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Trier Bust of Karl Marx, copyright Christian Millen, Tourist Information Trier
Trier's largest and best known museum is the Rhenish State Museum. It covers the first four centuries A.D. Trier's municipal history is brought vividly to life in the Simeonstift Municipal Museum. Karl Marx House, the birthplace of Karl Marx, the founder of modern socialism, is now a museum housing a permanent exhibition.
Rhenish State Museum
Founded in 1877, the Rhenish State Museum documents the history of Trier, its surrounding area and the neighbouring regions of the Eifel and the Hunsrück. It holds a fascinating collection of artwork and archaeological finds, which represent a cross-section of local cultural history. These original artefacts tell the story of the region from the dawn of Man to the middle of the 19th century. The exhibitions cover an area of 3,000m², with sections on pre-history, Roman times, late antiquity, early Christianity, the Franconian era, the Middle Ages and the modern period. There is also a coin cabinet, the original Neumagen Wineship and a huge model of Trier in its Roman heyday. Open every day from May to October. Closed on Mondays from November to April, except on public holidays. Guided tours on request.
Simeonstift Municipal Museum
The Simeonstift building is situated around a picturesque fountain courtyard right next to the Porta Nigra gate. It is home to Trier's municipal museum, which has been providing an insight into the town's history since 1958. Displays include a model of the town circa 1800; sculptures, paintings, arts and crafts, Coptic textiles, furniture and small sculptures from the Far East. The museum has a number of local residents to thank for the impressive variety of artefacts on show. Many of the key exhibits are donations from their own private collections. Closed on Mondays.
Karl Marx House
The Karl Marx House in Trier's pedestrian precinct was the birthplace of the German philosopher, author and revolutionary Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883). He was one of the most influential and controversial theorists of communism, whose main interest was the critical analysis of capitalism. The baroque house where he was born has been a museum since 1947. Across three floors, it gives an insight into Karl Marx as a person, his origins and family, his life and career and his changing circumstances, the decades he spent exiled in London (where he died and is buried), his body of work and his associates and enemies. Open every day, except December 24, 25, 26 and 31, and January 1.
Episcopal Cathedral and Diocesan Museum
At Trier Diocesan Museum, which is right beside the cathedral, visitors can admire works of Christian art ranging from classical antiquity to the present day. The museum is housed in Trier's former prison, a classical modern building, and was opened in 1988. The highlight of the exhibition and the only one of its kind north of the Alps is the 70 m² vaulted ceiling from a Roman palace beneath Trier Cathedral. In addition to its magnificent archaeological section, the museum also has extensive collections of Christian art. Images of Christ, especially depictions of the Crucifixion and of the Passion, sculptures of European rank, paintings, exquisite textiles, gold masterpieces and works by contemporary artists. Closed on Mondays from November to March. Themed guided tours on request.
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