Hans Vogts

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Vogts family grave in the Catholic cemetery at St. Pantaleon in Unkel am Rhein

Hans Vogts (born June 25, 1883 in Berlin ; † March 7, 1972 in Scheuren ) was a German architect and preservationist ; he worked from 1933 to 1948 as a curator for the city of Cologne .

Life path

Origin and education

The Vogts family had their roots in the Lower Rhine ; Parents and ancestors, including craftsmen, merchants and architects, probably came from the Kempen region . Hans Vogts, who was born in Berlin, grew up in Cologne, where his parents had settled. Here Vogts attended the Tricoronatum grammar school on Marzellenstrasse and is said to have shown a keen interest in history and genealogy there as a young student . As a result, Vogts studied architecture at the Technical University of Aachen , the Technical University of Munich , the Technical University of Stuttgart and the Technical University of Darmstadt . At the latter Vogts was in 1909 with a dissertation on "The Mainz house in the 18th century" doctorate .

The tendency, which was already evident in his dissertation, not only to meticulously grasp the bare architecture of a typical regional building, but also to research and describe the residents belonging to an object and their living conditions, also determined his later focus of work.

Professional background

Civil service

Reception building of the Landesdenkmal station around 1910

At first, Vogts only took his historical interests on a part-time basis. He began a legal clerkship as a government building manager in the state Prussian building administration and was appointed government building master ( Assessor ) in 1910 after passing the 2nd state examination . At the beginning Vogts worked for the Reich Railway Directorate in Mainz , where the Landesdenkmal railway station was built in Biebrich with his help . A little later Vogts was transferred to Posen , from where he worked on the construction of public buildings in Wirsitz . In the course of this task, Vogts resigned as a Prussian civil servant and returned to the Rhineland .

Master builder on the Moselle

In 1913 Vogts took over the position of a district master builder in Zell an der Mosel and tried during this time to influence the new building projects under his control in such a way that the traditional half - timbered style in this region was continued or harmonized as far as possible. As part of his official duties, he also began to inventory the art monuments in the Bernkastel and Zell districts , which he carried out on behalf of the then provincial curator Paul Clemen . Nevertheless, he found time for historical research that concentrated more and more on the residential architecture of the Rhineland.

Service and private research

As with his study on the “Mainzer Wohnhaus”, for which he had carried out intensive research in the Mainz building and guild files of the local archive, he commuted between his office in Zell and the municipal archive in Cologne in order to include the archives there to develop a work on "The Cologne House". He succeeded in doing this in time-consuming work. The work was completed shortly before the outbreak of the First World War .

Vogt's exact evaluations of the material of the then still extensive inventory of old Cologne town houses, paired with his specialist knowledge as an architect, received attention and recognition in specialist circles. He had been encouraged to do the Cologne work by an exchange of letters with Clemen, who had already drawn attention to Vogts through his dissertation on the Mainz house. Clemen later wrote in this connection: It would be desirable that a similarly thorough overview with the same mastery of the material is given by the Cologne houses….

It was the beginning of a long collaboration that would last until Clemens death in 1947.

Research during the First World War

Vogts was used for road construction in Belgium during the First World War . There he used the remaining time to research the characteristics of historical Flemish houses. Vogts was able to incorporate the results of this work into a new publication by Paul Clemen on "Belgian Art Monuments", as he was now considered a specialist in bourgeois living culture.

New areas of responsibility in Cologne

In 1925 Vogts left his area of ​​responsibility on the Moselle and followed an appointment to the Cologne Monument Office , headed by Hans Verbeek . Vogts was in his element here and was able to combine what was pleasant (research) with useful (service) from now on. He entrusted the Department of Interior Design with the Millennium Exhibition that took place at the beginning of his activity and was held in Cologne on the occasion of the Rhineland's thousand-year membership in the Reich.

During his tenure, Verbeek compiled an initial register of monuments for the city and, with his experience in this area, had found a suitable employee in Vogts. As on the Moselle, Vogts is now committed to the preservation of old buildings in Cologne and supported Verbeek in his concept for the renovation of the old town . During this time, Vogt's other publications followed, such as his volume on the “Bürgerhaus der Rheinprovinz” (1929), as well as his work on the secular monuments of the city of Cologne, a work described by experts as a literary masterpiece that Clemen published a year later has been. In addition, the cooperation in the office was harmonious and in 1933 Vogts succeeded Verbeek as head of the office. During this time, the renovation work begun by Verbeek was continued in the core of Cologne's old town, now known as the “ Martinsviertel ”, and also in the town hall .

In 1936 Vogts succeeded the former city curator Friedrich Carl Heimann in several respects by also becoming chairman of the Cologne History Association, a task that he took on for many years.

Politics and office

As is emphasized in the specialist literature, there was no political background for the change of office in 1933, rather it was pointed out that topics, projects and working methods of Verbeek showed complete continuity with those of his successor Vogts.

Although Vogts did not join the NSDAP , he was able to continue as the city's curator. He had served in the First World War and was already 56 years old when the war broke out in 1939, so that he was no longer eligible for service as a soldier. He remained unmolested and even became honorary professor at the University of Cologne in 1942 . Like the city's archives management, Vogts was also one of those people who did a great job rescuing archival materials and the city's movable art-historical goods. Hans Vogts was retired due to illness in 1948 and his office was temporarily exercised by his successor Hanna Adenauer until 1953 .

Retirement and old age

In 1948 Hans Vogts reached the retirement age, which, however, did not mean the end of his research and publication activities. In 1950 his work "Cologne in the mirror of his art" appeared, in which he drew a résumé based on his insider and specialist knowledge , in which he compared the "special Cologne" with the European art and cultural development. Vogts also remained extremely active in the area of ​​monument preservation.

He was also committed as a retiree and put his intellectual, technical and artistic abilities at the service of his hometown in order to contribute to its reconstruction, where preservation and restoration were his main concerns. Shortly after his retirement in 1950, the retiree was appointed to the German Academy for Urban Development and Regional Planning .

In Cologne, in addition to his commitment to the remnants of ancient and medieval buildings, he was particularly committed (as in the pre-war period) to the old town, which was now largely destroyed. But he also cared for sacred buildings, such as the Church of St. Apostles . He campaigned for its reconstruction in 1953, as he had never been able to get used to the first post-war restorations. In his opinion, their outward appearance , originally from the late Taufers , had been lost.

However, Vogts did not succeed in exerting his influence on all aspects of urban reconstruction. So he could not prevent valuable historical building fabric from being lost through the breakthrough of the approach and departure points of the new Rhine bridge . His wish was that the pre-war planning for a north-south breakthrough had not been taken up again. He would have preferred a bridge connection in the continuation of the Ubierring . Vogts, who had advocated the preservation of old buildings everywhere, could not prevent the later swath of the north-south route through the Severinsviertel , the city center and the equally old quarter on the Eigelstein .

End of life in Unkel am Rhein

Hans Vogts withdrew from the city of Cologne and chose the small town of Unkel am Rhein as his new domicile , where one of his ancestors, the merchant and court chamberlain Franz Vogts, had lived during the Electoral Cologne period. Vogts and his family spent his last years in this village, which consists of an abundance of old half-timbered buildings and has retained its village character to this day. He completely rewrote his work “Das Kölner Wohnhaus”, published 50 years earlier, whereby, due to the war damage, he now increasingly concentrated on the archive holdings. Using these traditions, he was able to compose a comprehensive reconstruction of the old building and housing conditions in his hometown, which he then published in 1965. This late work has also been preserved in large numbers because it was given to the members as an annual gift in 1966 by the Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Landscape Protection.

In Unkel, too, the new resident Vogts campaigned for the preservation of the cultural heritage. His authority was so great that, without official commissioning, he often succeeded in saving many historically valuable buildings in Unkel and the surrounding area that were threatened with demolition through his well-founded interventions, which he brought to the politically responsible .

Shortly before his death, Vogts completed another work on the "Kempener Wohnhaus" and in this work dealt indirectly with the origins of his family. However, he did not live to see this work published. Hans Vogts died at the age of 89 in Unkel-Scheuren and was buried in the old Catholic cemetery of the parish church of St. Pantaleon .


Hans Vogts was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class .

Fonts (selection)

See the list of writings by Hans Vogts . In: Yearbook of the Cologne History Association Volume 33, 1958, p. 243ff.

  • The Cologne residential building. Cologne 1913/1914.
  • Flemish noble seats . In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , vol. 69, 1919, Sp. 1–26 ( digitized version of the Central and State Library Berlin ) and Sp. 193–212 ( digitized version )
  • The community center in the Rhine Province. 1929.
  • The profane monuments of the city of Cologne. L. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1930.
  • The art monuments of the Bernkastel district (= The art monuments of the Rhine Province Volume 15, 1). L. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1935.
  • The art monuments of the city of Cologne. L. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1937.
  • Cologne in the mirror of its art. Cologne 1950.
  • The Cologne house until the beginning of the 19th century. 2 volumes. Cologne 1966 (extended new edition of the work from 1914).


  • Ursula Lewald: Hans Vogts †. In: Yearbook of the Cologne History Association Volume 44, 1973, pp. 1–4.
  • City Conservator Cologne (Ed.): Cologne. 85 years of monument protection and preservation 1912–1997. (= Stadtspuren - Monuments in Cologne , Volume 9, 1). JP Bachem, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7616-1129-3 , pp. XII-XIII.
  • Ulrich S. Soenius, Jürgen Wilhelm (Ed.): Kölner Personen-Lexikon . Greven, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-7743-0400-0 , pp. 555 .
  • Alfons Friderichs (Ed.): Vogts, Hans , In: "Personalities of the Cochem-Zell District" , Kliomedia, Trier 2004, ISBN 3-89890-084-3 , p. 370.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Ursula Lewald: Hans Vogts. Pp. 1-4.
  2. Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume 30, 1910, No. 99 (from December 10, 1910), p. 641.
  3. a b c Ulrich S. Soenius, Jürgen Wilhelm: Kölner Personen-Lexikon. P. 555.
  4. a b c d City Conservator Cologne (Ed.): Cologne. 85 years of monument protection and preservation 1912–1997. (= Stadtspuren - Monuments in Cologne , Volume 9.I.) S. XII-XIII.