Trier has several important churches but the Dom St. Peter, the oldest
Bishop's Church in Germany, and the Church of our Lady, which sits
adjacent to the Dom, are the two that attract the most attention from
The Trier Cathedral (the Dom St. Peter
) and the adjacent Church of our
) were constructed
on land that had been used for Christian religious services since the
4th century. During Trier's Roman period, the area surrounding the two churches is thought to
have been the site of a sizable religious complex containing at least four churches.
In the 11th century work started on the Dom St. Peter, followed by the
construction of the Church of our Lady in the 13th century. The
Cloister that connects the two churches was added in the fourteenth century.
The Dom was badly damaged during World War II and work
conducted from 1950 to
1975 returned the Church to its former glory. As you will see if you
Dom has been altered over time and is an amalgam of several styles of
When viewed from the north, the Roman foundations of the Dom are easy to
see. The building's architecture is a mix of Romanesque and Baroque,
while the adjacent Church of Our Lady was based on Gothic architecture.
The churches sit adjacent to the Cathedral Square (Domfreihof), which in the
past was surrounded by defensive walls that protected the area from some,
but not all, of
the destruction during the invasions that plagued Trier during the Middle Ages.
The area including and surrounding the Dom is sometimes referred to as Cathedral City and there are a number of elegant,
historic buildings in this
area. In the Christmas season a large, festive Christmas Market is
held in the square.
For those interested in more details on the Dom
and the Church of our Lady, be sure to visit the nearby
that features not only artifacts of religious interest,
but also maintains quite an important collection of archaeological treasures
from the Roman ruins that lay below the Dom and the Church of Our Lady.
(The website of the Museum is in German, so use Google Translator or another product to help out if you do not read German.)
In addition, directly opposite the Church of our Lady is the Tourist
Information office for visiting the Dom.
The Dom St. Peter is well-known for its history, architecture and a relic
known as the Holy Robe that is claimed to have been a seamless tunic worn by Jesus of
Nazareth. It is believed that the Holy Robe was brought to Trier by Helena, the Mother of
Constantine (3rd Century), who is credited, by some, with discovering
the sites of Christ's Crucifixion and his sepulcher in Jerusalem. The Holy
Robe is first mentioned in historical records of the Dom in the 11th century
and a detailed history of the relic has been kept only since the 12th
In the center of the photograph above, there is a bright, glowing light
above the altar in the
east choir that marks the Holy Robe Chapel, a Baroque design, where the Robe and
relics are kept. The Holy Robe is not on public display
due to its condition and the unique nature of the relic. Nor is the Holy
Robe Chapel open for entry, but this does not slow the crowds that flock to
this end of the Dom. The platform in front of the Holy
Robe Chapel is normally quite crowded with those who hope to peer through the glass door to see the holy shrine.
Unfortunately, the shrine is dark and nothing obvious is visible.
Unfortunately, if you are you interested in seeing the Holy Robe, note that the Holy
Robe Pilgrimage to Trier, which was held only three times in the last
century, ran most recently from April 13 to May 13, 2012.
The Crypts below the Dom, although quite old, are of modest interest There are a
number of altars of note in the Dom, particularly the All Saints Altar
dating from the early 17th century. Also, look for the West Choir and
its ceiling adorned with beautiful stucco figures (and putti) portrayed against an
unusual deep-blue background. Next, the amazing detail on the Old Pulpit
(16th century) is worth examining. Finally, take a close look at the
interior architectural details of the Dom and consider the difficulties of
building this massive structure in the 12th century.
The Cloister between the two churches is small, but beautiful and
provides a better view of the contrasting architecture of the two buildings
than is available from the street.
The Church of Our Lady constructed in the French-Gothic style is quite
attractive and has an interesting entrance (below left) that is rich
in detail. The Cloister was added at approximately the same time that the Church of
our Lady was built and seems to have more in common with the newer church
(at least in terms of style) than it has with the Dom.
The stained glass windows in the Church of our Lady are brilliant works,
but modern in origin, due to damage sustained in the past.
The Dom (including the Church of Our Lady) is open most days from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., but is closed for services on Sundays and
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