Main Catholic church in Bonn and one of the City's landmarks
Bonner Minster was completed in 1248 during the transition from Romanticism to the Gothic period, the same year when the foundation stone was laid for Cologne Cathedral. It building history stretches back deep into the time of early Christianity on the Rhine. As excavations under the crypt have shown, it was originally a
Cella memoriae, which was already established in the second half of the 3rd century and where funeral meals were stored. It was here that the martyrdom of two Christian Roman officers was said to have taken place, who are nowadays honoured as the patrons of the city, namely Cassius and Florentius. A monument in the form of two giant heads in front of the eastern section of the church provide reminders of their martyrdom and is a favourite subject of photographers. Around the year 400 a small church room was constructed over the graves of both martyrs, which was replaced in the middle of the 11th century with a seventy metre long,three nave basilica. Under the provost Gerhard von Are instructions were given for a new building in the middle of the 12th century. Around this time the cloister was also built, which represents a jewel of Roman architecture north of the Alps as it has been preserved in such good condition.
It has experienced two coronations: in 1314 the coronation of Friedrich der Schöne, in 1346 the coronation of Karl IV. The blue-red windows of the apse, which represent the city's patrons, belong to the works of the Rhine expressionist Heinrich Campendonk. The relics from the martyrs' graves were exhumed by provost Gerhard von Are in 1166 and were preserved in precious shrines on the high altar. They were destroyed during the Cologne War (1583/84).
Today the Minister is in the middle of a bustling city and as a church in the city offers members of the locality, passers-by and tourists a haven of tranquillity and a place for prayer. The five-towered Minster with its sturdy central tower is a silhouette of the city that is visible from a long distance.