Trier for All

Basilica of St Paulinus

Having your own opinion can sometimes land you in hot water. And Bishop Paulinus discovered this first-hand. As a student of Bishop Maximin, he succeeded him in the mid-4th century as bishop of Trier, though found himself at loggerheads with Emperor Constantius II just a few years later. And this would have consequences: When Paulinus repeatedly refused to follow the will of the emperor, the emperor banished him to Phrygia, part of present-day Turkey, where the Trier bishop died a couple of years later. His adversary, Emperor Constantius II, only outlived him by a few years. And after much toing and froing, the Paulinus’ remains were finally able to be brought back to Trier in the late 4th century and buried in a specially erected church.
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But nothing remains of this late-antiquity structure, which was destroyed by a fire in 1039. And it’s a similar story for the Romanesque basilica that replaced it, for this was blown up by French troops in 1674. When Archbishop Franz Georg von Schönborn financed a new building in 1734, Johann Georg Seitz and Balthasar Neumann had their own specific ideas of what it would looks like. And so it is that the Basilica of St Paulinus is today a baroque work of art with southern German character, unparalleled within the entire bishopric of Trier. Is this any consolation to St Paulinus?

A must for: Bavarians. Franconians. Baroque enthusiasts. Gold-hunters and lovers of colour.

Baroque: 70%
Fondness for detail: 70%
Ceiling paintings: 50%

The ceiling painting of St Paulinus is the largest in the entire Rhineland region, its colours and intricacy virtually unmatched. And binoculars don’t go astray in this church either, for it is otherwise very difficult to see the many details and narrative levels used by painter Christoph Thomas Scheffler to depict the life of St Paulinus and the martyrdom of the Theban Legion. The remains are incidentally said to still be housed in the basilica’s ancient tomb, which survived the fire, though this is only open on special occasions.

Opening hours

Today, 18.05.2024: Open
Opening Hours: 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Mondays, Wednesdays - Saturdays: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Visits are only possible outside the church services.


Free admission - exept for concerts.


Katholisches Pfarramt St. Paulin
Palmatiusstr. 4
54292 Trier

Tel. +49 (0)651-270850