The other Trier

December 9, 2007


Its hard to believe but its true as well, my otherwsie beautiful hometown Trier has some rather ugly parts as well which I do not want to hide from you. Through my many walks through town I detected some of these eyesores and thanks to digital cameras one can document progress (or the lack of it) as well.

First of all it seems to me that the ‘fathers of the city’, as the council members are usually called, and/or the administration in general do not possess an eye for green, particularly trees. Though I must admit that recently the administration of the new major has started to plant at last some allee trees along some of the wide roads entering the city. But in the centre of town, where my mother lives and where I grew up, trees have become less and less in numbers.

Especially along the roads surrounding the pedestrian zone it seems that everything has been done to accomodate the traffic and the many cars. This means trees have been felled where they were ‘in the way, dangerous or a nuisance’ to car drivers. Consequently many of these roads are bare of any natural shade. When its windy, these streets turn into wind channels and for pedestrians it is very unpleasant to walk these city streets.


The above two photos are from the newly refurbished square near the Archbishops Museum. The square looks bare and empty. The few trees planted will of course grow and occupy more space. But this minimalist type of greening is not what I think would be appropriate.

Other cities I lived in, for instance Bonn, the town of my alma mater, is much more progressive when it comes to greening the city. There is hardly any street without shade trees. Old trees are regularly replanted and pruned. Poeple there seem not to be scared by the many leaves the trees drop in autumn.

One of the really bad eyesores of Trier is a place very close to my home where I grew up at Irminenfreihof 5 in Britannia. It is the St. Paul’s Square in front of St. Paul’s church were we used to attend mass and met our mates afterwards.


St. Paul’s Square (the church is to the right, to the left are the various vocational schools)

The square is neither used as a parking lot nor for anything else. The trees which once stood there have been cut down but not replaced. We can safely assume that there is a plan in place for the future beautification of the square. Most likely the money is not there yet to put this plan into practice.

I find the state of affairs of this square very sad. I also believe that not much funds would be needed to get it into shape if modesty would prevail. I would love the city administration to do something useful with the place, maybe establish a small park where the students of the nearby vocational schools could hang out after classes?