Cologne Cathedral – a Monument of Christianity

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Cologne Cathedral by night
Cologne Cathedral by night

[ source: Wikipedia]

Named an exceptional work of human creative genius the Cologne (Cologne vacation rentals | Cologne travel guide) Cathedral has been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List (List vacation rentals | List travel guide) in 1996. The grand cathedral is one of the best—known architectural monuments in Germany and a Gothic masterpiece.

After the foundation stone was laid on 15th August 1248 by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden, the Cologne Cathedral took with interruptions more than 600 years to complete this spectacular cathedral. The choir was already consecrated in 1322. However, after the initially rapid progress, construction work gradually came to a standstill and by the year 1560 only a torso had been built. Only with the emerge of the Romantic movement in the 19th century and its admiration for the Middle Ages, the work eventually resumed. In the first half of the century two towers and other substantial parts of the cathedral were added and finally, in 1880, the completion of the Cologne Cathedral was celebrated as a national event. During World War II the cathedral was hit by bombs 14 times and suffered severe damages. It took until 1956 until the substantial repair works were finalized.

Holding the largest reliquary in the Western world, the Cologne Cathedral has been a major pilgrimage destination for centuries. The Sarcophagus of the Magi, a large gilded sarcophagus dating to around 1200, contains three golden—crowned skulls believed to belong to the Three Wise Men, whose 2000—year—old bones were discovered at the opening of the shrine in 1864. Furthermore, you can find the Gero Cross near the sacristy, which is the oldest large crucifix north of the Alps and the earliest—known large free—standing Northern sculpture of the medieval period.

The Cologne Cathedral is a testament of the enduring strength of Christianity in modern Europe and leaves a lasting impression with every visitor.

[ source: wikipedia ]



About this Article

Kathrin Wagner

This travel guide has been written by Kathrin Wagner.

She grew up in a small town in Bavaria and then studied Media studies, Literature and History in Erlangen and Munich. As a student she already spent half a year in London and moved back there after graduation in 2006. She is still living in London, where she works in publishing.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Margarethenkloster 5, 50667 Köln, Germany

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Opening Hours

Daily from 6 am until 7.30 pm


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