S. Caecilia
Community ID
Alternate Names
monasterium sanctae Mariae; monasterium vetus
Date Founded
700-799 (8th century)
Foundation Information

According to medieval legend, this community was founded by Saint Maternus. Some works describe the community as being founded by Hildebold, although this is unconfirmed. Others ascribe the foundation to Willibert. A document dated to 27 September 873 mentioned the community, and the church may have been rebuilt or enlarged at this time. In 941 the community was renewed by archbishop Wichfrid. The original church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Notable Heads

The first documented abbess is mentioned in 965; she was the sister of Archbishop Bruno I, Beretsuinta, a daughter of King Henry I and Mathilde. Abbess Ida, a relative of Archbishop Anno II, appeared in the records from 1047 until 1074. Ida apparently was well educated, for she requested from the canon Anselm the continuation of the gesta episcoporum tungrensium up to the period of Bishop Wazo (d. 1048).

Dependent Communities

In Brenig the chapter founded a small convent for 3 sisters, which existed until the eighteenth century.

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The archbishop of Cologne celebrated the second Christmas mass in the church of S. Caecilia, after first celebrating mass in S. Maria im Kapitol.


Archbishop Wichfried conveyed property to the community in the areas of Bocklemund, Brenig, Frechen, Hunningen, Kendenich, Rondorf and a vineyard in Rhense. Archbishop Bruno I was also an important patron of the community. On 25 December 962 he conveyed proptery in Gilgau to the community.


The convent held approximately 300 meters of fields in the parish of Rommerskirchen. The community held possessions in Stommeln (a farm and church with tithes) as well as farms in Genen, Ollesheim, Junkersdorf, Langel, Sintheren, Palmersdorf, Heddersdorf, and Rhense.

Art & Artifacts

Restoration work recovered a fourteenth-century fresco depicting seven musical angels in the nave celestory of the church.

Architecture & Archaeology

The Romanesque church, a single nave structure built in the 12th century, is still extant. S. CeciliaS. Cecilia It replaced an even earlier structure. The tympanum of the church depicts Saint Cecilia surrounded by her companions, with an angel descending down to her from above. S. Cecilia Tympanum

State Of Medieval Structure

The Romanesque church of the community still stands. S. Cecilia


The relics of S. Caecilia were conveyed to the community in the 9th century from Rome.

Miscellaneous Information

In 881 the church and community suffered at the hands of the Normans, as did all of Cologne, but survived. On September 9, 941 Archbishop Wichfried made a donation to the community, which referred to the need to rebuild the community due to fire. In the tenth century, Archbishop Bruno I confirmed the chapter's ability to freely elect its abbesses. The women of this community appear to have been highly educated.

Manuscripts Produced

The parish archive of S. Peter preserves a missal written and illuminated by a nun of S. Caecilia, named Anna. The missal dates from the fifteenth century.

Admin. Notes

More research necessary

June Mecham
Date Started