St. Gereon's Basilica, Cologne

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St. Gereon's Basilica, Cologne.
floor plan

St. Gereon's Basilica (Basilika Sankt Gereon) is a German Roman Catholic church in Cologne, dedicated to Saint Gereon, and designated a minor basilica on 25 June 1920. The first mention of a church at the site, dedicated to St. Gereon, appears in 612. However, the building of the current choir gallery, apse, and transepts occurred later, beginning under Archbishop Arnold II von Wied in 1151 and ending in 1227.[1] It is one of twelve great churches in Cologne that were built in the Romanesque style.[2]

St. Gereon has a highly irregular plan, the nave being covered by a decagonal oval dome, 21.0 m long and 16.9 m wide, completed in 1227 on the remains of Roman walls, which are still visible.[3] It is the largest dome built in the West between the erection of the Hagia Sophia in the 6th century and the Duomo of Florence in the 15th century.[4]

Ernst Seifert built an organ there in 1898.[5] In the 20th century, the architect Andreas Dilthey worked on its interior.[6]

Archaeological excavation has revealed the presence of an earlier structure from the fourth century, possibly a funerary building that was converted into a church by the sixth century.[7] This original church was perhaps called the church of the Golden Saints (ad sanctos aureos) by Gregory of Tours.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wietzorek, Paul. Das historische Köln. Michael Imhof Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 2006, p. 162.
  2. ^ Sacred Destinations:, The Twelve Romanesque Churches of Cologne (accessed 2011-04-17)
  3. ^ St. Gereon,
  4. ^ Irish Arts Review, Volumes 2–3, page 49, Eton Enterprises, 1985.
  5. ^ Karl-Heinz Göttert, Eckhard Isenberg, Orgeln in Köln: ein Rundgang zu 70 Instrumenten, J.P. Bachem, (1998)
  6. ^ Schäfke, Werner (1998). Köln: zwei Jahrtausende Geschichte, Kunst und Kultur am Rhein (in German). DuMont Reiseverlag. pp. 214–5. ISBN 978-3-7701-4368-9. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  7. ^ Ristow, S. (2007). Frühes Christentum im Rheinland. Die Zeugnisse der archäeologischen und historischen Quellen an Rhein, Maas und Mosel. Cologne. pp. 116–122.
  8. ^ Gregory of Tours, Liber in gloria martyrum, 61.

External links[edit]

Media related to St. Gereon (Köln) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 50°56′36″N 6°56′45″E / 50.94333°N 6.94583°E / 50.94333; 6.94583