The Basilica of Our Lady - © Natalya Bond/shutterstock.com
Trier for All

The Basilica of Our Lady

A fine-sounding name is a big responsibility. And when a church bears the name of ‘liebe Frau’, i.e. St Mary, who was known as the ‘mystical rose’ at the time of the church’s construction in the 13th century, expectations are high. But the Liebfrauenkirche certainly won’t disappoint. In the contrary: Stepping inside, you become immersed in a mystical world of light, where it is as if every window decoration, every painted bud and every altar has been ennobled. As you leave, you carry this world along with you. For how long? That comes down to how hard you try. 

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The unknown French master builders who worked on the project between 1230 and 1260 wanted to create nothing less than a paradise on earth in Trier, an architectural declaration of love to the Mother of God. And so everything about it – from the floor plan in the shape of a twelve-petalled rose, to the twelve supporting columns inside (designed to embody the apostles), to the lily calyces representing St Mary’s virginity and purity – exudes the symbolism of a large salvational structure that seeks to free visitors from their everyday routine. So it’s only logical that the altar is now situated in the centre of the church, not the eastern chancel. Because not only is the Liebfrauenkirche one of the very few examples of a Gothic central-plan church; it also wants to draw anyone who enters it into the centre of what the master builders from Champagne had given it for safekeeping: A mindscape full of harmony and perfection.

A must for: Gothic enthusiasts. Art fans. Iconography experts. Silence seekers.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: 100%
Proximity to paradise: 40%
Symbolism: 60%


PSSSST! THE INSIDER TIP:
Just a few steps on from the main entrance, you will notice a star-shaped marking on the floor, which you definitely need to stand on: From there you can see all of the columns which, in the 15th century, were each painted with an apostle, and peep into each of the eight chapels. With a bit of luck, you may even find yourself there in the early evening when the light streaming through the high windows of the crossing tower fall exactly on the 98-centimetre-tall figure of St Mary placed there. Despite this special effect, however, she is by no means the only Virgin Mary you will encounter in the Liebfrauenkirche. Have a look around at your own pace – and don’t forget the richly adorned western entrance!

Header: Natalya Bond/shutterstock.com

Opening hours

Today, 01.02.2023: Open
Opening Hours: 12:45 a.m. - 17:30 a.m.
Visits are not possible during church services.
Services are held daily at 12 noon and 6 p.m.

Regular viewing times:
Daily, 12.45 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Note:
Visits are only possible outside the church services

Admission prices

Admission is -exept for concers- free.

Contact

Katholische Pfarrei Liebfrauen
Liebfrauenstr. 2
54290 Trier

Tel. +49 (0)651 170 79-0
www.liebfrauen-trier.de