St. Gereon's Basilica

St. Gereon's Basilica

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St. Gereon's Basilica (Basilika Sankt Gereon) is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, dedicated to Saint Gereon
Saint Gereon
Saint Gereon of Köln , who may have been a soldier, was martyred at Cologne, allegedly by beheading, probably in the early 4th century.According to his legend, Gereon was said to be a soldier of the Theban Legion...

, and designated a minor basilica
Minor basilica
Minor basilica is a title given to some Roman Catholic churches. By canon law no Catholic church can be honoured with the title of basilica unless by apostolic grant or from immemorial custom....

 on June 25, 1920. The first mention of a church at the site, dedicated to St. Gereon, appears in 612. However, the building of the choir gallery, apse, and transepts occurred later, beginning under Archbishop Arnold II von Wied in 1151 and ending in 1227. It is one of twelve great churches in Cologne that were built in the Romanesque style
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...


St. Gereon has a highly irregular plan, the nave being covered by a decagon
In geometry, a decagon is any polygon with ten sides and ten angles, and usually refers to a regular decagon, having all sides of equal length and each internal angle equal to 144°...

al oval dome, 21.0 m long and 16.9 m wide, completed in 1227 on the remains of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 walls, which are still visible. It is the largest dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

 built in the West between the erection of the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey...

 in the 6th century and the Duomo of Florence in the 15th century.

Ernst Seifert
Ernst Seifert
Ernst Seifert was a German organ builder and founder of a company named after him.In 1885 he founded his company in Cologne-Mannsfeld.Organs by Seifert are found in the following churches:...

 built an organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 there in 1898. In the 20th century, the architect Andreas Dilthey worked on its interior.

See also

  • Twelve romanesque churches of Cologne
    Twelve romanesque churches of Cologne
    The twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne are twelve landmark churches in the Old town of Cologne, Germany. All twelve churches are Roman Catholic.- Churches :The twelve churches are1:* St. Andreas in Altstadt-Nord, est. 974...

  • List of Roman domes
  • List of basilica churches in Germany
  • Cloth of St Gereon
    Cloth of St Gereon
    The Cloth of St Gereon is a mural tapestry of a repeat pattern with a decorative motif of a bull being attacked by a griffin, a fantastic creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. The Cloth of St Gereon is the oldest known European tapestry still existing, dating to the...

    , that hung in choir area. It happens to be the oldest European tapestry still existing.

External links