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

The Old Cathedral before Cologne Cathedral

Everyone knows the Cologne Cathedral. But what about the Cologne Cathedral before the Cologne Cathedral? In the 9th century, a magnificent cathedral was built in Cologne. The predecessor of today’s Cologne Cathedral in the form of a Carolingian basilica. Everything about this Romanesque building including two legends are this time the main part of this episode. Video about the Old Cathedral (with timestamps) 4:19 minutes: … Continue reading The Old Cathedral before Cologne Cathedral

The Archdiocese of Cologne and the Saxon Wars

After 30 years of war between 772 and 804, Charlemagne subjugated the pagan Saxons in Northern Germany. With fire and sword, he brings the Frankish rule into the region and Christianity. With Cologne as the center of power as Archdiocese of Cologne for the next 1,000 years. Charlemagne’s conquests in Saxony and his coronation as Roman emperor in 800 enabled the city of Cologne to … Continue reading The Archdiocese of Cologne and the Saxon Wars

Charlemagne and Hildebold – The Start of a Holy Roman Empire

A fateful encounter at the end of the 8th century. A young priest named Hildebold is celebrating mass in a small village church just outside the city of Cologne. A huntsman enters the church and is immediately taken by the priest’s modesty and piety. What Hildebold does not know, however. This man is not a hunter. He is Charlemagne. Why does the King of the … Continue reading Charlemagne and Hildebold – The Start of a Holy Roman Empire

Plectrude and Charles Martell – The Rise of the Carolingians

At the beginning of the 8th century, the power of the Merovingian kings of the Frankish Empire has declined. The high officials at the royal court hold the real power. It is the rise of the Carolingians, who gradually worked their way up from the Merovingians as court officials. So powerful are they now that they even fight among themselves for power and who can … Continue reading Plectrude and Charles Martell – The Rise of the Carolingians