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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