of the GIR Keller
It is generally known that the Old Town of Cologne on the Rhine was a major trading metropolis.
This is still recognizable today by the roads. For example, Lintgasse was used as an extension of the fish market. The monastery courtyard „Groß St. Martin“, situated between the two streets, joined the Lintgasse with two Abbeys of the Benedictine monks.
In the Middle Ages the cellars were built before the houses, so the GIR Keller was used as a wine cellar of the monks. It can still be seen today that it was a double cellar, whereby it remains open in which cellar the storage and in which was the so-called tasting room. The edifice of this unique still preserved cellar goes back to the time from 1195-1280. A precise dating can not longer be defined. The houses of Lintgasse 8-14 formed a closed group and bore the designation „Martinsinsel“.
The name „Gir“ was mentioned in 1230 for the first time. This respectable family placed the judges, who at that time made their own stamp seal, which was not identical with Cologne at the Rhine Seal, but also had legal validity.
The name „Gir“ is from the beginning in connection with the Lintgasse, but only in 1650 directly connected to the house with today’s number 14. At this time, two pillars were moved into the cellar Mayor’s office.
Whether the family of the „Gir“ lived in this house before, is not documented, but possible. The cellar was rented or sold to the monks, a practice that was quite common in that time. It is also not known exactly how long the cellar was used by the monks. It is certainly delivered, that the city council of cologne decided to tear down the prefabricated entrances of the cellars, since it was classified as a traffic obstruction in the year 1330.
In the last hundred years buildings and vaults have been used as dwelling houses. In the Second World War the house was destroyed, the cellar in its origin remained. It was only years after the reconstruction that the cellar was rediscovered and included in the overall planning of the new restoration of the Old Town (1975-1976).