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St. Matthias Abbey

Germany, Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate

St. Matthias Abbey

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St. Matthias‘ Abbey is a monastery in Trier (Treveris), Rhineland-Palatinate. The abbey has its roots in the mid-5th century, when it was built by Cyrillus, the bishop of Trier, to honor the founders of the archdiocese of Trier, Eucharius and Valerius. That is why the monastery was originally called St. Eucharius‘ Abbey. The bones of Eucharius and Valerius are being preserved in the monastery‘s crypt since the 10th century, and the monks adopted the Rule of Saint Benedict around the year 977. In the early 12th century, a new church building was constructed in the romanesque style. During the demolition of the old church buildings, the supposed bones of the apostle Matthias were found and are being preserved in a sarcophagus within the crypt. In the year 1148 the unfinished church was concecrated by Pope Eugene III. and several cardinals. From there on, the abbey turned into an important site of pilgrimage since it contains the only tomb of an apostle north of the Alps, and the abbey became increasingly known as St. Matthias‘ Abbey.

Since then, the monastery underwent two major periods of construction: The first one was in the early to mid-13th century and saw the construction of the early gothic cloister and sacristry. The second phase was at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century. This time, the church‘s dome was being reworked and the building was extended by an apse. Some of the apse‘s original windows still exist today.

In the year 1783, the last abbot was deposed. During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the buildings of the abbey were requisitioned by the French Army in 1794, until they were secularized in 1802 and turned into private property. After World War I, the abbey was revived and reinaugurated in 1922.

The church serves the four functions of being a parish church, a conventual church for the Benedictine monks, a pilgrimage church, and a burial church for the bones of Eucharius and Valerius. To fulfill all these functions, it underwent a long series of transformations and modernizations, such as an extension of the crypt with new access ways, a modernized altar space, as well as new stable choir stalls for the monk‘s choir.


After this first church was destroyed by the Normans in 882, a new building was erected under Archbishop Egbert (977-993), which now also included the corresponding buildings of the Benedictine monastery. Excavations have shown that this so-called «Egbert Church» had a polygonal west end flanked by round stair towers.

Today, only part of the crypt and some arcades in the cloister remain of it and its outbuildings. Probably as a result of a reform under the influence of Hirsau, construction of the present (third) church began on the same site in 1127; this new building was also erected as a pilgrimage church to St. Matthias and in its late parts belongs stylistically to the Trier-Lorraine building group. It is a three-nave Romanesque pillar basilica with a transept. To the west of the 41.10 m long and 21.00 m wide nave rises a mighty façade construction 5.18 m deep and 22.3 m wide, which carries the two-storey rectangular main tower. A side tower rises above each of the end choirs of the two side aisles in the east.

The church underwent significant structural changes in the late Gothic style around 1500; the choir and crypt were extended to the east. In the second half of the 17th and in the 18th century, the church underwent a strong baroqueisation.



Información de la localidad

St. Matthias Abbey
Other monuments and places to visitTrier, maybe Germany's oldest city, boasts a multitude of tourist attractions: Porta Nigra, Imperial Baths, Amphitheatre, Roman Bridge. Cathedral and Aula palatina built between AD 300 and AD 310
Natural Heritage
Historical Recreations
Festivals of Tourist InterestThere are plenty of concerts within the church over the year.
Tourist Officetrier.de
Trier Tourism And Marketing, Simeonstraße 60, 54290 Trier, Germany, Teleph. 49 651 978080
Specialized GuidesNo
Guided visitsYes
AccommodationsYes, you can request under gaesteempfang@abteistmatthias.de to stay at the monastery as a guest and partake in the monks‘ daily routine. More information can be found at abteistmatthias.de
Ibis Styles Trier, Metzelstrasse 12, 54290 Tréveris, Germany.
Park Plaza Trier, Nikolaus-Koch-Platz 1, 54290 Tréveris, Alemania.
RestaurantsThe Benedictine Abbey of St. Matthias is located in the south of the city of Trier where you can find plenty of restaurants.
Kartoffel Restaurant Kiste, Fahrstraße 13, 54290 Trier, Germany, Teleph.: 49 651 9790066
Wirtshaus Zur Glocke, Glockenstraße 12, 54290 Trier, Germany, Teleph.: 49 651 9998800
CraftThe monastery has its own shop, where a range of different articles are offered, from books to devotional items.
BibliographyPetrus Becker OSB, Das Erzbistum Trier, Band 8: Die Benediktinerabtei St. Eucharius und St. Matthias in Trier (= Germania Sacra, NF 34), de Gruyter, Berlin, 1996.
Videos Youtube
Monument or place to visitSt. Matthias’ Abbey
TypeMonastic architecture
Epoch5th century/ 12th-13th/15th-16th centuries
State of conservationGood condition
Mailing addressBenediktinerabtei St. Matthias, Matthiasstraße 85, 54290 Trier
Coordinates GPS49°45′20″N 6°38′22″O
Property, dependencyCongregation of the Annunciation, Bishopric of Trier
Possibility of visits by the general public or only specialists
General public visits
Conservation needs
Visiting hours and conditions
The basilica is open from the morning prayer at 5.45 AM on until 8 PM for personal prayers.
General public visits are possible, usually between 8 AM to 5 PM.
Information on program for visitors can be found on the website: abteistmatthias.de/termine/
Ticket amount
Free entry
Research work in progress
Signaling if it is registered on the route
Videos abteistmatthias.de
Information websites abteistmatthias.de
LocationRatisbona, Bavaria