he body of Germanus seems to be the object of veneration from the moment of his burial. The 9th century embellishments of count Conrad, like those of queen Clotild three centuries earlier, had as an objective to expose the relics of the bishop
to the devotion of the faithful.
Conrad thus has built on two levels a sanctuary organised in such a manner as to permit pilgrims to approach the holy remains, intercessor for their prayers. The lower level of these crypts is all that subsists today, the upper part having been destroyed at the moment of the Gothic reconstruction of the abbey church.
The building is arranged following a symetrical plan organised around the Tomb of Germanus. The sarcophagus is situated in an apse at the head of a three-aisled space termed the Confession (Confessio).
It is in this inner most and most sanctified space that the monastic offices or the Eucharist could be celebrated.
A corridor for circulation surrounds the Confession and opens at the east onto the Tomb, hence visible to all.
To both sides of the access corridor, oratories incite the visitor to prayer and provide intermediary stations preceding or following the veneration of the relics. The whole of this sacred space is lit by numerous openings that allows the visitor to gaze upon the abundant painted ornamental decoration or figural representations on the walls and the vaults of the structure.
Scenes from the life of Saints Stephen, Laurence and Vincent incite contemplation in the small oratories, while the figures of bishops in the lateral chambers or cubicles of the Confession bring to mind the memory of the successors of Germanus who are buried at his side.
Two western openings provide access to the crypt. It is probable that the circuit followed a single direction, facilitating the movement of the pilgrims.