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 the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Germany?

How did the young Byzantine princess Theophanu become the richest woman in Europe at only 12 years old at the end of the 10th century? And how did she become the most powerful woman in Europe at the age of 24, with far-reaching effects on European history? In this episode, we will look at her breathtaking life and, of course, at the end, what all this actually has to do with Cologne itself.
  1. Theophanu
  2. How Archbishop Bruno changed the face of Cologne forever – until today
  3. Retrospective on Frankish Cologne
  4. The Archduke of Cologne
  5. From the Empire of the Franks to the Land of the Germans

The Duchy of Lotharingia (Lorraine)

The Duchy of Lotharingia in 921 green and orange. The dotted red line is the language barrier between German and French.

Henry I. in battle against the Hungarians (Magyars) in 933

Treaty of Bonn in 921 between East and West Francia

Henry I of Germany and Charles III of France meet on a boat in the middle of the Rhine. Maybe this guy with the staff was the Cologne archbishop?

This is of course not a contemporary depiction but a romanticized drawing from the 19th century.

St. Maria Ablass (St. Mary Indulgence)

St. Mary Indulgence on the Cologne city map of 1571 by Arnold Mercator.

Von © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0,

The annex of St. Mary Indulgence today is the only thing left of this once three nave basilica. It was demolished in 1808.

St. Johann Baptist (St. John Baptist)

The parish church of St. John Baptist. It is the smaller, right church next to St. Catherine (monastery church).

Von Fritz Zapp, Rheinisches Bildarchiv, rba_720026, CC BY-SA 3.0,

St. John Baptist ca. 1915, seen from the Severin street looking to the east.

The tilted church tower of St. John Baptist in 2004

Von A.Savin (WikiCommons) – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0,

St. John Baptist today

Von Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas or alternatively © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Only parts of the once early medieval church remain.

Von © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0,

The interior of the church is designed in the typical post-war style of German church building. Remnants of the old building were integrated into the new construction.

2 thoughts on “From the Empire of the Franks to the Land of the Germans

  1. “… and the Dusseldorfers” Yes! Perfeckt. I am so glad that you mentioned your podcast is the podcast you would listen to yourself. That makes all the difference. You supplemental posts on various platforms are really great. I look forward to a guided tour the next time I cross the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you picked up that little hint at Düsseldorf. 😀 And as a matter of a fact, I actually do listen to my own podcast in my car on my way to work. 😀 Thanks for your feedback, hope travel will get easier soon. Then we can do that for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s