Church of St Ursula Ossuary, Cologne

Ursulapl. 24, 50668 Köln, Germany

Simona Bertolaso



Luoghi religiosi
Hosted in
Food, Tickets, Equipment


All in all, the Church of St Ursula is easily one of the top hidden gems in Germany.
St. Ursula was also built in the late antiquity. It originated on the property of a Roman graveyard. It was named after the Breton princess Ursula, who, according to the legend suffered martyrdom in Cologne together with 11,000 female companions. The church was originally dedicated to the Holy Virgin. The legend and the cult surrounding this martyr gained momentum each times that building work was done on the church or its surroundings.

During the building work numerous mortal remains were found, which were obviously considered the remains of the female martyrs. All that has become part of the church which was built as gallery basilica in the early 12th century, not least of all to create space for the numerous relics.

As the choir chancel was rebuilt in the 13th century in Gothic forms, the presentation of the relics become increasingly important: the walls were made with dual shells, on the one hand to create space and on the other hand to place the relics on display behind bars. The direct closeness to the relics became higher priority in the baroque era and a chapel annex was built: the so-called Golden Chamber was filled with relics from top to bottom and can still be visited today.

The church has rich furnishings from various centuries. The late antiquity “Clematius inscription” or the baroque Grave of the Holy Ursula are objects completely relating to the location, just as the two shrines behind the high altar and, quite especially, the relic busts with the blessed smiling faces of the Virgins.

image map