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Constantine Basilica, Trier

Constantine Basilica – Konstantinbasilika – Latin name Aula Palatina (Palatinate Hall), was built in Trier in 310 AD by the Emperor Constantine. At the time, Trier, then Augusta Treverorum, was the capital of Rome’s Western Empire and the home of Constantine the Great. The Basilica was built as part of a palace complex and was originally not a free-standing building but had other smaller buildings attached to it. The Basilica also had an under-floor and wall heating system installed. The interior originally was wonderfully ornate with golden mosaics, marble inlays and statues was plastered and painted, today it is quite empty and one can see the plain brick walls inside as well as outside, only one of the original two outer walls and its apse are original.

The vast building was originally the throne hall of the emperor, where Emperor Constantine the Great would meet and greet audiences, and later, in the Middle Ages was used as the residence for the bishop of Trier when the apse was redesigned into living quarters. The Hall served as an army barracks during the Napoleonic and Prussian times until the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV ordered it’s reconstruction in the 19th century, to it’s original Roman state. The Basilica sustained heavy bomb damage in 1944, during the Second World War and had again to be restored. The Roman Basilica has served as the Protestant Church of the Saviour – Kirche zum Erlöser – since 1856. The Constantine Basilica is the largest surviving single-room structure dating from the Ancient Roman times. The Basilica is still an impressive building at 220 feet (67 metres) long, 90 feet (27.2 metres) wide and 98 feet (33 metres) high, the windows alone are over 7 metres high . Inside the depth of the building is magnified by an optical illusion, the windows and the niches underneath them become progressively smaller towards the centre which gives the impression of even more length. Looking upwards you can see the largest hall without pillars north of the Alps.The self-supporting roof of wooden squares was rebuilt in 1956. The Hall of the Basilica has amazing acoustics and concerts are a wonderful experience for music lovers.

Konstantinplatz, 54290 Trier, Germany

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