The Old Cathedral before Cologne Cathedral

Everyone knows the Cologne Cathedral. But what about the Cologne Cathedral before the Cologne Cathedral? In the 9th century, a magnificent cathedral was built in Cologne. The predecessor of today’s Cologne Cathedral in the form of a Carolingian basilica. Everything about this Romanesque building including two legends are this time the main part of this episode. Video about the Old Cathedral (with timestamps) 4:19 minutes: … Continue reading The Old Cathedral before Cologne Cathedral

The Archdiocese of Cologne and the Saxon Wars

After 30 years of war between 772 and 804, Charlemagne subjugated the pagan Saxons in Northern Germany. With fire and sword, he brings the Frankish rule into the region and Christianity. With Cologne as the center of power as Archdiocese of Cologne for the next 1,000 years. Charlemagne’s conquests in Saxony and his coronation as Roman emperor in 800 enabled the city of Cologne to … Continue reading The Archdiocese of Cologne and the Saxon Wars

Charlemagne and Hildebold – The Start of a Holy Roman Empire

A fateful encounter at the end of the 8th century. A young priest named Hildebold is celebrating mass in a small village church just outside the city of Cologne. A huntsman enters the church and is immediately taken by the priest’s modesty and piety. What Hildebold does not know, however. This man is not a hunter. He is Charlemagne. Why does the King of the … Continue reading Charlemagne and Hildebold – The Start of a Holy Roman Empire

Plectrude and Charles Martell – The Rise of the Carolingians

At the beginning of the 8th century, the power of the Merovingian kings of the Frankish Empire has declined. The high officials at the royal court hold the real power. It is the rise of the Carolingians, who gradually worked their way up from the Merovingians as court officials. So powerful are they now that they even fight among themselves for power and who can … Continue reading Plectrude and Charles Martell – The Rise of the Carolingians

Cologne’s Churches in the late Merovingian Period

These next few moments will take us back to a time when Christianity in Cologne was just taking off, and we’ll explore the first churches that existed at this point. We start with an adventurous incident from 1959 involving Cologne Cathedral. We will take a look at: St. Kunibert, St. Cäcilien, St. Ursula, St. Gereon, St. Pantaleon, St. Maria im Kapitol, St. Kolumba, Kolumba, St. … Continue reading Cologne’s Churches in the late Merovingian Period

Bishop Kunibert: Priest, City Lord and Regent of the Frankish Empire

With the rise of the bishops also as secular rulers of Cologne, the history of Cologne increasingly becomes synonymous with the history of the diocese of Cologne. In the 7th century, Bishop Kunibert (ca. 600-664) in particular embodies this development. He is the city ruler, prince of the church, priest, head of the court of the King of the Franks, and at times even regent … Continue reading Bishop Kunibert: Priest, City Lord and Regent of the Frankish Empire

Cologne during the Merovingian dynasty

Division of Clovis’ (Chlodwig’s empire) after his death in 511 Cologne in the Merovingian period (6.-8. century). The people of Cologne continued to prosper as the Frankish Empire grew during this time. The dynasty established by Chlodwig ruled over the Franks and their conquered territories in Gaul. Everything in color was conquered and ruled by Clovis up until his death in 511. Then the empire … Continue reading Cologne during the Merovingian dynasty

King Clovis and King Sigibert of Cologne

Map of Chlovis’ and Sigibert’s influence of power before ca. 510 AD The location of the Franks before Chlovis’ conquests . “Les Francs rhénans” is the French term for “Ripuarian Franks”. These Franks are in charge of Cologne as well at the end of the 5th century. To the west are the Salian Franks who will be the predominant Frankish kingdom soon to be. South … Continue reading King Clovis and King Sigibert of Cologne

A New Era Begins – Early Frankish Cologne

Let’s discover Cologne after the end of Roman rule in the Rhineland in the late 5th century. Now the Franks are in the area. How might have the city looked like? Frankish Kingdoms in Northeastern Gaul and the Rhineland in late 5th century The location of the Franks around 475 . “Les Francs rhénans” is the French term for “Ripuarian Franks”. These Franks are in … Continue reading A New Era Begins – Early Frankish Cologne

“What have the Romans ever done for us?” – A Retrospective on Roman Cologne

Roman Cologne is gone: time to take a look back and forward onto 500 years! Roman central power broke down in the 5th century in Cologne and the Rhineland. The political power that had held control over the region for five centuries was gone. Time to look back on Cologne’s first 500 years of existence. How does the Roman heritage up until today influence modern-day … Continue reading “What have the Romans ever done for us?” – A Retrospective on Roman Cologne