About Me and this Podcast

Photo: Stephan Eppinger

The history about the History of Cologne Podcast

The History of Cologne Podcast had been in my head as an idea since the summer of 2019. Especially the idea to release it not in German but in English. With this I also wanted to reach an international audience, who should get a different nuance of Germany for once. Too often, today’s Germany is reduced abroad only to Berlin, Bavaria and the Oktoberfest. All this is not bad, I wanted to offer another perspective myself. About a city that was already here in this place for a long time. Longer than any other major city in Germany. The city of Cologne on the Rhine. Over 2000 years old, founded by Emperor Augustus himself.
At first I wanted to start a series on Youtube, because I like to watch Youtube historians in my spare time, at least the ones who are serious and also give their sources properly. It took me a while over the second half of 2019 to record the first five episodes about Cologne in Roman times. Because I didn’t want to start with just one podcast episode, nor did I want to succumb to the danger of podfading.
Then, in January 2020, I had gathered enough courage and the History of Cologne podcast went live. Since then, an incredible journey has started for me. But why don’t you take a listen for yourselves?

The former glass pyramid of the Jewish bath house. Nowadays, the new Jewish Quarter Museum (Miqua) is currently being built.

About Me

My name is Willem, I successfully completed first my bachelor’s and then my master’s degree in history at the University of Bonn. Maybe one day I’ll make it to the doctorate too, if only I could think of a good doctoral topic…

Even as a little boy, I was already fascinated by the city history of Cologne. I chewed my family’s ear off, I looked through the pane of glass into a Jewish bathhouse from the “Rathausplatz” (townhall square), and in kindergarten I was an enthusiastic member of the Cologne Cathedral Club, where we made field trips to the cathedral. In school, of course, I focused on history, as well as English. Two things that are very helpful to me in creating this podcast 😉

As a pupil I had the rare opportunity to do an internship at the administration of the Cologne Cathedral that took care of maintaining the building, writing books about it, research etc… Watching the historians and art historians there at work made me really want to do that, too.

As I said, my history studies were successful. But unfortunately it didn’t work out yet professionally as a historian for me. If my boss should read this: I am extremely grateful to him that I am allowed to work for him. But so it happened that I wanted to work as a historian in my spare time, if not professionally. That’s how the idea for this podcast came about.

Nevertheless, this podcast should not be seen as a purely academic program. In fact, I don’t think that’s possible with the format. This podcast serves for infotainment. The everyday life of some is now and then gray and perhaps also sad. I hope that I can sweeten the one or the other with my infotainment program the everyday life, if only briefly. Because in this podcast flows my whole passion. The History of Cologne podcast is my own personal declaration of love for this old city on the Rhine.

Sources and literature: (unfinished list)

Many history podcasts do not disclose their sources. But one thing is clear. The knowledge presented in my podcast is not something I developed myself. Several generations of dedicated and respected historians, art historians, archaeologists and humanities scholars have brought to light during their work all that makes this podcast possible. This bibliography will probably always remain incomplete. However, I have tried to list especially the large and extensive standard works and monographs here, from which I have then often taken further literature and sources.


Gerd Althoff, Die Ottonen. Königsherrschaft ohne Staat, Stuttgart 2005.

Barbara Becker-Jakli, Das jüdische Köln. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Köln 2012.

Kunibert Bering, Romanik, in: Kunst-Epochen (3), Ditzingen 2020.

Dieter Breuers, Colonia im Mittelalter, Köln 2011.

Helmut Binkowski u. Rudi Renné, Bedeutende Bischöfe von Köln in ihrem historischen Kontext. Ausgewählte Bischöfe aus spätantiker und frühmittelalterlicher Zeit (Heft 1), Köln 2016.

Helmut Binkowski u. Rudi Renné, Bedeutende Bischöfe von Köln in ihrem historischen Kontext. Ausgewählte Bischöfe aus der Zeit des Hochmittelalters (Heft 2), Köln 2016.

Carl Dietmar u. Werner Jung, Kleine illustrierte Geschichte der Stadt Köln, Köln 2013.

Carl Dietmar u. Marcus Trier, Colonia. Stadt der Franken. Köln vom 5. bis 10. Jahrhundert, 2011 Köln.

Carl Dietmar, Das mittelalterliche Köln. Der historische Stadtführer, 2004 Köln.

Carl Dietmar u. Hugo Stehkämper, Köln im Hochmittelalter. Geschichte der Stadt Köln 3, Köln 2016.

Werner Eck, Agrippina. Stadtgründerin Kölns, Köln 1993.

Werner Eck, Köln in römischer Zeit. Geschichte der Stadt Köln 1, 2004 Köln.

Marion Euskirchen, Das Ubiermonument, Neuss 2016.

Thomas Fischer u. Marcus Trier, Roman Cologne, Köln 2014.

Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, Theophanu (959-991) – Christin, Kaiserin, Europäerin, in: Georg Mölich, Sankt Pantaleon, Theophanu und Köln, Köln 2002.

Valerie Hansen, Das Jahr 1000. Als die Globalisierung begann, München 2020.

Klaus Hardering u.a., Wasserspeier des Kölner Domes, Köln 2016.

Martina Hartmann u. Wilfried Hartmann, Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen – Karl der Große und seine Zeit, München 2014.

Georg Hauser, Schichten und Geschichte unter dem Kölner Dom. Die Kölner Domgrabung, Köln 2003.

Christian Hillen u. A., Kleine illustrierte Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Stadt Köln, Köln 2013.

Bernd Imgrund, 111 Kölner die man kennen sollte, Köln 2014.

Heiner Jansen, Der historische Atlas Köln, Köln 2003.

Georg Jenal, Erzbischof Anno von Köln (1056-75) und sein politisches Wirken. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Reichs- und Territorialpolitik im 11. Jahrhundert, in: Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters Band 8, Stuttgart 1975.

Hermann Keussen, Topographie der Stadt Köln im Mittelalter, Bonn 1910 (Nachdruck 1986).

Hiltrud Kier, Die romanischen Kirchen in Köln. Führer zu Geschichte und Ausstattung, Köln 2014.

Hiltrud Kier u.a., Romanische Kirchen in Köln und ihr historisches Umfeld, Köln 2004.

Mario Kramp u. Marcus Trier, der Heumarkt. Drunter und drüber, Köln 2016.

Rolf Lauer u. Bernd Wacker, Der Kölner Dom und >die Juden<, Köln 2018.

Udo Mainzer, Kleine Illustrierte Architekturgeschichte Kölns

Heribert Müller, Heribert von Köln. Ein Lebensbild, München 2021.

Helmut Neumann, Die Ottonen, Stuttgart 2000.

Joachim Oepen u. Ulrich Heubach, Kleine illustrierte Geschichte des Erzbistum Kölns, Köln 2013.

Werner Schäfke, Eine Stadt an der Grenze. Das erste Jahrtausend in Köln, in: Eine Stadtgeschichte in Bildern 1, Köln 2020.

Hans K. Schulze, Vom Reich der Franken zum Land der Deutschen. Merowinger und Karolinger, Berlin 1998.

Hugo Streitkämper u. Carl Dietmar, Köln im Hochmittalter. Geschichte der Stadt Köln 3, Köln 2016.

Jürgen Wilhelm (Hrsg.), Zwei Jahrtausende jüdische Kunst und Kultur, Köln 2007.

Annemarieke Willemsen, Wikinger am Rhein: 800 – 1000, Stuttgart 2004.