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Archbishop Johannes Cardinal von Geissel was the son of a vintner in Gimmeldingen in the Palatine. He attended the Seminary in Mainz and was ordained there. Johannes von Geissel was Bishop of Speyer when he was appointed Coadjutor for the exiled Archbishop of Cologne. He reestablished a tolerable relationship with the state without giving ground. His special concerns were discipline among the clergy and church independence. In 1842, together with King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, he laid the cornerstone for the further construction of Cologne Cathedral, and in 1863 he consecrated the nave and transept.
Resting place: Cologne Cathedral, Archbishops' Crypt