August Reichensperger

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August Reichensperger (1808–1895). Photograph by Leopold Haase & Comp., Berlin around 1874
Signature August Reichensperger.PNG
Statue of August Reichensperger on the town hall tower of Cologne town hall . Sculptor: Hans-Otto Lohrengel
August Reichensperger statue in the Higher Regional Court of Cologne .

August Reichensperger (born March 22, 1808 in Koblenz , † July 16, 1895 in Cologne ) was a German lawyer and politician as well as a sponsor of Cologne Cathedral .


Reichensperger's father, who came from Simmern , was first a criminal judge, then a prefectural council in Koblenz, the capital of the then Département de Rhin-et-Moselle . After he died early (1812), the mother raised her four children alone and even enabled her two sons to study. After graduating from high school in 1827, Reichensperger studied law in Berlin , Bonn and Heidelberg . He was promoted to Dr. phil. doctorate before joining the civil service. He found his first job at the Trier Regional Court , where he worked from 1844 to 1848. Then he was from 1849 to 1879 appellate judge in Cologne, where his brother Peter worked for a time.

Since 1840 Reichensperger has been involved in the further construction of Cologne Cathedral, so he was a founding member of the Central Cathedral Building Association in Cologne .

In 1848 he was a member of the Frankfurt National Assembly and in 1850 of the Erfurt Union Parliament . In both cases he fought against the Prussian hegemony efforts and voted against the Prussian hereditary empire and the union plans. Reichensperger held a seat in the Prussian House of Representatives from 1850 to 1863 and was one of the leading figures in the Catholic parliamentary group . On September 6, 1858 he was President of the Catholic Day in Cologne. From 1871 to 1884 he was a member of the German Reichstag for the constituency of Krefeld and joined the newly founded faction of the Center Party . In addition to Ludwig Windthorst , Hermann von Mallinckrodt and his brother Peter, he was one of the leading figures in political Catholicism and a committed champion of the Catholic lay movement in Germany. In 1851 he was involved in founding the "Academic Reading Club" (now K.St.V. Askania-Burgundia Berlin ) in Berlin in the KV and in 1871 became its honorary member.

Reichensperger had a wide range of interests and, in addition to politics, dealt intensively with art, architecture and literature. He propagated the neo-Gothic in numerous publications and, in addition to the further construction of the Cologne Cathedral, campaigned for the restoration of medieval monuments. He called for later pieces of equipment or additions to be removed and for an “appropriate” addition in medieval forms. He gave expert opinions on numerous construction and restoration projects or expressed himself through publications, sometimes in quite polemical form.

August Reichensperger's grave in Cologne's Melaten cemetery (lit. F between HWG and lit. H)

In 1895 Reichensperger became an honorary citizen of the city of Cologne , before that he had been an honorary citizen of Oppenheim in 1889 and an honorary citizen of Koblenz in 1892 .

After his death, the city of Cologne renamed the square at the intersection of Merlostrasse and Weißenburgstrasse with Riehler Strasse in 1897 as Reichenspergerplatz . The judicial building for the Cologne Higher Regional Court and other courts was inaugurated here in 1911 . The underground station there also bears the name of the square.

Reichensperger is buried in an honorary grave in the Melaten cemetery.

Publications (selection)

  • The 14 statues in the Cologne Cathedral Choir. 1842
  • Christian-Germanic architecture, Trier. 1852
  • Catholic interests in the 19th century. 1853
  • Mixed scriptures on Christian art. 1856
  • Parliamentary speeches 1848–57. 1858
  • Phrases and Keywords. 1872
  • All sorts of art. 1867
  • William Shakespeare. 1871
  • Augustus Pugin, the new founder of Christian art in England, Freiburg. 1877
  • The construction huts of the Middle Ages. 1879
  • On the recent history of the cathedral building in Cologne. 1881
  • Friedrich Freiherr von Schmidt. To characterize the builder. 1891.


Web links

Wikisource: August Reichensperger  - Sources and full texts