Cologne Cathedral is huge and imposing, and it’s actually quite surprising that there aren’t more royal tombs. The building commenced in 1248 but was halted in 1473, and it was left unfinished until 1880. It was badly hit during the Second World War, but it remained standing, and it was repaired by 1956. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996, and it attracts an average of 20,000 people a day.
Richenza of Lotharingia was born around 995/1000 as the daughter of Ezzo, Count Palatine of Lotharingia by his wife, Matilda of Germany (a daughter of Theophanu). In 1012 she married the future Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland. He succeeded his father in 1025, and she became Queen of Poland. They had a son and two daughters. Her husband was imprisoned in 1031, and although he was released in 1032, he died not much later probably as a result of a conspiracy. She and her son returned to Poland to take up his crown, but they were forced to flee. She supported her son throughout the years he fought for his throne, and he finally regained it in 1039. During the years 1040-1047 she lived in Klotten, in Germany.
She died on 21 March 1063 in Saalfeld, and she was originally buried in the Church of St. Maria ad Gradus in Cologne, but she was transferred to the Cathedral in 1816.