These summer holidays, I took the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of St. Athanasius, and many other early Christians, for that matter. Spending time in Trier, arguably the oldest city in Germany, I have visited most of the famous sites. In due course, I hope to share some of my experiences. Today, however, I single out the great ancient track, called the Römerpfad (road of the Romans).
I walked this trail on a very hot day, but it was worth it, as it leads past several ancient sites, including Roman mines, a medieval castle and grottos where Christian anchorites used to live. They were inspired by St Athanasius and the monkish ideal as advocated in his “Life of St Anthony”. Athanasius spent AD335 to 337 in exile in this region, as Constantine regretted his inflexible attitude towards the Arians.