Codex Egberti
Trier for All

Codex Egberti

If you became the archbishop of Trier in the Middle Ages, it meant you had done everything right in your career. If you led well and had the odd innovative idea, your place in the history books was virtually secured. For 16 years, Archbishop Egbert’s ideas were much more than that. Between 977 and 993, the busy art enthusiast established a scriptorium at St Maximin’s Monastery, where several masters of their trade began working. One of these even included the ‘Master of the Registrum Gregorii’, who was considered a genuine genius artist for his time. He created some of the 60 miniatures, the vast majority of which illustrate excerpts of the gospels.  As such the Codex Egberti is the oldest and most extensive series of images depicting the life of Jesus Christ in one book, and one of the world’s most famous manuscripts. 

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It is believed the Codex was created for Egbert’s personal use when holding mass at the cathedral. As a book of pericopes, the Codex contained the excerpts from the gospels that were read at services throughout a church year. Egbert later gifted the Codex to the Basilica of St Paulinus, where it was used until well into the 18th century, before ending up at the city library. Today, it is kept there in the ‘treasury’, attesting to Egbert’s tremendous patronage of illumination at the time. So he more than earned his place in the history books!

Until July 2024, the Codex Egberti is on loan as part of the Baden-Württemberg state exhibition in Constance and is not on display in the original treasure chamber.  From mid-August, interested parties can once again admire the codex in the Trier Treasury.
However, the World Documentary Heritage "Ada Gospels" is not affected by this and remains on display.

A must for: Bible enthusiasts. Bookworms. Gold-leaf lovers. Middle Ages fans and people who prefer writing important things by hand.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: 100%
Wow effect: 80%
Shiny gold: 20%

Egbert’s Midas touch when it came to patronage of the arts was also evident in goldsmithing. From 977 onwards, the Egbert Workshop named after him produced some of the most famous pieces of the Ottonian age. One of its main works can today be admired in the cathedral’s treasury: St Andrew’s Portable Altar, with an almost life-size golden food on its lid. This is in reference to the sandal of Andrew the Apostle, whose sole is situated in a box-shaped reliquary. Studded with precious stones, ivory, peals and enamel, the portable altar is a dazzling masterpiece not to be missed – as is the elaborate cross reliquary, also created under Egbert’s auspices.

Opening hours

Tuesdays - Sundays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (also on public holidays)


Adults: € 5.00
Reduced *: € 3.00
Children (under 10 years): free
Student (in class): € 1.00
Families **: € 8.00

* Students, students, seniors from 65 years, children 10 - 18 years, people with disabilities
** 1-2 adults and children up to 18 years

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Schatzkammer der Wissenschaftlichen Bibliothek der Stadt Trier
Weberbach 25
54290 Trier

Tel. +49 (0)651 718-1427