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124km (77 miles) SW of Koblenz, 143km (89 miles) SW of Bonn, 193km (120 miles) SW of Frankfurt

The city known to the Romans as Augusta Treverorum possesses some of the best-preserved remnants from the era north of the Alps. Founded under Augustus in 16 B.C., its former grandeur earned it the title Roma Secunda -- the second Rome. For nearly five centuries, well into the Christian era, Trier remained one of Europe's power centers.

But this city, Germany's oldest, actually dates back much farther. In 2000 B.C., according to legend, the Assyrians established a colony here, and archaeological findings indicate a pre-Roman Celtic civilization. The buildings and monuments still standing today, however, date from Roman and later periods.

Trier lies only 10km (6 miles) from Luxembourg on the western frontier of Germany, where the Ruwer and Saar rivers meet the Mosel. The city is rich not only in art and tradition but also in wine -- it's one of Germany's largest exporters.