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 Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.