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St. Aposteln, Cologne: Apse

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 26 January 2009 in Architecture.

This is the northern apse of the church we were visiting yesterday (here's a shot from outside). St. Aposteln is one of the 12 Romanesque churches in Cologne. It has a remarkable Trikonchos, that is a cloverleaf-like groundplan which can be seen best from above. No less remarkable is the octagonal steeple that caps the choir and that can be seen in this and yesterday's image (octagonal structure above the centre); its architecture remindes of Byzantine style. The construction history of this church ranges from the 11th to the 13th century; after its nearly total devastation in the war it had been reconstructed from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The paintings at the ceiling have been executed by the church painter Hermann Gottfried; they depict selected scenes from the Book of Revelation.

Linerberry from Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hay ms, the last few days shots have been amazing! So sharp and wonderful symmetry!

26 Jan 2009 6:03am

@Linerberry: Thank you! JoeB would say it's because I'm lying so often on my back in churches! ;)

rem_la from Villiers, France

quelle pureté !

26 Jan 2009 12:19pm

@rem_la: N'est-ce pas? Merci!

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

The detail is remarkable.

26 Jan 2009 4:10pm

@Ana Lúcia: These paintings get more detailed the closer you look at them.

jim from sebastopol, United States

i am really enjoying these images.
i still marvel at the use of impressionist-cubist paintings. they contrast so sharply with the architecture.. it's really interesting to read your descriptions as well, they encourage me to spend time looking up history.

26 Jan 2009 4:47pm

@jim: Thanks, Jim! Tomorrow we'll see a detail shot.

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

I agree with Jim with the cubist style of the last few days, makes me want to explore closer up.

26 Jan 2009 5:21pm

@JoeB: Can do, see you tomorrow!

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

It's an unusual style of painting for a church, realy interesting indeed !!
see you soon MS!!

26 Jan 2009 7:05pm

@Evelyne Dubos: Especially unusual for this old architecture, but I like this contrast. Thanks, Evelyne!

Olivier Jules from Lanciano, Italy

wonderful capture

26 Jan 2009 7:31pm

@Olivier Jules: Thanks, Olivier, details tomorrow!

PD from Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Very cool shot... there is a lot of light in this one.

26 Jan 2009 11:20pm

@PD: Only because of the long exposure. I took this shot some weeks ago in the late afternoon; for my 'freehand' shots I had to use a high ISO.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Dizzying. I kinda like dark churches though.

26 Jan 2009 11:40pm

@Twelvebit: Ceiling shots are quite simple, there's always a way to use long exposures. I took these shots in the late afternoon of a December day, and it was almost too dark.

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Amazing, I've not seen anything like this before, it's awesome!

27 Jan 2009 1:57am

@MaryB: I think the experiment was successful, though there was harsh criticism on these paintings.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

It's very unusual, I think I prefer the more traditional church.

27 Jan 2009 4:19am

@Observing: Tomorrow I'll show an overall impression of this church's interior, you'll see that it was never that traditional. The Triconchos I mentioned the day before yesterday was quite unusal; if you look from outside you're reminded of Byzantine architecture. So having some modern paintings here is not necessarily a breach of style.

Laurent from Lyon, France

I really enjoy the way it is composed. In a way I forget the painting and this picture becomes just colors and shapes.

27 Jan 2009 9:43pm

@Laurent: Though the Romanesque appears to be a quite massive style, some perspectives can get very abstract. The paintings emphasize this effect.