Liebfrauenkirche

Trier, Germany

The Liebfrauenkirche (German for Church of Our Lady) is, along with the Cathedral of Magdeburg the earliest Gothic church in Germany and falls into the architectural tradition of the French Gothic cathedrals. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A Roman double church originally stood here. The southern portion was torn down around 1200 and completely replaced by the Early Gothic Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauen). The exact date of the start of construction can no longer be determined, however a painted inscription inside on a column in the church reads: 'The construction of this church was started in 1227 and ended in 1243'. However, it is currently thought construction began in 1230 by Archbishop of Trier Theodoric II.

Around 1260, the building was probably finished. In 1492, a high peak was placed on the central tower, which was named because of its high technology and degree of craftsmanship perfection. The high peak can be seen on the city dating, but was destroyed in a storm on Heimsuchungstag (July 2) in 1631. Subsequently a hipped roof emplaced, which was destroyed in the Second World War. It was first replaced in 1945 by a roof and then by a steeper one in 2003.

A special feature of the basilica is its atypical cruciform floor plan as a round church, whose cross-shaped vaulting with four corresponding portals in rounded niches is completed by eight rounded altar niches so that the floor plan resembles a twelve-petaled rose, a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the rosa mystica, and reminiscent of the twelve tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles. The apostles as well as the twelve articles of the Apostle's Creed are painted on the twelve supporting columns, completely visible only from one spot marked by a black stone.

Though nothing above the surface is Roman any longer, but there are extensive excavations (not open to the public) underneath the church and several of the Gothic pillars stand on top of Roman column foundations.

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Details

Founded: c. 1230
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Connie Zimmer-Meyer (17 months ago)
Beautiful gothic church
Spencer Hawken (17 months ago)
Possibly the most impressive church I have visited in my life. I laugh now as I thought this was a cathedral, but is actually the church. We spent a good hour visiting this extraordinary church and all its many layers, trust me I’m normally the first to be out of a church, but this truly felt like a place that could make you believe in something if like me you are an atheist. I’d loved to have seen a service, I can imagine this place is just so popular. It’s clearly well loved and maintained. There is an interesting heating system, and random construction filled with human remains. If you visit trier you simply have to visit this magnificent building.
Fernando Gomes (2 years ago)
Very beautifull church, with a very interesting story and a lot of diferent architectures stiles captured along the years it has. Loved the visit.
Yorkie pups 2016 (2 years ago)
Spectacular, especially the stained glass windows !
Frank Wils (2 years ago)
Early Gothic church next too, and by many confused for, the Trierer Dom. Shaped as a rose this is a very spacious big church. Most of the detail is in the architectural decorations. Unique ensemble together with later Dom.
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Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.