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 #29 Hildebold and Charlemagne – a lifelong friendship
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 #28 Plectrude and Charles Martell – The Rise of the Carolingians
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 #27 Cologne’s Churches in the late Merovingian Period
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 #26 Bishop Kunibert: Priest, City Lord and Regent of the Frankish Empire
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 #25 Cologne in the Merovingian period – Who’s talking about decline here?
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 #24 Clovis and Sigibert – Two Frankish Kings in the Empire of the Franks
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 #23 A New Era Begins – Early Frankish Cologne