One of the lesser-known gems outside the city of Trier itself is the incorporated village of Pfalzel. As the name, derived from palatiolum = little palace, indicates, the Late Roman emperors had a fortress-like palace erected in this strategic place a few miles downriver, not far from a recently discovered second Roman bridge. In the Middle Ages, the palace parts were used as walls for the church of a convent (later turned into a college), for basements, barns, and houses. Today, the Roman remains are still visible in several buildings, sometimes up to a height of two stories; the rectory, for instance, has two Gothic and two Roman walls.

A charming way to approach Pfalzel (May-October) is by boat from the Trier dock at Zurlauben (about 30 minutes). The Pfalzel dock is just outside the 16th century town wall. From here it is a short walk to the church (Roman walls, Roman mosaic floor, Roman marble floor) and parsonage, the gate of the archbishop's castle, the Renaissance administrative center, all set in a chain of picturesque buildings.

At the dock there is a conveniently located café partly built into the old college cloister.