#45 Anno II – The great Builder and City Ruler of the 11th century

Why did Anno II gouge out the eyes of all his jurymen in Cologne, according to legend? In the second half of the 11th century, Anno II ruled over the city of Cologne. With a lively building activity in the city, he is immortalized in the cityscape to this day. Also art, culture and trade prospered under his rule. And the veneration of St. George gave Anno unprecedented greatness here on the Rhine.

#45 Anno II – The great Builder and City Ruler of the 11th century The History of Cologne

Why did Anno II gouge out the eyes of all his jurymen in Cologne, according to legend? In the second half of the 11th century, Anno II ruled over the city of Cologne. With a lively building activity in the city, he is immortalized in the cityscape to this day. Also art, culture and trade prospered under his rule. And the veneration of St. George gave Anno unprecedented greatness here on the Rhine.

Anno – the Founder

Archbishop Anno II of Cologne, colored drawing in the manuscript of the Vita Annonis minor, Siegburg, ca. 1183 AD. Anno II is depicted with the five churches and monasteries he founded. (University and State Library Darmstadt Hs 945 fol. 1v)

Anno’s Monastery in Siegburg on the Michaelsberg

The monastery around 1800, colored copper engraving

The monastery today. And yes, the weather is always bad when I go out taking pictures.

Crozier of Anno II. in Siegburg

Book Painting in Cologne – Hitda Codex

The crossing of Lake Galilee

An image from the Hitda-Codex, made in the 11th century in Cologne

St. George

A statue of St. George in St. Apostles
Depiction of St. George as Dragon Slayer in St. Apostles in Cologne
Anno and his favorite saint St. George. The mosaic shows Anno in the middle with St. George doing dragon slayer things. The mosaic is from 1930. In Anno’s lifetime, St. George was not associated as dragons slayer yet. This would happen a few generations later.

Canon’s Monastery Church St. George

St. George and the neighboring parish church St. Jacob on the Mercator Map from 1571.

Once, St. Jacob stood right next to it as a parish church.

Crucifix in St. George

The reconstruction…
Photo Credits: Rheinisches Bildarchiv / Marion Mennicken, Thanks to the Museum Schnütgen for providing the pictures
Photo Credits: Rheinisches Bildarchiv / Marion Mennicken, Thanks to the Museum Schnütgen for providing the pictures.

The crucifix is remarkable. The details are also incredible. Check it out at Museum Schnütgen. Link to the museum. (in English)

St. Maria ad Gradus (St. Mary to the Steps)

St. Maria ad Gradus was right to the east of Cologne Cathedral. It was demolished in 1817.

St. Maria ad Gradus in Anton Woensam’s city view from 1531 in the middle. See how close it was built to the choir of Cologne Cathedral.

The new elongated Choir and Crypt for St. Gereon by Anno II.

The added elongated choir that Anno had built in the 11th century. In the 12th century this choir was extended again.

Look into the central, ancient building of St. Gereon that was built in the 4th (!) century and extended further. In the back you can see the elongated choir that Anno added. Later, for example in the 12th century, it was extended again to its present form.

The crypt

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