Cologne Cathedral

Cologne, Germany

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Germany"s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.

Begun in 1248, the building of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880. Over seven centuries, its successive builders were inspired by the same faith and by a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plans. Apart from its exceptional intrinsic value and the artistic masterpieces it contains, Cologne Cathedral bears witness to the strength and endurance of European Christianity. No other Cathedral is so perfectly conceived, so uniformly and uncompromisingly executed in all its parts.

Cologne Cathedral is a High Gothic five-aisled basilica, with a projecting transept and a tower façade. The nave is 43.58 m high and the side-aisles 19.80 m. The western section, nave and transept begun in 1330, changes in style, but this is not perceptible in the overall building. The 19th century work follows the medieval forms and techniques faithfully, as can be seen by comparing it with the original medieval plan on parchment.

The original liturgical appointments of the choir are still extant to a considerable degree. These include the high altar with an enormous monolithic slab of black limestone, believed to be the largest in any Christian church, the carved oak choir stalls (1308-11), the painted choir screens (1332-40), the fourteen statues on the pillars in the choir (c. 1300), and the great cycle of stained-glass windows, the largest existent cycle of early 14th century windows in Europe. There is also an outstanding series of tombs of twelve archbishops between 976 and 1612.

Of the many works of art in the Cathedral, special mention should be made to the Gero Crucifix of the late 10th century, in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was transferred from the pre-Romanesque predecessor of the present Cathedral, and the Shrine of the Magi (1180-1225), in the choir, which is the largest reliquary shrine in Europe. Other artistic masterpieces are the altarpiece of St. Clare (c. 1350-1400) in the north aisle, brought here in 1811 from the destroyed cloister church of the Franciscan nuns, the altarpiece of the City Patrons by Stephan Lochner (c. 1445) in the Chapel of Our Lady, and the altarpiece of St. Agilolphus (c. 1520) in the south transept.

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Address

Domkloster 4, Cologne, Germany
See all sites in Cologne

Details

Founded: 1248
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

SALMAN DELIWALA (10 months ago)
An enormous and beautiful cathedral of Köln. It is like a symbol of the Köln City itself a must visit place in the city. This place is right next to the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). This cathedral is visible from a long distance and looks stunning no matter from which side or angle you are looking it . The main market is close to it as well which is also a good place to visit. Overall you can't miss this place.
Ezio Accaputo (12 months ago)
Nice and massive cathedral is getting darker due to smog
Thomas Maufer (13 months ago)
Amazingly inspirational space. Beautiful stained glass and graceful, tall columns that seem to reach to outer space. If you are lucky, you'll hear the organ being played.
Michael Stemmeler (13 months ago)
Gothic cathedral, built between 1248 and 1880, with a 300-year interruption. The cathedral is the icon of Cologne and the two spires (over 150m high) can be seen from many miles away. The inside is replete with art work, medieval and modern (some recent glass windows), a beautiful organ, and the immense golden shrine of the Three Magi, also patron saints of Cologne. All in all, a beautiful spiritual place.
Willem Van den Bosch (13 months ago)
Immense old building. The high vaulted ceilings amplify this sense of height and scale even more, making one feel small in comparison. This is without a doubt one of the main highlights of Cologne and probably in Western Europe in general. A must see.
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