Desecration, Secularization, Restoration: Cologne's Churches during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815

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Abstract

The Napoleonic era was transformative for Cologne’s churches. The wars that characterized this period brought destruction and upheaval. The invading French army that occupied the city in 1794 was an agent of the new Republic, a polity then at war with Catholicism. Most spectacularly, this resulted in the desacralization of Cologne’s churches, some of which were turned into storage depots for the army or made into temples for the new republican cult. However, once Napoleon seized control of the Republic in 1799, a new French policy was enforced in the city and surrounding region. It restored many aspects of the old familiar religious order, but at the same time created new institutions of church management and preservation that survived the end of French rule in 1814.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberghae003
Pages (from-to)195-213
JournalGerman History
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2024

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