The verena grave in candlelight
The heart of Zurzach, the small town with the famous spa not far from Koblenz on the Rhine, beats in a hidden place: in the crypt of the benevolent Verena, who came here in Roman times. According to a legend recorded in the 9th century, she died here in 344. Pilgrims still come to the sarcophagus of the venerated saints in the crypt of the collegiate church every day; it is mainly women who are looking for help here.
In 1974, during excavations in the Verena tomb, the old, sealed Verena fountain was found next to the apse of the former Romanesque church complex. On September 1st, the feast day of the saints, the “Vreneli water” was scooped here earlier. A solemn worship service is still held on this day, and then the “Verena banquet” is held outdoors or in the parish hall for everyone present. At the verena tomb in the crypt, women also deposit bottles of cooking oil, which is blessed in the evening according to old custom.
The Verena Munster is in possession of a valuable church treasure, which includes a Gothic arm reliquary set with gemstones, the filigree work of which depicts the life of the saints. A door gives a view of an arm bone. Thanks to the Verena cult, Zurzach became a much visited pilgrimage site in the early Middle Ages. This probably also has to do with the emergence of the Zurzacher trade fairs and markets, which were of great importance until 1856.