The Basilica of St. Cunibert is the newest of Cologne's twelve Romanesque churches. It was consecrated 1247, one year before work on the Gothic Cologne Cathedral began. It was declared a minor Basilica in 1998.
A small church located at a burial ground north of the Roman city was founded or renewed by Cunibert, ninth Bishop of Cologne. Cunibert was also buried there. After 690 the Two Ewalds were buried in the church as well.
The church was originally dedicated to Saint Clement, but Cunibert was adored alongside him at least since the ninth century and a monastery Saint Kunibert was first mentioned in records 866. Around the middle of the eleventh century the direct predecessor of the current church was built. Later a parish with the dean as parson was allocated to the monastery. The church became a pilgrimage site after the Canonization of the Two Ewalds in 1074 and of Cunibert in 1168.
Between 1210 and 1215 the erection of the current building started. The choir was finished 1226 and the church consecrated in 1247. Until 1261 a transept and a tower were added to the west.
The monastery ceased to exist in 1802 as a result of the secularization under Napoleonic reign and the monastery buildings were eventually torn down in 1821. However the church remained in use by the local parish.
The western spire collapsed during a storm in 1830 for static reasons, as this tower was not part of the original plan and the structure of the building was not designed for it. Tower and westwork were newly erected until 1860.
The church suffered severe damage during the Second World War. The roof was destroyed by fire, the western tower was hit by a bomb, collapsed and destroyed large parts of the westwork. Reconstruction of choir and nave were finished 1955, however rebuilding of transept and western tower were only started in the late 1970s. Reconstruction work was finished in 1985.
The original shrines of Cunibert and The Ewalds were destroyed during secularization and only the wooden cores with the relics remained. Today's shrines are from the second half of the 19th century.
The eight medieval glass windows in the apse area were made between 1220 and 1230. The upper three windows show Saint Clement, the original patron of the site, the Tree of Jesse and Saint Cunibert. The windows of the lower band show Saint Ursula, Saint Cordula, Saint Catherine, Saint Cecilia and John the Baptist.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.