Categories: Cologne

The grand Cologne Cathedral

The most famous attraction in the city of Cologne in Germany is the first thing you see when you come out from the train station. It’s impossible to miss, you’ll see it from almost every part of the old town of Cologne – the Cologne Cathedral. Day or night, it’s an impressive structure, inspiring awe and humility, with history dating back to the 13th century. Tourist stats claim it’s Germany’s most visited landmark. It’s quite a wonder this Gothic cathedral made it through the world war, but someone mentioned to me the reason it survived was because it helped bombing planes get a better baring on the other places to bomb around it, and ofcourse it also be "God’s work". Either way, if you’re visiting Cologne, this will probably be the first thing you’ll visit, and it’s a great way to kick off a walking tour of the Cologne old city area and the nearby river bridges.


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Here’s a bit from the Cologne tourism authorities:

Cologne Cathedral is a building of superlatives that is the centre and hallmark of this city on the Rhine. The cornerstone of this Gothic cathedral was laid on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August 1248. The previous building was apparently no longer deemed impressive enough to house the remains of the Three Wise Men, which Archbishop Rainald von Dassel had brought to Cologne from Milan after the latter city was conquered in 1164. Because of these relics, the cathedral became one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe. Its two massive towers have dominated the city’s skyline since their completion in 1880. At 157.38 metres, the northern tower is 7cm taller than the southern one.

Today the cathedral is Cologne’s second-tallest structure, surpassed only by the telecommunications tower. The cathedral covers almost 8,000 square metres of floor space and can hold more than 20,000 people. Due to the building’s impressive Gothic architecture, the shrine of the Three Wise Men, the outstanding stained-glass windows and the many other important works of art, UNESCO declared Cologne Cathedral a World Heritage Site in 1996.


As you can see, it’s gigantic…


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Almost too big to capture with a mobile camera…


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So you’ll need to step back 2-3 blocks to get it all in the frame…


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It gets even better at night (if you have a better camera, for sure)…


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And the insides are just as grand…


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With all sorts of dead guys lying around…


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And posing (with babies?)…


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More on Cologne to follow.

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