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Judengasse, Trier

Situated just off the Hauptmarkt – Main Market Square – at the heart of the city centre in Trier is the narrow street named “Judengasse”(Jew Alley), which takes you through the old Jewish quarter of the city. This street was solely for the Jewish population until the early 15th century when all the Jews were forced to leave the city. Along the Judengasse one can see the difference between the Roman buildings and way of life compared with the medieval way of life, the Romans had sewers and running water and heating but there was no sanitation during the Middle Ages and one would have to hurry quickly along the alley in order to avoid a bed-pan being emptied on your head! not a pleasant thought.

The summer months were the worst as the stench became unbearable. There was a Jewish community in Trier as far back as the fist or second century. In 1235 there were four Jewish houses built in Judengasse, the cellars are still there today and can be seen in the Pub “Abwaerts”, there is a walled up flight tunnel which leads to Cathedral Close. After the Holocaust of the Nazi era, the Jewish community in Trier is quite small (the New Synagogue is located in Kaiserstrasse).

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