Köln / Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland  

Altstadt-Nord - Der römische Kern: Der Stadtteil bildet den Kern der Kölner Altstadt. Hier finden sich die Anfänge der Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. Die römische Kolonie wurde im Jahr 50 nach Christus zur vollberechtigten Stadt erhoben. Den Mittelpunkt des Stadtteils bildet die Hohe Domkirche zu Köln. Dank der Reliquien der Heiligen Drei Könige ist der Dom eine der bedeutensten Wallfahrtskirchen Europas.

The three crowns (in the city crest) symbolize the Magi (Three Wise Men) whose bones are said to be kept in a golden sarcophagus in the Cathedral. In 1164, Rainald of Dassel, the archbishop of Cologne, brought these relics to the city, making it a major pilgrimage destination. This led to the design of the current cathedral as the predecessor was considered too small to accommodate the pilgrims. The three kings are celebrated in Germany at the time of Epiphany. Epiphany is called the day of the Heilige Drei Könige (or Dreikönigentag -- the "wise men," "Three Kings," the Magi). Traditionally, the initials of the Three Kings (Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar) -- K+M+B -- plus the year are inscribed in chalk over doorways in German-speaking countries on the eve of January 6th to protect house and home. In many parts of Europe, including Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the Christmas celebration does not end until this date, now considered the arrival of the three kings of the orient in Bethlehem -- and the end of the twelve days of Christmas between Christmas and January 6th.

Alterpiece detail painted by the Master of Aachen-center panel is now in BritainHeavily damaged in World War II, much of the city had to be rebuilt. Groß St-Martin to the left is one such example where attention was paid to how it once looked. It sits a few blocks south of the Kölner Dom, near the river. Pictures HERE, including Außenansichten (old views) and floor plans. There are twelve Romanesque-style Churches in the city because of its age and Christian heritage. Maternus, elected as bishop in 313 AD, was the first bishop of Cologne known to history. The city was the capital of a Roman province until occupied by the Franks in 459 AD.With the exception of St. Maria Lyskirchen, all of these churches heavily were damaged during World War II. Reconstruction was only finished in the 1990s.

St. Columba Kirche once was one of the largest structures in the City. Its destruction during the last World War left it largely rubble. Recently, a modern museum complex has been built incorporating this late Gothic ruin. It has become the art museum of the archbishopric of Cologne, housing sacral art from late antiquity to the present. Not all the sacred art from Köln has returned.

October 21st -- Feast Day of Sainte Cordula: Little is known of young Cordula, a very early Christian in Köln (Cologne). She is said to have been a member of the group following of Sainte Ursula. Sainte Cordula is believed to have been martyred by the invading Huns. The Huns brutally murdered Ursula, the daughter of a British king, King Dionotus of Cornwall, along with eleven thousand others (from Britain?) in Cologne. Cordula's relics originally were in a shrine in the Johanniterkirche in that ancient city. Saint Albertus Magnus spoke of her as a saint in 1278. This designation, recorded by Albert Magnus, precedes the practice of canonization by the Pope. Today there is a shrine im Domschatz von Osnabrück (circa 1447). Other relics are at churches in the towns of Königswinter und Rimini.

Kölner Dom
Devine Fiery Vision. Celestial Virgin, continue to remind us of the high price and virtue of martyrdom. {These were} quickly departed at the eastern entrance [of the city which was along the river ?]. At the request of Pope Clement, this sanctified public building remembers the resistance of the virgins in the name of Our Lady (herself a virgin). Saint Guinem recovered and buried the bodies of the martyrs (virgins). {By this monument) let all know of the lasting underworld fires. Puniendum {is the inscriber}.

Substantial damage still visible in 1967 The authenticity of this text is accepted beyond the shadow of a doubt by the most eminent epigraphists . . . It belongs indisputably to the fifth century at the latest, and very probably to the fourth. This brief text is very important, for it testifies to the existence of a previous basilica, dating perhaps from the beginning of the fourth century, if not from the pre-Constantinian period. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15225d.htm The church devoted to Ste. Cordula in the village Schoten near Antwerp in Belgium is being restored, Pictures HERE. Her tears are not relics at Cologne, but are said to be on the city coat of arms to forever remind people of their heritage.

Going to Cologne to obtain relics for his church (L'Abbaye de Prémontrés at Pont-à-Mousson), Saint Norbert discovered through a vision, the spot where those of Sainte Ursula and her companions (e.g. Sainte Cordula), of Saint Gereon and of other martyrs lay hidden. What is important about Stes. Cordula, Ursula and the many others who died is that the discovery of the relics inspired a revival in Europe.

July 9, ca. 751: July 9th is Saint Agilof's feast day. He became a monk at the Benedicine Abbey (c. 650, 698) in an area we know today as part of today's Belgium (Stablo-Malmédy in the Ardennes). St. Agilof was at his death the archbishop in Cologne, Germany. Although the circumstances of his death are not clearly documented, he is believed to be a martyr. He was first entombed in the Cathedral at Cologne (Köln). Agilof was largely ignored for many years, but recently has been observed once again. His designation as a saint precedes the practice of canonization by the Pope.

Agilof is said to have tried to persuade King Pepin on his death-bed not to leave the succession to Charles Martel, an illegitimate son. Agilof's violent death may be attributed to the vengeance of the man he sought to exclude, but it would have ocurred 10 years after, Charles (the Hammer, the hero of Tours) Martel's, death, a very long reach beyond the grave. A letter of Pope Zacharias in 747 commends Agilulfus for signing the charta veræ et orthodoxæ professionis. His remains were conveyed to the Church of Our Lady of the Steps, at Köln, where they have recently again received a public veneration. In 785A D, Cologne became the seat of an archbishopric.

October 6, 1101: The passing of Saint Bruno von Köln (born ca. 1030) is recorded on this date. St. Bruno was born to the Hartenfaust family in about 1055. He was an instructor in theology at the Cathedral School in Reims (modern France) and later the director of the school. After 1080 he became a hermit. He founded the Carthusian Order, embracing a life of poverty, manual work, prayer and the transcription of religious manuscripts. The order was founded while Bruno was living in isolation just north of Grenoble (modern France). His feast day is October 6th. He was never formally canonized due to the reluctance of the Carthusian order to accept public honors, but Pope Clement X designated his feast day as a double feast and he is regarded as a saint. In later years, the Order, which took hold in southern France, fell out of favor.

May 15, 1248: Kölner Erzbisch, Konrad von Hochstaden, laid the cornerstone for the Cologne Cathedral (Der Kölner Dom), which towers over the city on the western bank of the Rhine River. It sits near where the patroness of the city was martyred. The Three Kings (Drei Könige), also referred to as the Magi are said to be buried in the Cologne's great cathedral, where their tomb is pointed out to visitors. The coin here is from the period (1516) the city was under Spanish occupation. Throughout western Europe, Epiphany is the Feast associated with the three Kings

From 1880, when the Cathedral's west-facing spires were completed, until 1884 it remained the World's tallest structure, losing its title at the completion of the Washington Monument in Washington DC. Cologne Cathedral remains the tallest Gothic-style structure in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral During the 2nd World War, Allied bombing severely damaged the Cathedral. Not until 1956 would the Cathedral return to its intended purpose in all its glory. http://www.willkommeninkoeln.de/06kunst/kunst04e.htm You must visit the Römisch-Germanisches Museum, which is in front (western side) of the Cathedral. Many fine museums exist in this region, which display roman, germanic and celtic artifacts (e.g. Mainz {Mayence}, Frankfurt am Main {Francfort}). You do not want to miss them either.

Cologne lost its status as a free city during a period when France occupied Cologne in 1798. According to the Peace Treaty of Lunéville (1801) all the territories of the Holy Roman Empire on the left bank of the Rhine became part of the French Republic. As part of Napoleon's Empire, Cologne was in the French Département Roer (named after the River Ruhr) with Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) as its capital. The French introduced the Napoleonic code, which remained in use on the left bank until 1900. In 1815, at the Congress of Vienna, Cologne became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, returning to the greater German empire. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Cologne.

January 5, 1876: Konrad Adenauer was born in Köln, Germany. In 1917 he became Oberbürgermeister of that city. An opponent of the Nazi regime, he was sent to a concentration camp in 1944. After the war he worked in the founding and development of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party for which he was chairman for 16 years. In 1949 he became the first Chancellor of the new Federal Republic of Germany, a post which he held until 1963. He died in April 1967, just a few months before I saw the city for the first time. Even at that date, much of the city south of the Cathedral was still in ruins. Not so today.

Near to Köln is the confluence of the rivers Ahr and Rhein. Along the Ahr is one the world's most most northern red wine producing regions(Anbaugebiet). About two-thirds of the acreage is dedicated to the Spätburgunder or Pinot Noir grape. More on the Ahr wein region is HERE.

Link to the nearby Ahr region (wine) -- Our current Newsletter

Küppers Brauerei GmbH

By German law, only beers brewed in Cologne may be called Kölsch, and they must be served in the tall, cylindrical glasses called stangen (the German plural meaning "rods"). The Kölsch waiter, known as a Köbes, is almost always clad in blue and is universally known for a sharp tongue. Request a glass of water instead of beer and your Köbes will probably ask if he should bring soap and a towel, too. I managed to get my first Kölsch without much hassle, handed over by a burly Köbes swinging the traditional round tray called a kranz, or wreath. The beer was not unlike a Pilsener in color, but the taste was much less bitter, with a nice grassy note in the mouth and a delicate fruitiness to the finish . . . “I am proud of being from Cologne. This is our beer.” http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/travel/20beer.html

Link for Map
A day's walk - Cologne, Germany

Mainz -- Trier and Aachen -- Duisburg, Düsseldorf und Dortmund -- Essen -- Düren, Bonn und Koblenz -- Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe, Speyer, Kaiserslautern und Saarbrücken -- Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart und Tübingen -- Mannheim, Worms, Darmstadt und Würzburg -- Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Dessau und Leipzig -- Münster -- Lübeck, Kiel, Rostock und Schwerin -- Fulda, Kassel und Erfurt -- Strasbourg -- Bern, Basel and Zürich -- Lörrach {twin city of Sens} -- Soissons -- Compiègne -- Beauvais -- Senlis -- Lens, Arras & Cambrai -- Amiens, Albert and Abbeville -- Saint-Quentin, Laon and Hirson -- Boulogne-sur-Mer, Dunkerque, Calais & Lille

Celtic/Frank History -- Germaniæ Historiæ -- Anglo Saxons et.al.

Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view

New: 10/06/08