AskDefine | Define trier

Dictionary Definition



1 one (as a judge) who examines and settles a case
2 one who tries [syn: attempter, essayer]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Agent noun of try; one who tries, particularly in the context of a trial.

Derived terms




  1. To sort, to sort out
    Trier le tas de lettres.
    Sort (out) the pile of letters.
  2. To grade; to calibrate

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

Trier (; Luxembourgish: Tréier; ; lang-la Augusta Treverorum) is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle River. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC. Trier is not the only city claiming to be Germany's oldest, but it is the only one that bases this assertion on having the longest history as a city, as opposed to a mere settlement or army camp.
Trier lies in a valley between low vine-covered hills of ruddy sandstone in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the German border with Luxembourg and within the important Mosel wine-growing region.
Trier is the oldest seat of a Christian bishop north of the Alps. In the Middle Ages, the Archbishop of Trier was an important ecclesiastical prince, as the Archbishopric of Trier controlled land from the French border to the Rhine. He was also one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire.
With an approximate population of 100,000, Trier was until 2005 ranked fourth alongside Kaiserslautern among the state's largest cities, after Mainz, Ludwigshafen am Rhein and Koblenz. The nearest large cities in Germany are Saarbrücken, some 80 km southeast, and Koblenz, about 100 km northeast. The closest city to Trier is the capital of Luxembourg, some 50 km to the southwest.
Trier is home to the University of Trier, the administration of the Trier-Saarburg district and the seat of the ADD (Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion), which until 1999 was the borough authority of Trier. It is one of the five "central places" of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Along with Luxembourg, Metz and Saarbrücken, fellow constituent members of the QuattroPole union of cities, it also forms a central place of the greater region encompassing Saar-Lor-Lux (Saarland, Lorraine and Luxembourg), Rhineland-Palatinate and Wallonia.


Trier sits in a hollow midway along the Moselle valley, with the most significant portion of the city on the east bank of the river. Wooded and vineyard-covered slopes stretch up to the Hunsrück plateaux in the South and the Eifel in the North. The border with the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg is some 15 km distant.

Neighbouring municipalities

Listed in clockwise order, beginning with the northernmost; all municipalities belong to the Trier-Saarburg district
Schweich, Kenn and Longuich (all part of the Verbandsgemeinde Schweich an der Römischen Weinstraße), Mertesdorf, Kasel, Waldrach, Morscheid, Korlingen, Gutweiler, Sommerau and Gusterath (all in the Verbandsgemeinde Ruwer), Hockweiler, Franzenheim (both part of the Verbandsgemeinde Trier-Land), Konz (Verbandsgemeinde Konz), Igel, Trierweiler, Aach, Newel, Kordel (Eifel), Zemmer (all in the Verbandsgemeinde Trier-Land)

Organisation of city districts

The Trier urban area is divided into 19 city districts. For each district there is an Ortsbeirat (local council) of between 9 and 15 members, as well as an Ortsvorsteher (local representative). The local councils are charged with hearing the important issues that impact upon the district, although the final decision on any issue rests with the city council. The local councils nevertheless have the freedom to undertake limited measures within the bounds of their districts and their allocated budgets.
The districts of Trier together with their official numbers and their associated sub-districts (in parentheses):


According to the Gesta Treverorum, the city was founded by Trebeta, an Assyrian prince, centuries before ancient Rome. The Roman Empire subdued the Treveri in the 1st century BC and established Augusta Treverorum (Lit: August (Regal, noble) [City] of the Treveri) in 30 BC. The city later became the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, as well as the Roman prefecture of Gaul. The Porta Nigra counts among the Roman architecture of the city. A residence of the Western Roman Emperor, Roman Trier was the birthplace of Saint Ambrose.
The Franks occupied Trier from the Roman administration in 459 AD. In 870 it became part of Eastern Francia, which developed into the Holy Roman Empire. Relics of Saint Matthias brought to the city initiated widespread pilgrimages. The bishops of the city grew increasingly powerful, and the Archbishopric of Trier was recognized as an electorate of the empire, one of the most powerful states of Germany. The University of Trier was founded in the city in 1473.
In the 17th century, the Archbishops and Prince-Electors of Trier relocated their residences to Philippsburg Castle in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz. A session of the Reichstag was held in Trier in 1512, during which the demarcation of the Imperial Circles was definitively established.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Trier was sought after by France, who invaded during the Thirty Years' War, the War of the Grand Alliance, the War of the Spanish Succession, and the War of the Polish Succession. France succeeded in finally claiming Trier in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars, and the electoral archbishopric was dissolved. After the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, Trier passed to the Kingdom of Prussia. Karl Marx was born in the city in 1818.
As part of the Prussian Rhineland, Trier developed economically during the 19th century. The city rose in revolt during the revolutions of 1848 in the German states, although the rebels were forced to concede. It became part of the German Empire in 1871.
Trier was heavily bombed and bombarded in 1944 during World War II. The city became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate after the war. The university, dissolved in 1797, was restarted in the 1970s, while the Cathedral of Trier was reopened in 1974. Trier officially celebrated its 2,000th anniversary in 1984.

Main sights

Trier is well known for its well-preserved Roman and medieval buildings, which include:
  • the Porta Nigra, the best preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps;
  • ruins of three Roman baths, among them the largest Roman baths north of the Alps;
  • the huge Constantine Basilica, a basilica in the original Roman sense, being the 67 m long throne hall of Roman Emperor Constantine; it is today used as a Protestant church.
  • the Trier Cathedral (lang-de Trierer Dom or Dom St. Peter), a Roman Catholic church which dates back to Roman times and is home to the Holy Tunic, a garment that presumably goes back to the robe Jesus was wearing when he died. It is only exhibited every few decades, at irregular intervals.
  • The Liebfrauenkirche (German for Church of Our Lady), which is one of the most important early Gothic cathedrals in Germany and follows into the architectural tradition of the French Gothic cathedrals;
  • the Roman amphitheatre;
  • the Roman bridge (Römerbrücke) across the Moselle River, which is the oldest bridge north of the Alps still crossed by traffic;
  • St. Matthias Abbey (Abtei St. Matthias), a still-in-use monastery in whose medieval church the only apostle north of the Alps is held to be buried
  • St. Gangolf Church was the city's market church that rivalled the Archbishop's Trier Cathedral.
  • the church of St. Paulin, which is one of the most important Baroque churches in Rhineland-Palatinate and may have been in parts designed by the famous architect Balthasar Neumann
  • the two old treadwheel cranes, the so called "Old Crane" (der Alte Krahnen) or the "Trierian Moselle Crane" (der Trierer Moselkrahn), a Gothic time building from 1413, and the Baroque crane from 1774 called the (old) "Customs Crane" (der (alte) Zollkran), also called the "Younger Moselle Crane" (German: der Jüngere Moselkran).
  • the old jewish cemetry (Weidegasse)


  • Rheinisches Landesmuseum (one of the two most important German archaeological museums for the Roman period, along with the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne)
  • Städtisches Museum Simeonstift (history of Trier, displaying among other exhibits a model of the medieval city)
  • Toy Museum of Trier
  • Ethnological and open air museum Roscheider Hof, a museum in the neighboring town of Konz, right at the city limits of Trier, which shows the history of rural culture in the northwest Rhineland Palatinate and in the area where Germany, Luxembourg and Lorraine meet.
  • Fell Exhibition Slate Mine; site in the municipality of Fell, 20 kilometers from Trier, containing an underground mine, a mine museum, and a slate mining trail


Trier is home to the University of Trier, founded in 1483, closed in 1796 and restarted in 1970. The city also has the Trier University of Applied Sciences. There are various Kindergärten, primary schools and secondary schools in Trier, such as the Hindenburg Gymnasium Trier, Max Plank Gymnasium and the Pestalozzi-Hauptschule.



Trier has direct railway connections to many cities. Nearest cities by train are Cologne, Saarbrücken and Luxemburg. Via the motorways A1, A48 and A64 Trier is linked with Koblenz, Saarbrücken and Luxemburg. Nearest international airports are in Luxemburg (0:40 h by car), Frankfurt-Hahn (1:00 h), Saarbrücken (1:00 h), Frankfurt (2:00 h) and Cologne/Bonn (2:00 h). The Moselle River is an important waterway and is also used for river cruises.

Notable residents

Twin towns

Trier is twinned with:


External links

trier in Breton: Trier
trier in Bulgarian: Трир
trier in Catalan: Trèveris
trier in Czech: Trevír
trier in Danish: Trier
trier in German: Trier
trier in Estonian: Trier
trier in Modern Greek (1453-): Τριέρη
trier in Spanish: Tréveris
trier in Esperanto: Treviro
trier in French: Trèves (Allemagne)
trier in Galician: Tréveris - Trier
trier in Hebrew: טריר
trier in Korean: 트리어
trier in Croatian: Trier
trier in Ido: Trier
trier in Indonesian: Trier
trier in Italian: Treviri
trier in Georgian: ტრირი
trier in Latin: Augusta Treverorum
trier in Luxembourgish: Tréier
trier in Hungarian: Trier
trier in Dutch: Trier
trier in Japanese: トリーア
trier in Norwegian: Trier
trier in Norwegian Nynorsk: Trier
trier in Occitan (post 1500): Trevèri
trier in Low German: Trier
trier in Polish: Trewir
trier in Portuguese: Trier
trier in Romanian: Trier
trier in Russian: Трир
trier in Albanian: Triri
trier in Simple English: Trier
trier in Serbian: Трир
trier in Finnish: Trier
trier in Swedish: Trier
trier in Turkish: Trier
trier in Venetian: Trèviri
trier in Volapük: Trier
trier in Chinese: 特里尔
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