Electorate of Trier

The Electorate of Trier (German: Kurfürstentum Trier or Kurtrier), traditionally known in English by its French name of Trèves, was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire that existed from the end of the 9th to the early 19th century. It consisted of the temporal possessions of the prince-archbishop of Trier (Erzbistum Trier), also a prince-elector of the empire, along with the Elector of Cologne and the Elector of Mainz, among which the latter ranked first.

Electorate of Trier
Kurfürstentum Trier  (German)
Électorat de Trèves  (French)
Coat of arms
The Electorate of Trier in 1720
CapitalTrier, Ehrenbreitstein
Common languagesFrench, Latin, Luxembourgish, Moselle Franconian German
Roman Catholic
Elector of Trier 
Prince Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony
Historical eraMiddle Ages
 Autonomy granted
 Raised to electorate
between 1189 and 1212

9 February 1801

9 June 1815
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County Palatine of the Rhine
Sarre (department)
The Roman Bridge across the Moselle River
The Constantine Basilica in Trier (Aula Palatina)
Archdioceses of Central Europe, 1500.
Map from the 18th century by Frederik de Wit

The capital of the electorate was Trier, with the main residence of the Elector being Koblenz from the 16th century onward. The electorate was secularized in the course of the German mediatisation of 1803.

The Elector of Trier, in his capacity as archbishop, also administered the archdiocese of Trier, whose territory did not correspond to the electorate (see map below).