the steps of the Market Cross (Marktkreuz) at its centre, erected in 958 and thus the oldest in all of Germany, you only have to turn slightly northwards to see the Porta or eastwards to see the cathedral. As you walk around St Peter’s Fountain (Petrusbrunnen), you’ll see watchful women – allegories for the four cardinal virtues of justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence – and mischievous monkeys, whose many paw positions would have made the city’s patron saint, St Peter, at the top blush if he hadn’t already grown used to their pranks over the 400 years prior. And finally, it’s worth looking up to see the different building exteriors, which, with Madonnas, gold stars, water features and oxen, all compete for the title of most unusual façade decoration. Even though this title has ultimately been claimed by the Steipe, with its watchful knights figures and arcades of pointed arches, it is only by taking in all the surrounding buildings that the Hauptmarkt becomes what it today continues to be: The heart of the city that welcomes all its visitors.

A must for: Market-goers. Fans of the Middle Ages. Flower girls and top dogs. Those wanting to see model-railway romanticism in the flesh

Vibrant colour: 70%
People-watching: 70%
Stiletto-suitability: 0%


PSSSST! THE INSIDER TIP:
From the end of March to early November, the wine stall at the Hauptmarkt is the meeting place for tourists and locals alike. Each week from Monday to Thursday and from Friday to Sunday a different winery from Trier and the surrounding region showcases its best drops. Nowhere else is it easier to engage in conversation with winemakers and wine-lovers both in front of and behind the bar, talk a bit of shop, and indulge your taste buds in a little journey through the various grape varieties and winegrowing methods. A must for any visitor to Trier!

Header: Romas_Photo/shutterstock.com

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