From the imperial palace in Constantinople to cold Germany. Theophanu’s story, which will find its new adopted home in Cologne, is the subject of this episode. A woman who has received far too little attention so far. How did the young Byzantine princess Theophanu become the richest woman in Europe at only 12 years old. And how did she become the most powerful woman in … Continue reading Theophanu

How Archbishop Bruno changed the face of Cologne forever – until today

St. Pantaleon As promised in the podcast, I had promised a shot from the north side of the basilica. I took that photo, too, but this photo from Wikimedia Commons is much better. I have drawn in red, the original core part of the church from the 10th century. Only this part was built shortly after Bruno’s death.Everything else are additions and alterations from later … Continue reading How Archbishop Bruno changed the face of Cologne forever – until today

Retrospective on Frankish Cologne

Cologne’s Frankish era is often overlooked. Yet this period was just as long as the Roman era. A whole 500 years! You can look back, but of course you can also look forward. Heumarkt square King Sigibert of Cologne Important (Arch-)bishops of Cologne Von © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, Napoleon From ancient Slavery to medieval serfdom Continue reading Retrospective on Frankish Cologne

The Archduke of Cologne: Bruno I.

Cologne becomes the starting point of the so-called imperial church system that forms in eastern France in the middle of the 10th century. The little brother of Emperor Otto I, also called Otto the Great, becomes a big guy himself when he is elected Archbishop of Cologne in 953 and at the same time appointed Duke of Lorraine. As archduke, Bruno thus has more power … Continue reading The Archduke of Cologne: Bruno I.

From the Empire of the Franks to the Land of the Germans

Cologne is in an intermediate phase around the year 900. In the whole region of the former Frankish Middle Kingdom of Lothar the question is going around, which empire can protect it better? To which sub-kingdom of Charles the Great’s former Frankish empire do people feel more attached? The West Frankish Empire, which later became France? Or to the Eastern Frankish Empire, which later becomes … Continue reading From the Empire of the Franks to the Land of the Germans

Sancta Colonia – Cologne at the end of the 9th century

The Magyars (or Hungarians) Depiction of Hungarian horsemen pursuing the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon in 895, who takes refuge in a castle. Hungarian Pictorial Chronicle: depicting how the Hungarians conquered and settled the Carpathian Basin, simply: the present-day country of Hungary. Contemporary 19th century art what the arrival of the Hungarians may have looked like. The Monastery of Gerresheim In 922, the sisters of the Gerresheimer … Continue reading Sancta Colonia – Cologne at the end of the 9th century

The Vikings

Cologne and the Rhineland at the end of the 9th century. For quite some time, the various heirs of the once great but now fragmented Frankish Empire have been fighting each other. The Vikings take advantage of this political instability and plunder the rich Rhineland, the heart of the Frankish Empire. Reconstruction of a Viking longboat How a Viking dragonboat or longboat might have looked … Continue reading The Vikings

A Frankish Double Divorce Drama

The death of Charlemagne’s son Emperor Louis the Pious starts a good old Frankish habit. Breaking up empires to equally share it to a emperor’s sons. Cologne or rather the political leadership of Cologne, Archbishop Gunthar plays a key role in the middle of the 9th century. The Frankish Empire is in turmoil. After the death of Charlemagne’s only surviving son Louis the Pious the … Continue reading A Frankish Double Divorce Drama

Cologne during the Carolingian Dynasty

Cologne during the Carolingian dynasty. A city in the heart of the Eastern Frankish Empire. In this episode we once again take a walk through the Cologne that might have been in the 9th century. How did the city look like? How did spiritual life dominate the city? The Mikveh Picture of the Mikveh on Cologne’s City Hall Square (Rathausplatz) many, many years ago, before … Continue reading Cologne during the Carolingian Dynasty