St. Mechtern, Brunnen

Fragments of an old Roman villa were excavated between Thebaischer Strasse and Mechternstrasse in the 90's of 20th century. They are the signs of the oldest Ehrenfelder inhabitants. Cologne legend before tells, that at this place the Cologne city saint Gereon was killed as a martyr with some of his men, the Thebean legion, when he resisted to kill Christians during the persecutions under the Roman emperor Domitian in early 4th century.

So Ehrenfeld started as a place of conscientuous objection, or as the German names it, "Wehrdienstverweigerung".

The column of blood in the church of St. Gereon reminds the occurrence, also the fountain at the modern church St. Mechtern, which was rebuilded for the 6th time after destructions in WWII. The name Mechtern seems to have developed from "ad martyres sanctos", a Latin name, which reminded the martyrdom of St. Gereon at this place. St. Mechtern served as location for cloisters during the medieval time. Later in 1840, before Ehrenfeld was founded in 1845 and developed quickly, here lived a handful of persons in some buildings, the total region of the modern Ehrenfeld having 32 inhabitants at three different places. The place was left by the nuns 1473/74 cause of a threatening conflict with the duke of Burgund, Charles the bold.