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Great St. Martin Church

Check out the Romanesque architecture of the church and former Benedictine abbey that has defined Cologne’s Old Town skyline since medieval times.

With its magnificent crossing tower and triple-apse structure, Cologne’s Great St. Martin Church (Groß Sankt Martin) is a beautiful relic of the city’s ancient history. Stroll around the enormous Roman Catholic church and take in views of its ornate architecture. Established in the 10th century on the ruins of Roman warehouses, the church has undergone several transformations in its long history and has survived fires, bombings and the changing cityscape.

Approach the church from its spacious courtyard to appreciate the structure’s elegant design. You’ll see the soaring church’s triple-apse choir flanked by pretty multicolored façades of neighboring buildings and the steadfast crossing tower. The monastery was established in the 10th and 11th centuries, but the Romanesque design that you see today was constructed in the 12th century after fires destroyed much of the building.

Check out the rounded apses that meet on the eastern end of the nave to create a cloverleaf shape. If you look carefully, you’ll see that these are careful reconstructions. The church was badly bombed in World War II and meticulously rebuilt between the 1960s and ’80s.

Enter the church to see its beautifully restored interiors. The grand nave’s upper part is an excellent example of Rhenish architecture, while the minimal furnishings suggest the building’s past as a Benedictine monastery. As you walk through the aisles, imagine the Ancient Roman ruins and medieval burial sites beneath your feet.

Cologne’s Great St. Martin Church is situated in the heart of the city’s Old Town district, on the banks of the Rhine River. Add the church to your list of walking tour destinations and see nearby Gothic, Romanesque and medieval landmarks, such as the Historic Town Hall (Historisches Rathaus), the Old Market (Alter Markt), Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), as well as several museums. The church is free to enter; however, it is asked that visitors respect worshippers and refrain from visiting during services by the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem. The church is a 5-minute walk north from Old Town’s Heumarkt station.


Guide to Exploring around Great St. Martin Church


Best Lodging Options Near Great St. Martin Church

See all 914 Properties near Great St. Martin Church
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln $112
Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln

Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln

Pipinstrasse 1, Cologne, NW
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Innenstadt, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Alter Markt, and City Hall. Romano-Germanic Museum and Great St. Martin Church are also within 10 minutes. Heumarkt U-Bahn is only a 3-minute walk and Neumarkt U-Bahn is 8 minutes.

    Hyatt Regency Cologne $177
    Hyatt Regency Cologne

    Hyatt Regency Cologne

    Kennedy-Ufer 2a, Cologne, NW
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Innenstadt, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cologne Triangle Panorama and Musical Dome. LANXESS Arena and Museum Ludwig are also within 15 minutes. Deutzer Freiheit U-Bahn is 8 minutes by foot and Deutz Koelnarena U-Bahn is 9 minutes.

      Cologne Marriott Hotel $103
      Cologne Marriott Hotel

      Cologne Marriott Hotel

      Johannisstr. 76-80, Cologne, NW
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Innenstadt, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Musical Dome, Cologne Cathedral, and Museum Ludwig. Cologne Zoo and Alter Markt are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cologne Central Station is only a 5-minute walk and Ebertplatz U-Bahn is 11 minutes.

        Steigenberger Hotel Köln $84
        Steigenberger Hotel Köln

        Steigenberger Hotel Köln

        Habsburgerring 9-13, Cologne, NW
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Innenstadt, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Neumarkt, Cologne Cathedral, and City Hall. Alter Markt and Chocolate Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km). Rudolfplatz U-Bahn and Moltkestrasse U-Bahn are within a 5-minute walk.

          AZIMUT Hotel Cologne $55
          AZIMUT Hotel Cologne

          AZIMUT Hotel Cologne

          Hansaring 97, Cologne, NW
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Innenstadt, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of MediaPark and Cologne Cathedral. Cologne Zoo and Musical Dome are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cologne Hansaring Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ebertplatz U-Bahn is 8 minutes.

            Lindner Hotel Dom Residence $109
            Lindner Hotel Dom Residence

            Lindner Hotel Dom Residence

            Stolkgasse/ An den Dominikanern 4a, Cologne, NW
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Innenstadt, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cologne Cathedral, Romano-Germanic Museum, and Museum Ludwig. Cologne Philharmonic and Great St. Martin Church are also within 15 minutes. Appellhofplatz Breite Strasse U-Bahn is 7 minutes by foot and Cologne Central Station is 6 minutes.

              CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom $88
              CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom

              CityClass Hotel Residence am Dom

              Alter Markt 55, Cologne, NW
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Innenstadt, this hotel is steps from City Hall and Cologne Philharmonic. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and Cologne Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Heumarkt U-Bahn is only a 5-minute walk and Cologne Central Station is 7 minutes.

                Eden Hotel Früh am Dom $123
                Eden Hotel Früh am Dom

                Eden Hotel Früh am Dom

                Sporergasse 1, Cologne, NW
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Innenstadt, this hotel is steps from Wallraf Square, Hohe Strasse, and Cologne Cathedral. City Hall and Chocolate Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Heumarkt U-Bahn is 8 minutes by foot and Appellhofplatz Breite Strasse U-Bahn is 9 minutes.