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The foundation of the Old Cathedral

photo: © Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek, Köln

Shortly after Charlemagne died and was buried in Aachen, Hildebald, who was Archbishop of Cologne at that time, decided to construct a Cathedral in honor of Saint Peter and the Mother of God. As a construction site, the hill in the northeast of the city was chosen, which lay near the royal palace and the seat of the bishop. This hill was notorious for being eerie and terrible, as described by the citizens of Cologne. There were rumors that in the Roman ruins the ghosts of the former Roman gods wandered about at night. Reports of unearthly lights and frightful voices ran through the city. The construction started only slowly because the workers feared they would direct the wrath of these ghosts upon themselves. In the foggy clouds of an autumn day someone had seen columns of smoke rise from the construction pit. When finally an accumulation of inexplicable accidents became widely known, the Archbishop decided to drive the demons away with the help of God. In a particularly stormy night, he made his way to the hill and began to pray, exorcising and blessing. Screaming, the ghosts rose out of their places and besieged the trembling Archbishop in the most terrible manner. Finally they had to give in to his blessing hands. With horrible cries they turned towards the Rhine. At once the sky became starry and clear. Relieved, the Archbishop blessed the construction pit once more out of which the Cathedral should soon rise. The ghosts were never seen again from that moment on.

Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4