© R. Schneider/ Museum am Dom

Museum at the cathedral

  • Trier

Point of interest | Museum

For many years, historians considered the medieval tale that the first cathedral had been built on imperial land to be nothing more than legend. It seemed unimaginable that the emperor’s mother, Helena, would have actually allowed her palace to be demolished for the first Christians. This view changed straight after World War II, when initial remains of a 7x10-metre ceiling painting was unearthed three metres beneath the cathedral floor.

Further excavations followed. In a puzzle that would last over ten years, archaeologists finally put the more than 30,000 fragments back together; the 15 scenes not only depicted pairs of flying cupids and philosophers, but also four portraits of women who have repeatedly been identified as female members of the imperial family. While this interpretation has not been shared by all researchers, one thing people do agree on is the fact that the sensational discovery must have come from an opulent palace that was knocked down around the year 300 to build the cathedral. And just like that, it appears there may well be some truth to the legend of the cathedral being the ‘house of Helena’.

The Constantinian ceiling painting is today the showpiece of the collection, though this can also lay claim to other highlights too. Similarly impressive, for example, are the model of the excavations for the Cathedral and Liebfrauenkirche complex, the early-Christian barrier system, the original figures at the entrance to the Liebfrauenkirche, and the burial monument of Archbishop Jakob von Sierck. But there are also contemporary representations of Christ and Mary to be admired, posing existential questions about human existence that extend beyond religious art.

On the map

Platz der Menschenwürde 1

54290 Trier


Phone: +49 651 7105255


Website: www.museum-am-dom-trier.de

General information

Thursday, 18.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Friday, 19.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday, 20.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday, 21.07.2024 13:00 - 17:00
Tuesday, 23.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday, 24.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday, 25.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Friday, 26.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday, 27.07.2024 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday, 28.07.2024 13:00 - 17:00


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