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"The Council of Konstanz and the Council Building" Top 5 Page for this destination Konzil Edifice Tip by Kathrin_E

Konzil Edifice, Konstanz: 4 reviews and 8 photos

  Konzil: Council Building in the port
by Kathrin_E
  • Konzil: Council Building in the port - Konstanz
      Konzil: Council Building in the port
    by Kathrin_E
  • Brass plaque in Marktstätte recalling the Council - Konstanz
      Brass plaque in Marktstätte recalling the Council
    by Kathrin_E
  • Peacock with three heads crowned with tiaras - Konstanz
      Peacock with three heads crowned with tiaras
    by Kathrin_E
  • Konzil building and port - Konstanz
      Konzil building and port
    by Kathrin_E

Three elected Popes fighting for the one Chair of St Peter? That must go wrong, and it did go wrong. Around 1400 the Roman Catholic Church was divided in first two, then three parties who each supported 'their' Pope. To sort out this mess, Emperor Sigismund interfered and arranged a church council in the neutral city of Konstanz. All in all four years, from 1414 to 1418, representants of church and politics negotiated to find solutions to the main problems: reunite the Roman Church, start some necessary reforms, and persecute hereticism.

They succeeded only in the first point. The council forced all three prior Popes and Antipopes to resign and elected Cardinal Oddo di Colonna as the new and only Pope Martin V. Reforms of the church did not take place. The persecution of heretics left a bloody mark: the Bohemian preachers Jan Hus and Hieronymus of Prague were condemned as heretics and burnt. Their lore was not destroyed, though, and the consequence were the Hussite Wars in Bohemia.

This event was Konstanz's moment of glory when the city made European history. It is commemorated in many ways. The building where the main meetings of the council took place is still known as the Konzil. In fact it is the medieval market hall in the port which has, except for that moment, been used by the local merchants for their business. In the 20th century it was turned into a restaurant and dance hall. Currently the building is undergoing thorough restoration.

A plaque in the pavement of Marktstätte reminds passers-by of the Council with a picture of the official seal showing the keys and the faces of St peter and St Paul.

At the Kaiserbrunnen the three Popes are depicted as a peacock with three heads wearing tiaras.

A couple of buildings in town have murals, mostly 19th century, that show scenes from the Council which happened in this location, for example Haus zum Hohen Hafen and Hohes Haus.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 15, 2010
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