St. Cecilia's Church

Cologne, Germany

St. Cecilia's Church (Cäcilienkirche) is one of the twelve Romanesque churches in Cologne’s old city. The present building, little changed since its inception, dates from 1130-60.

The origin of the church building stems from the 9th century, during which a women’s home of the same name was founded at the site, during the reign of Archbishop Willibert in 870-888. It was built on the ruins of a prior Roman bath. From documentation of the home in 965, it is known that Bruno the Great, archbishop of Cologne, designated 50 pounds of silver for the completion of the church building. The original was renovated in the 12th century to suit a romanesque style, and distinguishes itself from the other Romanesque churches in Cologne through its relatively modest size and decoration.

Through resources originally designated for another church, the interior of St Cecilia's was renovated during the late 15th century. The main entrance was also changed in the 19th century, and given a new entry in the Neo-Romantic style. It remains on site, but is now walled up to suit the needs of the Schnütgen Museum.

For a time, the building was also adjacedent to the first hospital in Cologne, for which the church offered services as a chapel. The hospital is no longer present, as the Church now stands next to the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum.

Though it is currently used mainly as museum of medieval art, the church celebrates two masses each year, one at Christmas and the other on the feast day of St. Cecilia.

Since 1956, the church has been the home of the Schnütgen Museum for medieval art.



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Founded: 1130-1160
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ute (2 years ago)
In 1980, the artist Oskar Naegli sprayed the western main portal of the Cologne Dance of Death.
Ralf Krob (3 years ago)
The Romanesque monastery church now houses a museum for medieval art.
Bibi Bibubobo (5 years ago)
St. Cäcilien is one of twelve large Romanesque churches in the Old Town of Cologne. It was the church of the patron saint of St. Cecilia, from the 15th century to secularization 1802 of the monastery of Maria zum Weiher. The Hohenstaufen building is a towerless three-aisled pillar basilica without transept. The southern aisle concludes with a round apse. The northern aisle, on the other hand, flows into a sacristy built in 1479 in place of the original apse. In the choir of the central nave are frescoes, which, however, are difficult to recognize because they were severely affected by the severe damage in the Second World War. The flat wooden ceiling of the nave are the cross vaults of the aisles aside.
Tomasz Michalski (5 years ago)
I recommend visiting
Manuela Gómez (5 years ago)
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