My wife’s sister lives near the University of Trier and in what has now become a tradition every time we visit, we recently took a family walk to the beautiful Petrisberg. Once a military base and prisoner of war camp, Petrisberg is now one of the nicest neighborhoods and best recreational areas in the city of Trier. Instead of just telling you how awesome it is now, I thought I’d give you a little background on the area a well.
Brief History of Petrisberg
- 30 B.C. – Roman Military Base established
- 1936 – German Base Kemmelkaserne established
- 1941 – STALAG XII-D Prisoner of War camp established
- 1945 – French Army Base established
- 1999 – French Army leaves, land given to city of Trier
- 2004 – Landesgartenshau (State Garden Show)
The original military base on Petrisberg was established by the Romans in 30 B.C., 14 years before the establishment of Augusta Trevorum (present day Trier), the capital of the roman province of Belgica. After the romans were done with it the area was used over the years as pasture and fields by many people including the farmer Petris for which it was named. Beginning in 1936 the area was once again used by the military, initially as the German base Kemmelkaserne which housed the 34th Artillery Regiment. A later addition near the Kammelkaserne was STALAG XII-D, a prisoner of war camp, which was home to
many Allied POWs including famed French author Jean-Paul Sartre. After the end of World War II, the Kemmelkaserne was then used by the French military under the name Quartier Belvédère for over 50 years until France completely withdrew the area in 1999.
After the French withdrawal the area known as Petrisberg was turned over to the city of Trier for use and development. Preparations for the 2004 Landesgartenschau (State Garden Show) were then made which transformed the area into a mixed use neighborhood for residential and recreational use. Now the area is home to a multitude of homes, restaurants, and recreational facilities for kids and grown-ups alike.
As I said in the beginning, it has become a tradition that at least once during each our visits back to my second homeland we take a family stroll to
Petrisberg. The walk takes us on a nice path through the grounds of the University of Trier, part of which (Campus II) is
a former French military hospital, before we reach the Luxemburger Turm at the entrance to the recreation area. While I am not exactly sure what the shape is supposed to be or represent, it is definitely a unique creation that is unmistakeable. We generally let the little guy make use of the playground, have a beer at the Jahreszeiten restaraunt, or some combination of the two before wandering back to my sister-in-law’s.
Those aren’t the only possibilities for fun on Petrisberg though. The recreation area is complete with a soccer field, beach volleyball courts, a water playground, regular playgrounds, an open air theater, skate park, the Jahreszeiten imbiss (snack shack) in addition to the restaurant, and plenty of gardens to see and places to relax.
Below is a slide show of various images of Petrisberg, followed by some links to sites with more information. If you live in/near Trier or are planning a trip their, I would definitely recommend Petrisberg for a relaxing afternoon. Enjoy!