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

#38 How Archbishop Bruno changed the face of Cologne forever – until today The History of Cologne

Cologne in the middle of the 10th century. The largest city of medieval Germany just before the turn of the millennium. The city is experiencing a tremendous boom. Economic development, church building and a direct line to the emperor make this possible. Archbishop Bruno of Cologne, brother of Emperor Otto I, was behind this. We talk about his work in this episode.

St. Pantaleon

St. Pantaleon with its mighty west wing
Von Elke Wetzig (elya) – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8738191

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 times. The mighty westwork, here on the right, was added some years after Bruno’s death and dominates the facade of the church until today. St.Pantaleon is one of the few churches that were built before the year 1000 in Cologne and Germany in general and were not completely rebuilt in the course of the High Middle Ages (11th-13th century).No, here stands until today the original with the central building from the 10th century.

Where now on the side you can see the pillar arches, separating the central nave from the side aisles of the church, there used to be a wall. The side aisles later extended the original hall construction.As you can see, the restoration is in full swing. Look at the ceiling though, isn’t it gorgeous?

The mighty west wing of the church is also not accessible. Therefore I took the liberty to present you licensed photos that give you still the idea how it looks like:

St. Pantaleon (licensed images that were taken before the renovation works)

Von Der ursprünglich hochladende Benutzer war Hawobo in der Wikipedia auf Deutsch(Originaltext: Hawobo) – Selbst fotografiert, CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3637642

The so called gothic “Lettner” that separates the central nave from the choir in the east before the renovation started. What a piece of art from the early 16th century. So glad, it survived the test of time up until today.

Von Zairon – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15929623

The mighty west wing of St. Pantaleon that was also added in the late 10th century. From up there, the German emperors of the Middle Ages looked down on the service and the “other” worshippers below. Nowadays, among other things, a young Bible study group meets there once a week. Picture taken before the renovation.

St. Pantaleon monastery (955 – 1802)

Monastery of St. Pantaleon in 1625
Monastery of St. Pantaleon on the left.

Unlike most former monasteries in Cologne today, you can still clearly see the monastic layout of the place even in the 21st century. This makes the place look very rural, despite being in the middle of Downtown Cologne. The last picture below was taken on a small airplane that flew me around the city.

The Tomb of Archbishop Bruno I.

Von Friedhelm Dröge – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86234266

Here, I sadly had to use a licensed photo again since during the renovation works, you cannot enter the crypt of St. Pantaleon. Otherwise, I would have loved to pay Bruno a visit myself.

St. Aposteln (St. Apostles)

An impressive church that Bruno had built here in the west of the old town, isn’t it? But this is also a new building from the early 11th century, which replaced Bruno’s church building from the middle of the 10th century. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less impressive.

St. Andreas (St. Andrews)

The church and basilica of St. Andrew in the immediate vicinity of the Cologne Cathedral is a church that already existed in Bruno’s time (10th century). However, the current building dates back to a new construction from the 12th century.

While the cathedral was located within the Roman city walls, St. Andrew’s was still directly in front of the city walls in the early Middle Ages. You can see that clearly here in this wide-angle snapshot. The tower in the center is indeed built on a Roman watchtower foundation. The wall itself runs parallel to the street. Therefore, the street on the right is also higher than the street on the left side of the picture. History, truly tangible!

Staff of Peter

This staff, inconspicuous at first glance, is attributed to St. Peter. It was the most important relic before the Magi came to Cologne in the cathedral. The staff is really ancient, but from the 4th century. Nowadays you can see it in the cathedral treasury. As I did recently.

The chains of Peter, which the apostle and first pope is believed to have worn at his martyrdom, were also valuable relics that Bruno brought to Cologne as archbishop.

Until the arrival of the relics of the Magi, these two relics represented the most valuable in the city.

Martin’s quarter (Martinsviertel)

The Martin’s Quarter, known after the large basilica “Great St. Martin), here the huge church in the foreground, already existed since late antiquity on the area of a silted-up branch of the Rhine. Only in the 10th century under Archbishop Bruno, the area was incorporated into the city and later secured along with a wall extension to the river side. Nowadays, interestingly enough, many consider this quarter to be the actual “old town”. This is due to the fact that especially here the old street structure and especially a historicizing architectural style of the early 20th century has been preserved.

Bruno on Cologne’s City Hall Tower

Von © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7804796

Here Bruno is depicted as an adult and powerful archbishop and duke of Lorraine. In one hand he holds the crozier, with the other hand he commands. This is to show that he held spiritual and temporal power. At his feet a model of St. Apostles, the church he founded in the west of Cologne and today dominates the Neumarkt square.

Von © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80463425

Figure of Emperor Otto I with crown of the Holy Roman Empire and insignia of rule in his hands. He is significant for the city, as he resided here like no medieval ruler before him in the city and had a lasting impact on Cologne’s development with the installation of his brother. At his feet his truly younger brother Bruno with a model of St. Pantaleon in his hand. Thus Bruno is even depicted twice on the Cologne City Hall tower.

Holy Roman Empire

By Holy Roman Empire 1000 map-fr.svg: Sémhurderivative work: OwenBlacker | Discussion – Holy Roman Empire 1000 map-fr.svg, originally based on HRR 10Jh.jpg (2005)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16239633

The Holy Roman Empire. At the end of the 10th century, it truly was, according to contemporary beliefs, a true holy, Roman, empire.

The Byzantine Empire (former Eastern Roman Empire)

The Byzantine Empire around the year 1000

At the end of the 10th century, the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire shared a common border in southern Italy. With consequences that we will discover in the next episode.

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