The History of Cologne

The History of Cologne

The podcast about the history of the 2,000 years old city of Cologne in Germany

From the Empire of the Franks to the Land of the Germans

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Cologne is in an intermediate phase around the year 900. In the whole region of the former Frankish Middle Kingdom of Lothar the question is going around, which empire can protect it better? To which sub-kingdom of Charles the Great's former Frankish empire do people feel more attached? The West Frankish Empire, which later became France? Or to the Eastern Frankish Empire, which later becomes the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Germany?

Sancta Colonia - Cologne at the end of the 9th century

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Only recently, the Vikings sacked Cologne in 881. While the people of Cologne are still busy rebuilding, new dangers are already approaching. The Magyars, also known as the Hungarians, are attacking the East Frankish Empire like the Huns in late antiquity. But it is not all bad at this time. Monastic life flourished and even minted coins designating Cologne as holy testify to the city's upswing here at the end of the early Middle Ages.

The Vikings

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Cologne and the Rhineland at the end of the 9th century. For quite some time, the various heirs of the once great but now fragmented Frankish Empire have been fighting each other. The Vikings take advantage of this political instability and plunder the rich Rhineland, the heart of the Frankish Empire.

Bonus: Q&A Episode

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The answers to all your questions regarding the show or other topics about me or the history of Cologne.

A Frankish Double Divorce Drama

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The death of Charlemagne's son Emperor Louis the Pious starts a good old Frankish habit. Breaking up empires to equally share it to a emperor's sons. Cologne or rather the political leadership of Cologne, Archbishop Gunthar plays a key role in the middle of the 9th century.

The Old Cathedral before Cologne Cathedral

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Email-Adress for Q&A: thofcgn@gmx.de

In the 9th century, a magnificent cathedral was built in Cologne. The predecessor of today's Cologne Cathedral in the form of a Carolingian basilica. Everything about this Romanesque building including two legends are this time the main part of this episode.

The Archdiocese of Cologne and the Saxon Wars

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After 30 years of war between 772 and 804, Charlemagne subjugated the pagan Saxons in Northern Germany. With fire and sword, he brings the Frankish rule into the region and Christianity. With Cologne as the center of power as Archdiocese of Cologne for the next 1,000 years.

Charlemagne and Hildebold - The Start of a Holy Roman Empire

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A fateful encounter at the end of the 8th century. A young priest named Hildebold is celebrating mass in a small village church just outside the city of Cologne. A huntsman enters the church and is immediately taken by the priest's modesty and piety. What Hildebold does not know, however. This man is not a hunter. He is Charlemagne. Why does the King of the Franks disguise himself as a hunter here in Cologne? You will find out in this episode.

Plectrude - The Rise of the Carolingians in Cologne

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At the beginning of the 8th century, the power of the Merovingian kings has declined. The high officials at the royal court hold the real power. It is the rise of the Carolingians, who gradually worked their way up from the Merovingians as court officials. So powerful are they now that they even fight among themselves for power and who can continue to make the Merovingian king dance like a puppet to be the real ruler of the Frankish Empire. A bloody conflict arises between two Carolingians: stepmother Plektrudis in Cologne and her stepson Karl Martell. The conflict has its beginning but also its end in Cologne.

About this podcast

The History of Cologne is a podcast that tells the story of Cologne, Germany. It’s a city with 2,000 years worth of history and it has so much to tell! Listen to the city growing. Dive into the early history of the city being founded by the Romans. How did it become a bustling medieval city? How did Cologne perform during Napoleon and the Industrial Revolution? And how about the Nazi time? Triweekly schedule, going chronological from the Roman roots up until today.
Where is this podcast now in the chronology: 925 AD.
Next episode: 7th February

by Willem Fromm

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