All Quiet on the Western Front

The short Frankish rule over the Roman colony of Cologne ended after only one year in 356. We want to look as far as possible from the sources to see how late antique Cologne developed at the end of the 4th century. Many are tempted to see the end of Roman rule in late antiquity, both in general and regionally, as a stringent downward spiral that was ultimately to culminate in the fall of Rome in 475. Surprisingly, the area around Cologne was supposed to remain comparatively quiet in the late 4th century.

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The Praetorium of Cologne

In the middle you can clearly see the octagonal assembly room. Von Nicolas von Kospoth (Triggerhappy) – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 2.5,

The late antique church of St. Gereon

Model of how late antique St. Gereon church must have looked like.
Part of a Roman wall of the church from the 4th century.
The Blood Column. I survived it!
Last visible, preserved remainder of the late antique floor mosaic in the Cologne church St. Gereon. Von Mediatus – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0,

St. Gereon today

Von Coldrerio – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,
The antique central building of St. Gereon from the 4th century.
St. Gereon today.
The antique central building, once the nucleus of the church, is nowadays in the middle of the church.
The tomb of St. Gereon. If you believe it 😉

An empire devided

Cologne (Colonia Agrippina) is part of the Western Roman Empire from the year 395 onwards. Di Ichthyovenator – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0,
An empire divided between West (ger.: Weströmisches Reich) and East (ger.: Oströmisches Reich) Von Novarte – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Roman Cologne expands to the east (into the Rhine)

The city of Cologne in Roman times layered onto a modern map of Cologne. The red square is Roman Cologne. Notice how many streets still exist today. For example the ones marking the city wall (red) or Hohe Straße/Cardo Maximus (green). The Fort Deutz is the blue square on the right with the bridge (yellow). The new part in the east that is talked about in the episode is layered in purple. To look at the map and interact with it go: Roman Cologne – Google My Maps

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