St. Maria im Kapitol

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Exterior view east side
Interior view
Limburger Madonna 1300
Detail of the wooden door

St. Maria im Kapitol (St. Mary's in the Capitol) is an 11th-century Romanesque church located in the Kapitol-Viertel in the old town of Cologne, Germany. The Roman Catholic church is based on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, was dedicated to St. Mary and built between 1040 and 1065.[1] It is one of twelve Romanesque churches built in Cologne during this period.[2]

Measuring 100 m x 40 m and encompassing 4,000 square metres of internal space, St. Maria is the largest of the Romanesque churches in Cologne. Like many of the latter, it has an east end which is trefoil in shape, with three apses. It has a nave and aisles and three towers to the west. It is considered the most important work of German church architecture of the Salian dynasty.[3]


Maria im Kapitol is said to have been built by Plectrudis, wife of Pippin in the 8th century.[4] The foundations of a Roman temple from the late 1st century AD,[5] dedicated to the Capitoline Triad, and those of a church from the year 690 AD, can be visited in the church's crypt.

Works of art[edit]

The church's works of art include:

  • the wooden doors (from c. 1065)
  • two ledgers of Plectrudis' sarcophagus (c. 1160 and 1280)
  • Hermann-Josef-Virgin with the apple (c. 1180)
  • Hardenrath chapel with choristers' tribune (second half of the 15th century)
  • Virgin on a Throne (likely 1200)
  • Plague crucifix (c. 1300)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fletcher, Sir Bannister. A History of Architecture. Dan Cruickshank, 1996, p. 379. at [1]
  2. ^ Sacred Destinations:, The Twelve Romanesque Churches of Cologne (accessed 2011-04-17)
  3. ^ St. Maria im Kapitol at Förderverein Romanische Kirchen Köln e.V.
  4. ^ Frommer's Germany 2011. Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince, 2011, p. 539. at [2]
  5. ^ Kapitolstempel of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, Univ. of Cologne Institute for Archaeology

External links[edit]

Media related to St. Maria im Kapitol at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Cloisters of St. Maria im Kapitol at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 50°56′5″N 6°57′31″E / 50.93472°N 6.95861°E / 50.93472; 6.95861