Constantine Basilica, Trier
If there is one building in Trier which will give you an idea of the impressive building skills of the Roman Empire it is the Konstantinbasilka. It is simply vast and, I believe, is the largest example of a single room structure which remains from the period of the Roman Empire. The building is 67 metres long, just over 27 metres wide and an amazing 33 metres high.
It wasn't built (at the beginning of the 4th century AD) as any sort of church but as a massive, and massively impressive, throne-room for Emperor Constantine. Originally the interior was plastered (and no doubt beautifully painted), with marble floors and marble statues. The whole building was heated by a hypocaust system with five furnaces, using the hot air generated not only to heat the floor above but also using a system of flues within the walls (this was the usual way of Roman hypocaust heating, not something exclusive to the Konstantinbasilika).
The throne-room was part of a complex of buildings; the foundations of some were excavated in the 1980s.
The building fell into disrepair in the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire, but was later renovated and re-used as the residence for the Archbishop of Trier. Later still, in the 17th century, the south and east walls were partially removed to allow the construction of the Electoral Palace, a frothy and rather gaudy pink-and-white building which (imo) looks oddly 'stuck onto' the austere Konstantinbasilika.
The building was given for the use of the Protestant church in 1856, although it is still state-owned. So when you visit today you are visiting a modern Protestant church housed in (and rather swamped by) a vast and ancient Roman building.
What you see today gives little sign of what must have been a magnificently opulent roman interior. The plaster and marble are all long gone. Changes over the centuries, and fire damage during the Second World War, have destroyed much of what once was. But you can still get a feel for that past glory simply from the size and scale of the building. It is worth seeking out for that reason alone.
January-March: Closed on Mondays
Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 16:00
Sundays and public holidays 12:00 - 13:00
April to October:
Monday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00
November to December: Closed on Mondays
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 16:00
Sundays and holidays 12:00 - 13:00
The Constantin Basilica (the marker does point at the basilica but the text on the map says something else) was constructed in 310 during the reign of Constantin the Great (reigned 306 - 337). It was then called Aula Palatina. It served as an imperial palace, the one chamber being a throne hall. But from the beginnig there were other buildings surrounding it. There were among others a vestibule and service buildings. It was also well maintained for the comfort since there was a heating system in the floor and the walls.
Later on, during the medieval ages, it served as residence for the bishop of Trier.
With the dimensions 67 m long, 26 m wide and 33 m high it is the largest standing hall from antique times.
It is today used as a Protestant church but can be visited during daytime.
The Basilika was built in 310AD for the Emperor Constantine to use as a throne room. It was built to immense proportions as the Romans wanted it to stand as a symbol of the great might and power of its emperor. Originally it was heavily adorned with statuary and other such fittings but this was all destroyed by the Germanic tribes when they invaded Trier in the sixth century.
Part of the eastern wall was demolished in the 17th century at the time of the building of The Residenz and the Basilika was adjoined to the newly built Residenz (Electoral Hall). The difference in architecture between the two buildings is quite unbelievable. They are like chalk and cheese. The demolished eastern wall was finally reconstructed by order of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the Prussian king. After it was bombed in 1944, it was restored again.
The Basilika became the Protestant Church of St Savior in 1856 and is still so today.
Admission is free and the Basilika is open from Apr-Oct: 10-6 Mon-Sat, 12-6 Sun
Nov-Mar: 11-noon and 3-4 pm Tue-Sat, 12-1 Sun.
Behind the shoulder of the pink layer cake Kurfurstliches Palace with its licorice windows and ice cream statues, lurks the austere Amityville Horror house of the Constantine Basilica. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel it lies in wait behind the sweet looking Palace which lures the innocent into lush green gardens. There it glooms, hating the joy and laughter of the revellers as they play.
I'm getting a bit lyrical here, but for some reason I found the vast Constantine Basilica to be quite spooky. It was once the throne room of Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, who made his home in Trier. In those days the vast 67m long self-supporting building was ornately decorated. Now it is a Protestant church, and its once glorious exterior has been stripped to the bare bones. Its plain brick exterior matches in simplicity its near empty interior.
Basilika (left) was once Caiser's holiday house and is now Christian (Evaganish) church. The Baroque building at its side is obvious.
I was facing Kaiserthermen. It's the biggest Bath place from Rom time and was built in the 4 th century.
Just like the Basilca at the forum romanum in Rome, Trier has its own Basilica which is very well perserved through the ages. Its situated next to the Dom and is a hughe building.
Its about 30 meters in altitude and 70 meters long as well as 30 meters broad. The building now serves as a protestant church.
The so-called Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. The Romans wanted the architecture to express the magnificence and might of the emperor.
This depth is magnified by an optical illusion - both the windows of the apse as well as the niches underneath become progressively smaller towards the middle, thus enhancing the impression of length.
The Roman building was embellished by colorful marble inlay, mosaics, and statues and was made comfortable by a hollow-floor heating system, but all this splendor and technology were destroyed (in the 5th century) by the Germanic Franks, who built a settlement inside the roofless ruin.
Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been used as the first and oldest Protestant church in Catholic Trier with a splendid organ answered by a seven-second echo.
The biggest preserved Roman building north of the Alps. The size of it makes one realize how important Trier was in those days. The Electoral Palace next to it is partly renessance and the wing facing the parc is very elegant 18-century rococo.
The Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single-room structure from Roman times. However the old structure with its splendor was destroyed by the Franks in the 5th Century.
The Romans wanted the architecture to express the magnificence and might of the emperor. It's in use as a protestant church since the middle of the 19th century. The Basilika in Trier is on the UNESCO`s list of World Heritage.
There is no admission charge.
There is not much to see inside but it is the huge structure of the whole thing that is so fascinating. Impressive! Also known as the Aula Palatina this is where the roman emperor Constantine had his throne.
The Basilika is a great hall. it has only one room.
It's one of the buildings from the romans who should show the power of the emperor. That's a really great building.
Built in 310 AD by the romans as Constantines throne hall, built in brick is 67m long and 36m high amazing !
Basilika, Constantine's throne room, is the largest surviving single room structure from the Roman times.