The Basilica church of St. Ursula (German: [ˌzaŋt ˈʔʊʁzula], Colognian: [ˌtsɪnt ˈʔoʒəla]) is located in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is built upon the ancient ruins of a Roman cemetery, where the 11,000 virgins associated with the legend of Saint Ursula are said to have been buried. The church has an impressive reliquary created from the bones of the former occupants of the cemetery. It is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne and was designated a Minor Basilica on 25 June 1920. While the nave and main tower are Romanesque, the choir has been rebuilt in the Gothic style.
The Golden Chamber, or Goldene Kammer, of the church contains the alleged remains of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins who are said to have been killed by the Huns, possibly around the time of the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. The original legend said only 11 virgins accompanied St. Ursula. Later readings misread the abbreviation "M" for martyrs as latin numeral "M" for 1000, which over time lead to 11,000. The walls of the Golden Chamber are covered in bones arranged in designs and/or letters along with relic skulls. The exact number of people whose remains are in the Golden Chamber remains ambiguous but the number of skulls in the reliquary is greater than 11 and less than 11,000. These remains were found in 1106 in a mass grave and were assumed to be those of the legend of St. Ursula and the 11,000 virgins. Therefore, the church constructed the Golden Chamber to house the bones. The bones themselves are neatly arranged in "zigzags and swirls and even in the shapes of Latin words."
Roman Hans | Nov 24, 2017
Nice church but beautiful and haunting side chapel with reliquaries, relics and bones. Extra charge of 2 euros admission. Though you probably won't stay more than 20 minutes, it's definitely worth a visit for the artistic or spiritually inclined.
Frans Hendrix | Dec 28, 2017
It is a verry normal church but if you ask for the golden chamber you get something realy great it wil cost you €2.00 p.p. but it is worth every cent is is scary and verry creapy all those relics are asome and cool the wals are lind whit skulls and bones spet the words pray for us saint Ursula
Stefana Vencislavova | Oct 24, 2017
impressive church and very interesting story about it. Different ways to save the bones... :)
Rudy Saenz | Sep 8, 2017
The church is nice, this place is known for it's room of bones. The walls are covered in remains. The wife couldn't stay very long as she was starting to feel uneasy.
Zohar Kaplan | Apr 1, 2017
Small old church. The bone room is small and impressive. 2 euro entrance fee. Opens 10am
Jonathon Smith | Jul 30, 2018
A really interesting church to visit. Nowhere near as busy as the main cathedral, but definitely a place to check out. If you want to see the bone room reliquaries be sure to go at a time when someone will be there to let you in.
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