Relics, Reliquaries and the Visual Culture of Group Sanctity in Late Medieval Europe
Gratia Undecima Mille – Acknowledgements
A number of years ago, in the darkest hours of a cold winter’s night, I found myself stuck in the middle of Cologne with nowhere to go and nowhere safe to stay. There was, as they say, no room at the inn. After wandering in vain for several hours in search of a hotel or safe haven, I found myself drawn to what seemed (at the time) to be the only plausible recourse – the tiny platz on the north side of town that is sheltered by the entrance to the church of St. Ursula. There, on the doorstep of this exquisite, but all-too-often ignored basilica, I passed the night – cold and sleepless, but safe and oddly comforted. Upon weathering the chilly night with nothing lost but peaceful dreams, I awaited the opening of the church portal so that I could offer my thanks for a safe night’s passage. By way of a votive offering, the amount that I would have expected to pay for a hotel, found its way into the tiny collections box in the narthex. This only seemed fair and proper, as I had half-expected to be robbed or worse during the night. It has since been many times that I have returned to this church and city and always I have been treated graciously and courteously by its denizens – both mortal and saintly. As this study is essentially dedicated to the St. Ursula and her Eleven Thousand Virgin Companions and their cult’s visual expression in Cologne, it...
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