Saint Cunigunde of Luxembourg

Saint Cunigunde of Luxembourg

Saint Cunigunde of Luxembourg

The soul of a city, of a country, is not the giant modern buildings that sprawl across the landscape, or the number of modern and exciting bars that have come up, but rather of its endless folk stories, or its history, which gave it culture, customs, and rituals. Thats one of the reasons why I love places of cultural significance. Bamberg has countless stories.


This image is of Saint Cunigunde of Luxembourg (also known as Empress Kunigunde) who was married to the Saint Henry (Heinrich II) the Holy Roman Emperor. Legend has it that she was a virgin, and her marriage to Henry II was a spiritual one.


There are many tales revolving around her life. One is about how she had a bowl with money and all artists who had worked were invited to come forth and remove the amount of money they felt they deserve for their work. One greedy artist tried to take more money and yelled as his hands burnt mysteriously. When he opened his fist only a single coin remained in his hand.


Another story tells how once she and her maid were caught in a fire started by a candle which then spread rapidly.. She made the sign of the cross and the fire extinguished and was saved.


The “Ordeal of fire” was performed by her to prove her innocence, when people accused her of a bad conduct saying they had seen men emerge from her chambers at night. To prove her innocence, she walked on flaming hot iron rods without being harmed, to the great delight of the Emperor.


Her final days were spent in poverty, and on her death, was laid down beside Henry II. Its said that when the tomb of Henry II was opened, the body was rested opposite to the way it was depicted on the lid of the tomb. A voice from the tomb said “Virgin make way for the virgin” and the body of Henry II miraculously shifted its position so that Cunigunde could finally be put to rest.


Its for these miracles that she was later canonised by the Vatican and declared a saint.