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The Porta Nigra - the oldest gates of the world


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The Porta Nigra - the oldest gates of the world


The gates have always been a symbolic structure: they marked the entrance to a new life, a place where the sun shines in a special way. And if these gates are also considered the oldest in the world - such an attraction is doubly interesting. Porta Nigra is the only gate that has reached us, whose age is almost equal to our era. The construction proves once again that before everything was done in good faith: built without the use of cement, the gates of Port Nigra survived wars and battles, natural disasters and acts of vandalism. Despite this, they stand, delight visitors with their grandeur, inspire the study of history.

Nigra Port Age

Until 2018, there was heated debate among scientists regarding the age of the gate. It has long been known that they were laid by the Romans in the first centuries after the beginning of our era, but when exactly is a mystery. For a long time, the date from the foundation was considered the interval from 150 to 320 years.

In 2018, large-scale excavations of the city wall, located near the gates of Porta Nigra, began. Archaeologists have found pieces of oak that match those used during the construction of the gate. After examination, the exact age of the wood was established in the laboratory: the oak was felled in the winter of 169. Experts say that the Romans did not store materials, but immediately put them into business. So the exact year of the construction of the structure was determined - 170.

Object construction

The Romans built the Porta Nigra as a city gate. They were built without cement, using square sandstone stones, each of which weighed up to six tons. Roman builders sawed them into identical — accurate to millimeter — blocks using bronze plates driven by the movement of mill wheels. After cutting, the blocks were lifted up with wooden winches, connected to each other using iron brackets and poured with molten tin.

Middle Ages

In 1028, the canonized Saint Simeon of Trier settled in the future in the gate. The door was walled up, since the monk considered himself a hermit - for seven years he did not leave Porta Nigra and did not let anyone in. After his death, a memorial Simeonovsky temple was built. Since then, the history of the gate has consisted of such key events:

  • 1389 - construction of the Ramsdak defensive tower
  • 1804 - by order of Napoleon, all religious buildings were destroyed. For five years, soldiers dismantled the gates in blocks.
  • 1815 - the Prussians continued the work begun by the French and dismantled the attached church to the base
  • 1870 - only 2 apses built by the Romans in the II century remained from the gate.

Interesting Facts

  • The total number of sand blocks used for the construction of the gate - 7200 pieces
  • In the XVIII century, they tried to get metal staples from Porta Nigra to reuse them
  • Saint Simeon of Trier was buried under the gates - so he bequeathed
  • Today inside the gate is a museum of their history
  • The name of the Porta Nigra, or “Black Gate”, is no coincidence: due to erosion, the blocks became black
  • When examining the gate, 200 signs were found left by the Roman builders
  • In 1986, the Black Gate was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The object belongs to the gate.

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