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St. Maria im Kapitol
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Quick Facts on St. Maria im Kapitol

Short URL
St. Maria im Kapitol St. Maria im Kapitol, Cologne St. Mary's at the Capitol
Kasinostrasse 6 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia50676
Cologne  locality
Germany  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
50.934600° N, 6.958380° E
(0221) 214615

Description of St. Maria im Kapitol

The best view of St. Maria im Kapitol is from an open plaza on the east, but entrance is via the west door after passing the cloisters. Inside, an iron gate opens into the Romanesque nave. The view to the apse is unfortunately interrupted by a large choir screen (of the Renaissance era), but the overall impression is still of great size and spaciousness.

The nave is supported by strong rectangular pillars and narrow round striped arches, with decorative clustered columns above. The vault is covered with a modern flat wooden ceiling.

The choir in the east end has a harmonius trefoil shape of three apses, which was he first of its kind in Germany and echoes the exact dimensions of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The only departure is the continuation of the side aisles around the apses. This close imitation reflects the importance of the Crusades and Middle East pilgrimages during this period. By modeling her church on the one in Bethlehem, Ida brought a bit of the Holy Land to Germany.

In the east end, columns with plain capitals and narrow striped arches support a clerestory level with round-headed windows. Pointed blind arches around the clerestory windows are the only non-Romanesque feature. Chapels fill the niches between the apses, which are usually protected by locked iron gates.

Holly Hayes
July 16, 2011

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