Trier, Baths of Barbara


Augusta Treverorum: important Roman city, modern Trier.

Baths of Barbara, model

The Baths of Barbara, situated halfway the bridge and the forum in Trier, must have been immense. Today, you can see only some ruins in a field that is almost 100 meter deep and wide, but this represents only about one quarter of the entire monument. Once, the complex used to measure 175 x 225 meter.

The Baths of Barbara were built in the second century CE, and are remarkable because the map is similar to the bathhouses from northern Africa; usually, the people north of the Alps followed Italian examples. The Baths of Barbara were still in use in the early fifth century, but did not survive the four sacks of the city between 410 and 435.

Baths of Barbara, model

People started to live in the ruin, and a chapel was built inside one of the ancient buildings, dedicated to the Savior. Other buildings were a monastery dedicated to Saint Barbara (hence the name), and a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

In the Middle Ages, the Baths of Barbara served as a castle, just like the nearby Imperial Baths. The small village, full of religious buildings, was known as Barbeln.