Basilica of St. Severin

Cologne, Germany

The Basilica of St. Severin is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne. St. Severin was established in the late 4th century as a memorial chapel and extended several times. The oldest parts of today's building date back to the 10th century. 

The church has been extended and enlarged several times. On the passable archaeological dig area under the church in the midst of a Roman graveyard the foundation remains of the original building can be viewed.

St. Severin still owns rich furnishing: the murals in the crypta, the choral equipment with a part of the medieval floor, the original choir seating and the high altar, behind which the Shrine to the Holy Severin is shown, so that the believers could walk under it.

The forked crucifix from the 14th century and the late Gothic glass paintings in the long nave are also remarkable. The external impression is primarily Gothic as only the choir chancel remained Romanesque.



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Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Ottonian Dynasty (Germany)


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

thoo regyn (3 years ago)
Severinskirche Founded in the fourth century as a cemetery chapel, the church interior was continuously expanded and changed in the following centuries. Severin (Severinus, approx. 330-400), Holy Bishop of Cologne (397) was the third bishop of Cologne. His veneration comes from the St. Severin Church in Cologne, where the bones of the saint are also located. Essentially, there are only two written sources that provide clues about Severin's life and tenure: The Cologne bishops' lists, which have been created since the early Middle Ages, list him as the third incumbent known by name after Maternus and Euphrates. Around 580, Bishop Gregory of Tours (episcopate 573-594) also describes the life of his predecessor, St. Martin, who died in 396 or 397. It also mentions Martin's Ascension, which the Cologne Bishop Severin experienced in a vision when he visited the holy sites of his episcopal city of Cologne with clerics. From this legendary story it can be concluded that Severin was bishop in Cologne at the time of Martin von Tours's death The main place of worship of St. Severin is the Church of St. Severin, where a corresponding cult of saints can be traced back to the second half of the 6th century. Severin's first burial probably took place on the Roman burial ground around St. Severin. Due to the original construction, St. Severin is one of the twelve large Romanesque churches in Cologne. Due to changes in later centuries, the interior gives a more Gothic impression. The shrine of St. Severin, built in 1819, is raised in the rear area of ​​the high choir. In it are the bones of the saint. Furthermore, a cross 'Jesus on the plague cross' is available. Frankish and Roman graves and a Carolingian foundation wall were found under the church.
Cypran Akubude (4 years ago)
Didn't have the chance to go in but still can't deny how beautiful this church is from the outside
Bibi Bibubobo (5 years ago)
The Catholic parish church of St. Severin is one of the twelve Romanesque basilicas of Cologne, dedicated to the third bishop of Cologne, Saint Severin. Today's Severinstraße, named after the church of St. Severin, was in Roman times the leading southern arterial road to Bonn. The city’s burial sites were located on both sides of the street. In the 4th century, a small rectangular hall (cella memoriae) was built here under the present nave of St. Severin with apse to the west. After extensions in the 6th and 8th centuries, the construction of a Romanesque basilica was begun and completed around 900.
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