St Matthias' Abbey
Trier for All

St Matthias' Abbey

It’s hard to imagine the jubilation that must have broken out amongst the Benedictine monks of St Eucharius in the year 1127. For centuries, people had been proud and happy to be able to venerate the two founding bishops of Trier’s church – Saints Eucharius and Valerius – in its very own halls. After all, the abbey had once been established out of the pair’s gravesite, which had been built on the orders of Bishop Cyril in the second half of the 5th century. Now, nearly 700 years later, the two saints were to be honoured with a new Romanesque basilica. But during the building phase, something perhaps even better was found: The remains of the apostle St Matthias. The accidental find caused a total sensation, for it was the only apostle’s grave to have been found north of the Alps!

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This sensation attracted the pilgrims – and the basilica, which was inaugurated on 13 January 1148, was naturally named after St Matthias, though it also retained its role as abbey church and burial church of Sts Eucharius and Valerius. And its architecture is as varied as this role. It’s not just those who approach the western façade via the large square outside that will be overwhelmed by the mix of baroque, Romanesque and classicist forms. Even those who stand in the long, initially seemingly puritan interior of the three-naved basilica and look up won’t be able to get enough of the early-16th-century ‘diamond-star vault’, which is built of stone yet appears to grow upwards like a plant. It is this very mix of styles that attests to the vibrancy of a church that stands on an old Roman gravesite and earns its reputation from those graves – vibrancy as an active monastic church and place of daily worship.

A must for: Pilgrims. Architecture enthusiasts. Crypt-goers and peace-seekers. But also for builders, carpenters, smiths, butchers, swineherds, tailors and confectioners, new school-starters and those plagued by chickenpox or whooping cough: St Matthias is the patron saint for all of these.

Apostle grave: 40%
Magical vault: 40%
Monastic silence: 60%

In the 1960s, the coffin of the widow Albana, who is said to have granted the first bishops of Trier – Sts Eucharius and Valerius – refuge, and in whose house Trier’s Christian community is then said to have gathered, was found in a tomb under St Matthias’ Abbey. Inside the coffin was the skeleton of an approximately 40-year-old man and a woman about ten years older, who had initially clearly outlived her husband and then subsequently had herself laid to rest with him in the sarcophagus. Sts Eucharius and Valerius themselves are later said to have been buried here – and today their coffins lie in the crypt of St Matthias’ Abbey.

Opening hours

Today, 23.04.2024: Open
Opening Hours: 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM

daily, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Visits are only possible outside the church services.


Free admission - exept for concerts.


Kath. Pfarrgemeinde St. Matthias, Trier
Matthiasstraße 79
54290 Trier

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