You don’t have to be deeply religious to feel a sense of awe viewing a historical relic.

Trier, Germany, possesses one it considers most precious: the holy robe, or tunic, that many believe Jesus Christ wore shortly before his Crucifixion. However, it’s seldom that anyone gets to see it. The last time it was displayed was in 1996, one of only three times in the past century.

Whatever your beliefs, the history of the robe is fascinating. Legend has it that Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, brought the relic to Trier in the fourth century following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In 1512, German Emperor Maximilian I made a formal visit to Trier to attend the Imperial Diet. Upon his demand to view the robe, it was removed from a place on the altar of the cathedral where it had been undisturbed for centuries. When the public learned of it, they demanded to see the robe. Since then, millions of people have journeyed to view it.

Now you can take your turn 500 years from the date of its first official public showing.

From April 13 through May 13, the Trier Diocese invites pilgrims to view the robe in the city’s cathedral. It is on display from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the period of the pilgrimage, or, as it’s known in German, Wallfahrt. There is no charge. Find more information at

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