St. Georg's Church is one of twelve Romanesque churches in the city of Cologne. The date of the foundation of St Georg's is unknown, but it was consecrated towards the end of the 11th century. The nave was vaulted in the mid-12th century, the westwerk was added in 1188 and the entrance portal on the north side in 1551. The church was damaged during World War II, resulting in extensive restoration which included the removal of the Baroque extension to the westwerk and replacement with a simple hip roof in the Romanesque style.
St Georg's has the trefoil-shaped eastern end typical of other Romanesque churches of Cologne, its chancel and transepts each terminating in an apse. The nave is unique in Cologne in having its arcade supported on columns rather than piers.
There is a robust westwerk with walls of 5 metres thick, suggesting that it was intended to be much taller than actually built. The original Romanesque roof of the westwerk was replaced with a Baroque belfry, but this was damaged during World War II and later replaced with a steeply pitched hip roof of copper. During the late 1920s the church had been entirely glazed by the Expressionist artist, Johan Thorn Prikker. These windows were lost during the war, but have been reproduced from the original cartoons.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.