Archive for April 6th, 2020

April 6, 2020

The Baths of Trier, Germany!

So let’s switch over to the neighbor and visit again my favorite city of Germany. Not only was the second city ever visited there it was the first one with the family and came back several times afterward; see my other posts on the oldest city in Germany, Trier!

However, as with so much to write in my Europe, often do so briefly and leave many places out or little shown me think. One of these was the Roman baths of Trier. This blog tells a bit more on them and we like it; hope you enjoy it too.

There are two major ones and we visited one but will give you both here, the Barbara and the Imperial baths of Trier. We visited the Imperial or Kaiserthermen. The Barbara baths have been closed to the public for a while now.

The imperial thermal baths of Trier (Kaiserthermen) are the remains of Roman public baths, impressive ruins still visible today. It seems that the thermal baths have never been put into service The preserved apses still present their Roman apparatus of white stones and red bricks which besides its solidity has a great aesthetic value.


The site was built around the year 300 AD as a monumental complex dedicated to the emperor Constance Chlore and his son Constantine, who had made Trier their residence In accordance with Roman standards for such important public baths, they were fitted with numerous underground galleries for heating and draining water. The diameter of the masonry dome which overhangs the tepidarium reaches 16.45 meters.  After the transfer of the palace of Constantine to Constantinople these buildings remained disused, until the Valentinian emperor converted them into barracks in 360 AD. This new barracks could receive between 800 and 1,000 men of the mounted guard of Valentinien Only remained the primitive caldarium (hot bath), that is to say the eastern hall with its three apses and its entrance, a basilica with columns later used as a court.


Later, the building was integrated as a fortified gate (Stadttor) in the medieval ramparts, one of the windows of the southern apse spanning the passage inside the city. It was only in 1808, when the old fortifications were demolished, that we fell on the foundations of the ancient baths, much larger than this gate.  Between 2005 and 2006, a reception hall for tourists and visitors was built at the site of the ruins to the north; it is also used for the seasonal entertainment that the site hosts , especially concerts and antique shows. The large palaestra or open-air gymnasium in the western part of the thermal baths, is today as a grassy area open to the public, still dotted with the ruins of the western part of the thermal baths, high in places of almost a meter. This palæstra occasionally hosts fairgrounds for the annual spectacle “Bread and games” or for other events, while the rest of the time city dwellers engage in various games and sporting activities. Today, you can visit the remains of the hall and the few underground galleries that have been cleared.

The tourist office of Trier on the Imperial Bath in English: Tourist office of Trier on the Imperial baths

The Center of Antiquities on the Imperial Bath in English: The Center of Antiquities on the Imperial baths

The Barbara’s thermal baths are the largest Roman thermal baths north of the Alps. Barbara’s baths were built in the 2C BC. When they were built, these baths probably extended over 172 × 240 meters. It is no longer possible today to recognize the initial hold of the building, because it served for centuries as a stone quarry for the houses and churches of the city before being finally mined with explosives .

The Barbara baths covered an area of 42,000 square meters, making them almost the size of six football fields. Here in the oldest public baths in the city, guests were offered wellness and relaxation at the highest level. In several baths some of them heated, and a swimming pool guests could spend time in an oasis of wellness with an adjoining cultural center, libraries, restaurants, shops and beauty salons.  The floor plan of the thermal baths is based on a North African model. Findings have shown that the thermal baths were richly fitted with marble and contained niches designed in the form of marine grottos. The facilities were used into the 5C, after which the baths were plundered for building stones. The baths were broken up and dismantled to make way for the creation of the suburb of Trier St. Barbara, which was named after a monastery that once stood on the site.

Only the foundations and the subterranean service tunnels have survived, but the technical details of the sewer systems, the furnaces, the pools, and the heating system can be studied better than in the other baths of Trier. Since 2000, the site has been closed to the public to carry out the preservation of the ruins. From 2009, a new presentation of the site will be offered to visitors. For preservation, the baths are closed to visitors as of 2014.

The tourist office of Trier on the Barbara Baths in English: Tourist office of Trier on the Barbara baths

The Center of Antiquities on the Barbara baths in English: The Center of Antiquities on the Barbara baths

So there you go finally shown these marvels in a beautiful city of Trier. Do not forget to visit the Imperial bath a wonderful area of history and ancient architecture. Hope you enjoy the tour of Trier and its baths.

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




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