As a result of secularization the late Gothic Maccabees shrine - it bears relics of Jewish martyrs: the seven Maccabee brothers and their mother - arrived at St. Andreas church in 1527. Because of this, the southern transept has been called Maccabees choir ever since.
In WW II the choir has been destroyed; after its reconstruction it got a transparent glazing. Since the 1990s plans for a contemporary glazing emerged. Through support from the local booster club Förderverein Romanische Kirchen Köln e.V. and many donations, Markus Lüpertz, painter and sculptor at Düsseldorf's academy of fine arts, realized seven windows for the Maccabees choir. Taking up the sufferings of the Maccabees, he contraposes them against the sufferings of the Christ, thus referring directly to the traditional shrine. Two months ago, the windows were perfected. Plannings for the opposite St Mary's choir at the northern transept are under way.
We're now going to read the windows from bottom to top:
Bottom: The left window shows St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who finds the mortal remains of the Maccabees in the Holy Land (symbolized through the skulls). The martyrs are brought from Antiochia to Constantiople, later they arrive at Cologne via Milan.
Top: Mary Magdalene faces the risen Christ, symbolized through his bright Holy Face: the promise the Maccabees believed in is fulfilled in the Christ.
Bottom: A tortured figure, crying. One of the Maccabee brothers after his torment, a picture of all human misery.
Top: A disrobed figure, hands bound to the back. Ecce homo, the suffering Christ in deepest humiliation. All human suffering finds its correspondence in the affliction of Jesus.
Next windows will follow soon. It was quite difficult to get a good image despite of the good light: the choir is quite small and I couldn't get a greater distance to the windows, hence the slight distortion.