Archaeological finding in Bonn

Historical preservationists discover bones in the Minster

BONN. Human remains have been found in the Bonn Minster during restoration work. Archaeologists unearthed the old bones, which had been buried beneath the church floor and cloister.

What goes on behind the construction fence of the Minster is not visible to passers-by. But members of the media were recently led through the basilica, which has been closed off since last summer. Workers have removed pigeon droppings which contaminated the insulation material in the roof truss, and filled in the cracks.  They drilled holes in parts of the floor, creating shafts for new supply lines. The complete electronics will also be renewed during the renovation, all under the supervision of project manager Ägidius Strack. Facing towards Münsterplatz, archaeologists have surprisingly found parts of the old tile mosaic, which probably dates back to the late 19th century.

A 35-meter-long trench runs through the cloister, where supply lines will later be installed. During the excavation, the historical preservationists discovered bone parts from all of the eras of the approximate 1000 year old church. Following documentation procedure, the human remains are to be buried again. 

So far, the general renovation is running according to budget, says Strack. It is scheduled to take another two years.  The preparatory work has swallowed up almost two million euros so far.

Strack has calculated a total of just more than 20 million euros for all the construction work that needs to be done. The largest part will be paid by the Archdiocese of Cologne, ultimately via church taxes. The Münster-Bauverein (Minster Building Association) wants to raise 2.5 million euros through donations. So far, one million euros have been raised, Karl Wilhelm Starcke, the board of directors, explained.

(Orig. text: Philipp Königs, Translation: ck)