St. Maria im Kapitol (St. Mary’s in the Capitol)

St. Maria im Kapitol is one of the oldest and most important medieval churches in Cologne. In Roman times, the main temple of the city stood here, which was first converted into a church in the early eighth century. Today’s church with its unusual triconch (trefoil) choirs was built in the second third of the eleventh century on the initiative of Archbishop Hermann II of Cologne and his sister Ida. Until secularization, the church and the local noble women’s monastery had a special connection to the city, the archbishop of Cologne and the German imperial family. The church was a place for special celebrations of the city council and mayors. In the tower of the west building hung the city’s storm bell. The archbishop celebrated his first Christmas mass in the Capitol Church and the newly elected German king made his first visit to Cologne in the noble women’s monastery. The special role of the church is still evident by the precious furnishings that have been preserved, especially the wooden Romanesque picture door with a multitude of scenes of Jesus’ childhood and the Passion.

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