Trier – Cathedral of Saint Peter

I had to limit myself to just one hour in the city’s cathedral, but it’s one of the most complex religious buildings that I’ve seen. It has numerous chapels and churches added on to it over time, which explains the look and architecture of the building.

The cathedral, or the seat of the bishop, dates to the third century and this makes it the oldest in Germany. There was substantial damage done to the cathedral in 882 during a Viking attack on Trier and the building was restored and expanded over the following two centuries.

There was another large expansion of the cathedral in the early fourteenth century, when the two east towers were completed. Until the nineteenth century the Archbishop of Trier was also one of the heads of state government, making them a powerful and influential individual.

The old pulpit.

The cathedral’s rather substantial font.

Above is the Holy Robe chapel, the home of the Seamless Robe, although the chapel is only open on Holy Robe Days. The Seamless Robe of Jesus, which is said to have been the clothing worn at his crucifixion, is very rarely displayed to cathedral visitors. Unfortunately a ridiculously botched preservation attempt in the nineteenth century, which involved covering it in rubber, has destroyed any chance of being able to carbon date it. The take the relic out of storage only once every few years, with tens of thousands of people taking the opportunity to see it.

Another photo of the Holy Robe Chapel, from in front of the seat of the Archbishop.

The “Cathedral stone” which is outside of the main door, and is part of one of the original Roman columns in the church. There is also a legend that the builders told the devil that they were building a large pub (which is a very lovely idea) and needed four columns. When the devil brought the fourth column he (or she, I don’t assume that the devil is male) was so angry that they threw it at the cathedral and it has remained there ever since.

View of the cathedral from the cloisters.

This photo shows the rear part of the cathedral building and the towers.

And another cloisters shot, again showing the complexity of the building. The main building in this photo is the Church of Our Lady, which is connected to Trier Cathedral, although is a separate structure. This church and the cloisters date from between the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.

The cloisters, which were very peaceful compared to the main part of the cathedral.

All Saint’s Altar, which is also where Archbishop Lothiar von Metternich is buried. He served as Archbishop from 1599 until 1623 and one of his descendants was Klemens von Metternich of early nineteenth century political fame.

The church’s main organ, which looks a bit precarious, but I’m sure has been there for many years and so is entirely safe.

A look towards the eastern end of the cathedral, on the left is St. Agnes’ Altar and on the right is St. Catherine’s Altar. They’re not in their original location, they were moved to their current spots in the 1970s.

The nave of the cathedral, very beautiful. It was a real shame that I couldn’t spend longer in the cathedral, as there was much more to see. There were some areas that you could pay to go in, and if I returned I’d like to see those as well. Maybe one day I’ll even see the Seamless Robe…..