Trier Chronicle

2000 BC
“Ante Romam Treveris stetit annis mille trecentis” (“Trier stood 1300 years before Rome”) – Fabled founding of the city by Trebeta, a young man fleeing his stepmother, the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.
Tool finds document settlement in the Trier valley as far back as the Linear Pottery culture (around 5000 BC)

58 –51 BC
The Celtic inhabitants of the area around present-day Trier, the Treveri, come under the influence of Roman culture through Gaius Julius Caesar and his Gallic wars of conquest. Roman rule begins.

30 BC
Roman military camp on Petrisberg Mountain to suppress a Treveri uprising and to secure the Roman highways.

17 BC
Trier’s founding according to Roman law by Emperor Augustus. The name: “Augusta Treverorum” (City of Emperor Augustus in the land of the Treveri). Burial finds and wood samples from the first bridge over the Moselle document an absolutely reliable dating of 17 BC.

AD 44
The Roman geographer Pomponius Mela calls Trier a very wealthy city, an “urbs opulentissima”.

AD 70
First mention of the Roman bridge by Tacitus in connection with Treveri uprisings. The Roman bridge was renewed in AD 144. Its piers still bear modern traffic.

Before AD 150
Construction of the circus, a facility about 1,640 ft/500 m long, for horse and chariot races, with an estimated seating capacity of 50,000.

After AD 150
Construction of the “Barbara Baths,” at that time the second largest public bathing facility in the Roman Empire after the Baths of Trajan.

From about AD 160
A first city wall is built, 4 mi/6.4 km long with at least 30 towers and five city gates, among them, the present Porta Nigra. It was the north gate to the city and is today one of the largest and best preserved city gates of the ancient world, Trier’s landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site. The Amphitheater is built (Roman arena for gladiator and animal fights), with seating for about 18,000 spectators.

AD 212/13
The Treveri inhabitants receive Roman citizenship

Around 269-274
Trier becomes the residence of the “Gallic Empire” under the usurper emperor Victorinus

Destruction in Trier through plunderings by the Franks and Alemanni.

Trier (Treveris) is imperial residence (among others, Maximian, Constantine the Great: 306-316, Constantine II, Valentinian, Gratian) and seat of the Gallic Prefecture, the highest authority in the Western Roman Empire (until 402) with administrative authority from Britannia to Morocco. Extensive building program. In the 4th century, the population reaches about 40,000 to 60,000. In area, Trier is the largest Roman city north of the Alps (704 acres/285 ha).

Beginning in 305
The Roman audience hall (“Basilika”) is built. Throne room of Constantine and subsequent emperors, later castle of the Trier Electors, since 1856 Protestant church.

First documented mention of a Trier bishop (Agritius at the synod in Arles).

Before 320
An Early Christian place of assembly is expanded to a basilica (three aisles)

From about 335
Development of an Early Christian basilica to a monumental church complex. Construction of the present Cathedral begins.

Emperor Valentinian II leaves Trier. End of the Roman flowering of the city as imperial residence.

395 - 402
Gallic Prefecture is moved from Trier to Arles

410/11 – 435
Trier is taken and destroyed four times by the Franks

Around 485
After fifty years of alternating battles and destruction, the Franks finally become masters of the Trier district. The Trier Church retains its ancient heritage.

Around 640
A convent (St. Irmina’s) is constructed in the ruins of the “horrea,” the ancient Roman food storehouse on the Moselle embankment

St. Boniface, the “Apostle of the Germans,” visits Trier-Pfalzel

Around 800
Church reform under Charlemagne
Trier becomes an archdiocese, with suffragan bishops in Metz, Toul, and Verdun in France until 1789.

Emperor Louis the Pious in Trier

Treaty of Verdun; Trier becomes part of the middle Frankish kingdom, Lotharingia (Middle Francia)

Trier becomes part of the east Frankish kingdom, East Francia (Treaty of Meerssen)

Catastrophic pillaging in Trier by the Vikings, destruction of the ancient urban structure

Archbishop of Trier receives royal market and mint privileges along with secular rights of governance. The foundation of a contiguous political Trier territory, the later electoral state, is created.

Archbishop Heinrich I has the Market Cross erected as a symbol of market rights for Trier citizens (oldest market cross in Germany).

Around 1000
Archbishop Ludolf surrounds the Cathedral close with a wall

The Greek monk and hermit Simeon has himself walled into the Porta Nigra

Beginning in 1035
Following Simeon’s death and canonization, the Porta Nigra is converted to a double church with the founding of Simeon’s Collegiate Foundation

The collegiate immunity cross at St. Paulin’s is erected.

Beginning in 1102
Construction of the medieval city wall begins

Pope Eugene III in Trier

Trier city seal, oldest city seal in Europe

Customs treaty between Trier and Cologne (oldest treaty between two German cities)

Archbishop Albero founds the Trier electoral state

Beginning in 1168
Trier as a civic community under the leadership of aldermen

Oldest documented apothecary in Germany (at the Main Market)

The medieval city wall is completed. Enclosed territory (about 344 acres/ 139 ha), less than half of the Roman city

The guilds gain voting rights in the city administration

Trier’s territory is significantly expanded under Elector-Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg. Enormous influence in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire.

Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg manages push through the election of his brother Henry as German king.

Pogrom against the Jews and the preliminary end of the Jewish community in Trier in connection with the greatest European plague epidemic

Emperor Charles IV’s "Golden Bull": The Archbishop of Trier is confirmed as Elector

Trier has about 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants; Trier claims the right to answer only to Holy Roman Emperor and is denied by arbitration verdict by Emperor Charles IV

Trier University is founded. Congress with Emperor Friedrich III, Archduke Maximilian, and Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy in Trier

Imperial Diet under Emperor Maximilian I in Trier, with the first exhibition of the Holy Robe

The knight Franz von Sickingen besieges Trier

Caspar Olevian’s attempt to bring the Reformation to Trier fails

The Jesuit School is founded at the Jesuit College (later Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, most famous student: Karl Marx)

Trier’s struggle for emancipation from the Elector and answerability only to the Holy Roman Emperor is finally decided in the Imperial court in favor of the Trier Elector

Witch trials in the Trier area with numerous executions. The Trier Mayor and Jurist Dr. Flade is also executed, charged with the crime of wizadry

The new market fountain is officially dedicated

1618 – 1648
Thirty Year’s War, number of Trier’s inhabitants falls below 4,000

Friedrich Spee, battler against the witch hysteria, dies in Trier

French troops occupy the city, destroying numerous secular buildings as well as churches

Elector Johann Hugo of Orsbeck mandates compulsory schooling.

French troops again occupy Trier. All fortifications are razed

Around 1700
After economic decline and destruction in the War of the Palatine Succession, only 2,570 inhabitants (not counting clergy)

Trier Cathedral burns

The Moselle bridge (Roman Bridge) is restored after having been severely damaged by warfare

Clemens Wenceslaus, last Trier Elector

French Revolutionary troops conquer and occupy Trier

End of the Trier Electoral State, dissolution of the monasteries and convents, secularization

Trier is annexed to France and is administrative seat of the Saar Department; economic renewal, for example, porcelain and cloth manufacturing

First Trier university is closed by the French Revolutionary Commissioner

First permanent private theater, finally municipalized in 1811

Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in Trier

Prussian troops occupy Trier, expulsion of the French

Trier is allocated to the Prussian Rhine Province and is administrative seat of the Trier District. Cut off from France, the garrison city sinks into poverty and numbers fewer than 15,000 inhabitants in 1850.

The Trier Protestant congregation is founded

On May 5, Karl Marx is born in Trier, Brückenstrasse 10. The poverty on the Moselle provides him with first impulses for his later teachings.

Reestablishment of the German Trier diocese

First steamship docks in Trier, arriving from Metz. Starting in 1841 regular passenger ship traffic between Metz, Trier and Coblenz.

First gas works are put into operation. Municipalized in 1900. Gas lanterns are introduced

Around 750,000 faithful pilgrimage to the Holy Robe in Trier

Revolution, in Trier determined by the financial distress and the antagonism against Prussian rule

Trier is connected to telegraph network

Trier is connected to the railroad in Prussia
Dedication of the “Basilika” as Protestant Church of the Savior in the presence of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia

Opening of the new railroad line in Trier-Saarbrücken, Trier-Luxembourg, 1871: Trier-Cologne, 1879: Trier-Coblenz

Dedication of St. Mary’s Column

Kulturkampf (Prussian attempt to reduce the influence of the Catholic Church)

Dedication of the new Trier Main Railroad Station

Opening of the tram network on July 17, electrified 1902, replaced by buses in 1951

Dedication of the new telephone network

From 1900 to 1904
Construction of the modern sewer system and waste treatment

The city electricity works is launched, sale to RWE.

Construction and dedication (1913) of the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge

On the evening of August 1 at 7:00 p.m., the headquarters of the 16th Division from Trier opened the hostilities of the First World War, according to orders in the German mobilization plan, by occupying the Luxembourg railroad hub in Trois Vierges.

American troops march into Trier on December 1, followed by the French on August 11, 1919

Opening of the Trier adult education center

The Abbey of St. Matthias is reestablished

Peak of German inflation; the city issues emergency currency; Rhineland separatists briefly occupy City Hall

French occupation ends on June 28

Hitler speaks in Trier on April 22

Holy Robe pilgrimage
Jewish citizens begin emigrating

Teachers’ Training School; from 1950 Teachers’ Academy with the right to grant PhDs

Violence against Trier Jews in the so-called Kristallnacht

1941 – 1943
Deportation and extermination of Trier Jews in annihilation camps

Great destruction in the city from bombings by the Americans and British. Important cultural monuments are lost.
After evacuation, about 3,000 still live in the city at year’s end

General Patton’ Third Army takes the city on March 2. In July, the city, destroyed up to about 40%, is turned over to the French occupiers. On June 29, the Market Cross is re-erected as a symbol of the will to rebuild.

Trier, a part of the Rhine Province for 130 years, is allocated to Rhineland-Palatinate as a result of an arbitrarily drawn border of the French occupation zone.

The Catholic Theological Seminary is refounded

The Roman Archaeological Museum (Landesmuseum) is reopened
The restored “Basilika,” Protestant Church of the Savior, is rededicated

The City Library moves into the new building on Weberbach
Channeling of the Moselle begins
Sister city partnerships with Metz (France) and Gloucester (Great Britain)

Operation begins at the Riveris Resevoir to secure Trier’s drinking water supply
Sister city partnership with Ascoli Piceno (Italy)

Holy Robe Pilgrimage, almost 2 million pilgrims

Work finished to make the Moselle a navigable waterway; navigable from Thionville (France) to Coblenz for ships up to 1,500 metric tons; opening in Trier by France’s President Charles de Gaulle, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, und Germany’s President Heinrich Lübke
Opening of the newly built Trier Theater at Augustinerhof

Sister city partnership with 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands)

Through incorporation, Trier becomes a city of over 100,000 after communal reform

Trier University (initially as a double university Trier-Kaiserslautern) is refounded
The Steipe, destroyed in WWII and rebuilt, opens at the Main Market,
Sister city partnership with Pula (Yugoslavia/Croatia)

Konrad Adenauer Bridge is opened as the third Moselle bridge
Trier-Coblenz autobahn connection is opened; the city is connected to the German autobahn network
The German Judges Academy is opened

Trier celebrates 2000 years of the city’s history with events during the entire year

Direct connection to the European long-distance highway network
Completion of the autobahn Trier-Luxembourg

Surprising discovery of the third large Roman baths (4th century AD) during building of an underground parking garage at Viehmarkt Square
Sister city partnerships with Weimar (GDR) and Fort Worth, Texas (USA)

French military begins to withdraw from Trier

European Art Academy is completed in the former slaughter house
The European Academy of Law is founded

Spectacular discovery of over 2,500 Roman gold coins during construction of a parking deck for a Trier hospital

A flood of the century afflicts Trier in December. Emergency alert is declared. Flood peak at 37 ft/ 11.28 m on December 23

Excavation and renovation of work on the former Abby Church of St. Maximin as a gymnasium and cultural event venue is completed

Dedication of the redesigned Cathedral Square
Holy Robe pilgrimage with about 700,000 pilgrims

Opening ceremony on May 30 after completion of renovation of Schloss Monaise from the Louis Seize era.

The “Glass Cube” by architect O. M. Ungers is completed above the finds of the Roman baths at Viehmarkt Square
First Trier Antiquity Festival with concerts, performances of operas and plays in the Amphitheater, in the Imperial Baths, and in front of the Porta Nigra

The French military finally completes withdrawal from Trier after 54 years. Leave-taking in friendship

Trier Arena is opened on the former French barracks grounds Castelforte; large multifunctional hall for sports and concert events. The Trier Oswald von Nell Breuning Prize is awarded for the first time, with award recipient Professor Paul Kirchhof, ret. The newly designed Kornmarkt Square is dedicated

Petrisberg Mountain site of the second Rhineland-Palatinate State Garden Show

Sister city partnership with Nagaoka (Japan)

800,000 at the “Constantine the Great” exhibition in three Trier museums

Sister city partnership with Xiamen (People’s Republic of China)