House of the Three Kings, Trier
If you are in Trier, Germany on a hot summer day you may find yourself eating an ice cream or an eiscafe or eisschokolade in an outdoor café with a view of the Porta Nigra. If you look up you will see a magnificent façade of the building that houses your café. Take a good look at the sign which proclaims that it is the house of the Three Kings. Yes it has been modernised and hence has lost its first floor entrance and original features but much of the grandeur has been retained as you will see inside as well. A welcome reminder that while time marches on some of the past is preserved if you look for it.
This in an interesting building on Simonstrasse (leading from the Porta Nigra to the Hauptmarkt) but one which I suspect is easily missed.
I'm certain its colours are not as they would originally have been when the house was first constructed in the 1200s. Nor is the entrance i the right place: the original entrance was on the first floor, placed there as a security measure (something also seen in UK and Irish buildings of the same era).
It also reminded me of the 'tower houses' from the same era which I've seen in Italy and in other parts of Germany. (e.g. Bamberg). The height of the building showed the status and wealth of the owner. The practice never caught on in the UK though!
The house name comes from a painting which was once inside the house: it's not the original name. And (from older photos) there should be a pointed gable end, not the lat-topped gable which now exists.
Despite the colours, the gable end and the 'wrong' entrance, it's still a lovely..and unusual..piece of historical architecture.
Dreikönighaus means House of Three Kings. It was built in 1230 but the outlook today comes from later reconstruction. The name of the house stems from the 17th century. From the beginning there was no entrance on the ground floor but on the first floor only. That was because at the time of building, the city wall was not yet finished so the inhabitants in every house had to defend themselves. A ladder or a wooden staircase that could be pulled up had to be used. The old entrance is visible beside the windows.
The Dreik?ningshouse is build in the 13 th. century, it served as a Hostal. Its meant to be designed as an optical manifest of bourgeosie.