Archive for February 10th, 2019

February 10, 2019

Constantin’s Basilica of Trier!

Another wonderful post on again my favorite city in Germany, and the oldest city to boot! This is Trier or we French call it Tréves. I have written several posts on the city’s sightseeing but in general pose, and I decided there are some that needs a post all of their own.

This is the case of the Constantin’s Basilica a wonderful impressive building part of the Protestant community in Catholic Trier.  This is an impressive building basilica and a must to visit while in town. We were walking looking for it, and then all of a sudden there it was huge solid, from another era like telling us behold I am strong but good come inside, and we did each time in town.

The Basilica of Constantine of Trier, originally an aula or covered gallery in Roman style, houses the reconstruction of the largest room that came to us from antiquity. The interior space of the building is 67 meters(220 feet) long, 27.20 (90 feet) meters wide and high of 33 meters (108 feet). The building was redesigned several times before it was rediscovered in the 19C to its original appearance. In 1856, it was consecrated to Protestantism and made since the Protestant church in use.

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This depth is magnified by an optical illusion; both the windows of the apse as well as the niches underneath become progressively smaller towards the middle, thus enhancing the impression of length. Since the middle of the 19C, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.

The Aula, built between the 3C and 4C, served as the throne room for Emperor Constantine. It was dressed internally with marble siding, with niches containing marble effigies. The floor and the walls were heated. It is impossible to accurately date the construction of the basilica. What is certain is that it was built with the stones of older buildings, and that it was not an isolated building, but that at the time of the Late Antiquity it was part of the enclosure of the Imperial Palace: The remains of the buildings were brought to light in the 1980’s and are now visible. The bricks were covered with a plaster. Some traces of this original plaster as well as some ancient features have been preserved at the height of the bays. The heating of the room was ensured by a system of hypocaust consisting of a double floor fed by five boilers, with heat ducts evacuating the hot air in the thickness of the walls.

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Later the walls were converted into a strong castle. Then the complex served as a princely residence for the Archbishop of Trier. The apse was converted into a tower house, flanked by turrets at the junction with the facade, and the walls carved with niches. This aspect prevailed until around the year 1600. On the initiative of the Prussian king Frederick William IV, the basilica was restored to its original Roman architecture, the building burned entirely in 1944. The post-war reconstruction was done voluntarily with great caution. During the reconstruction, only the apparent siding bricks were used for the interior walls, reconstructed with a historical concern in the 19C.

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Trier on the Basilica

A webpage on the Basilica in French but can be translated

Another historical wonder in wonderful Trier, Germany just over the border from Luxembourg and not far from France. Go see it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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February 10, 2019

The other Churches of Trier, Germany!

On a nice sunny Sunday past and with a bit of the flu; I like to come back to my favorite city in Germany, Trier. Maybe for sentimental reasons it was my first in 1991 and had visited often even staying in home just south of it. Of course, I have written several posts on it in my blog.

However, would like to be more precise on some of the sights to see there,and one of them is a plethora of small historical Churches ,Abbeys etc many no longer in the religious status that are just wonderful for my historical and architectural mindset. I like to tell you a bit more on some of the Other Churches of Trier. Germany of course.

Abbey Church Saint-Maximin is a Benedictine abbey founded in Trier in now Rhineland-Palatinate around the 4C. It was at the origin of a monastic reform which was diffused in the Holy Roman Empire. In 934, the abbey, which had hitherto been the Duke of Lorraine Gilbert as a lay abbot, was reformed under the impetus of the latter as King Henry I of Germania. As for Henri I, his intervention in the quarrel, while ending the struggles between Lotharingiennes factions, allowed him to demonstrate the legitimacy of his Royal powers In 1674 the abbey was completely destroyed by French troops. It was rebuilt between 1680 and 1684 but, unusually for the period, still in a Gothic form.

The abbey was secularised in 1802. The monastic buildings were put to various secular uses such as barracks, prison, school, and were totally destroyed in  WWI except for the freestanding gateway. A school stands on the site now. The Church of St. Maximin survived the war, but was de-consecrated, and between 1979 and 1995 converted to secular uses. In 1995 it opened as a concert hall, now well known for its exceptional acoustics.

Tourist office of Trier on the Church St Maximin

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The Monastery of St. Irminen is a former monastery in Trier named after Saint Irmina. It was located on what is now Irminenfreihof. In 1802, the monastery was dissolved in the course of secularization. In 1804, after a two-year vacancy, the decision was made to convert the former monastery into a hospital. From 1811, the walls were given to the United Hospitals after the opening of the first convent of the Borromems in Trier. Under Napoleon’s leadership, the buildings were given a new purpose, some hospitals and retirement homes, which persist to this day. At that time, the orphanage of the monastery of St. Afra was moved here. In 1868, the first own chapel ,that of St Catherine was built in the complex. In a bombing raid in December 1944, the monastery was almost completely destroyed, but was rebuilt from 1945. In his role as a hospital and as part of the United Hospitals, it is still used today.Since 1960, the building has mainly been an old people’s and nursing home.

Tourist office of Trier on Mon of St Irminen

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The Abbey Saint-Martin is an ancient abbey, probably founded in the 6C, in Trier. It could come from a church built by Martin de Tours in the 4C. At the latest in the 10C, the abbey was occupied by monks of the Order of St. Benedict, it became one of the largest abbeys of the city and was dissolved in 1802 during the Napoleonic domination.   The west wing of the Abbey building and a new modern building are now used as one of the six student residences in Trier.

According to tradition, Martin de Tours came several times to Trier, the first time in 371 shortly after his episcopal ordination. He would have treated the servant possessed by the devil of the Proconsul of Trier Tetradius, after which Tetradius converted to the Christian faith and in 385, he gave his house to the gates of the city, so that Martin could establish a church in honour of the Holy Cross. On the site of the Moselle river , which was to remain outside the walls of the city for centuries, Martin himself would have founded a chapel where Christian burials also took place.

During the barbaric invasions of the 5C, this Church dedicated to the Holy Cross was devastated. Around 587, Bishop Magnéric of Trier built a Church of Martyrs, which later became the abbey. At the time of the French revolution, Trier was occupied from 1794 by the French revolutionary troops. From 1797 to 1801, the left bank of the Rhine river was part of the French Republic. In 1802, the prefect of the Saarland department, decreed the dissolution of the abbey and confiscation of all property. The six monks are expelled. In 1804 the monastery, the church and buildings, such as the dormitory, are put up for sale at auction. In what remains of the western wing, there was a porcelain manufactory, with the furnace in the crypt. In 1813, the manufacture was abandoned and, after the return of Trier to Prussia in 1815, reopened in 1816, and then closed in 1824. Today only the West wing of the Abbey building in the style of the late Renaissance is preserved.

In 1972, the west wing of the 17C, the Abbey building was fully refurbished after a long period of vacation and turned into a student residence with a new building erected in the same year. The new building is horseshoe-shaped facing the old right building, so that between the buildings there is an inner courtyard that houses a beech tree.

No webpage as it is part of the university complex  so here is a bit on it in English: Student resident Martin Trier

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The present building of the Diocesan Theological Seminary is located in a large courtyard at the former Jesuit College, between Brotstrasse and Neustrasse. It is a Holy Trinity Church or, simply Jesuit Church, as it is generally known in Trier. The church was initially constructed as the monastery church of the Franciscan order and was used by them from 1228 to 1570. In the following years, however, it was the collegiate church of the Jesuits until 1750. he beginning of the 18C, the Jesuits expanded the choir by adding the side choirs, dedicated to St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Loyala, the two founders of the Society of Jesus. The order was suppressed in 1773; the interior of the church has undergone a complete restoration .

Tourist office of Trier on the Jesuit Church

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There you go some interesting things to see while walking Trier, the best to see and enjoy the wonders we can find in our travels. We love it to walk the cities and do so extensively (once we land or arrive by car of course). Trier has so much to offer been the oldest city in Germany and a huge university town as well so whether is daytime beauties or the night times ones you are set to go here!

The tourist office is here: Tourist office of Trier on things to see

Enjoy Trier, Germany and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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