The Church of Our Lady is the oldest Gothic church in Germany, built in the 13th century. A special feature is the cruciform floor plan.
The south part of the Roman double church was torn down around 1200 and completely replaced by the Early Gothic Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauen). Nothing above the surface is Roman any more, but there are extensive excavations (not open to the public) underneath the church and several of the Gothic pillars stand on top of Roman column foundations. The medieval church, however, was no longer a long, three-aisled structure, but a church-in-the-round, whose cross-shaped vaulting with four corresponding portals in rounded niches was completed by eight rounded altar niches so that the floor plan resembles a twelve-petaled rose, a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the rosa mystica, and reminiscent of the twelve tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles. The apostles as well as the twelve articles of the Apostle's Creed are painted on the twelve supporting columns, completely visible only from one spot marked by a black stone. The intriguing optics are matched by splendid acoustics.
Cathedral Office (Dom-Information), tel. +49 651 9790790, www.trierer-dom.de