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Bishop's Museum in Germany houses early examples of Christian art

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 25th, 2011
Catholic Online (

The Bischofliches Museum, or Bishop's Museum is housed in a 19th-century building near Trier Cathedral in Trier, Germany. Once a Prussian prison, the building now houses the art collection of the Diocese of Trier, including much early Christian art.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An excellent museum and one of the most interesting attractions in Trier, the museum is easy to miss due to its out-of-the-way location and minimal signage, but it is highly worthwhile.

The museum's prize possession is a 3rd-century ceiling fresco from the imperial palace over which Trier Cathedral was built. The fresco was rediscovered in 1945, and some 70,000 pieces were reassembled over the following decades.

Another highlight is the reconstructed crypt of the Benedictine church of St. Maximin, which has significant 9th-century Carolingian wall paintings.

The sepulcher of Bishop Karl von Metternich, who represented the archbishopric during the Thirty Years' War, is also worth a visit.

A collection of Roman textiles and medieval church vestments, original Early Gothic statues from the Liebfrauenkirche, as well as the creations of sculptors, ivory carvers, and goldsmiths over the centuries are all part of the museum's the exhibits.
Established in cooperation between the Cathedral and the Bishop's See, the Bishop's Museum mission is to collect, preserve, and research testaments to the art, culture, and history of the Christian faith of the Diocese and of the former Trier Archdiocese and to present these artifacts and ideas to the public. It also cultivates a dialog with contemporary art.

In addition, the Museum conducts archaeological research into the predecessor structures of Trier Cathedral, the oldest German bishop's church, from Late Antiquity. This research has resulted in a collection of archaeological finds uniquely illustrating the origins of Christianity in Trier. The  respective archaeological excavation sites from Early Christianity are under the auspices of the Museum.

The Museum represents a remarkable documentation of the existing continuity of the Trier Church from the 4th century to the present.

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