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Cologne Cathedral





Fast Facts

  • Location: Am Hof, Cologne, Germany
  • Best time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Preferred timings: Cathedral - 6 am to 7:30 pm
    Treasure Chamber — 10 am to 6 pm
    Tower — Mar & Apr — 9 am to 5 pm; May to Sept — 9 am to 6 pm;
    Oct — 9 am to 5 pm; Nov to Feb — 9 am to 4 pm
  • Admission fees: Cathedral — Free;
    Treasury and Cathedral Tower — Adults € 5, Child - € 2.50
  • How to reach: By roads A1, A3, A4, A57, and A555; or by train to Hbk (Hauptbahnhof) Station and then walk down; or by tram car to Dom or Hbk stop
  • Nearest Rail Station: Hbk (Hauptbahnhof)
  • Nearest International Airport: Cologne Bonn Airport
  • Time required for sightseeing: 1 hour
Do not miss the morning mass when you visit the Cologne Cathedral. The high walls echo the beautiful sound of the organ accompanying the choir, and the entire atmosphere is divine, to say the least. Remember, however, that although the Kolner Dom is the chief attraction, the city in itself is replete with myriad attractions. After such an auspicious beginning to the day, indulge in a little sinfulness! Do not miss out on the beer; in Germany carrying your 'Becks' around the streets does not raise too many eyebrows. On one of the magnificent squares of Cologne, there is a chance to see an impromptu pantomime.

Cologne Cathedral is a major pilgrimage for Christians from all over the globe. A golden reliquary containing the remains of the famed 'Three Magi' attract Christians from all places throughout the year. These relics of 'Three Magi' were brought by Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa from Milan and handed over to Rainald von Dassell, Archbishop of Cologne in 1164. This cathedral in Cologne has been built on the site of a 4th century Roman temple later replaced by 'Old Cathedral' which was burnt down in 1248.

The Cologne Cathedral took nearly 632 years for its completion. Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden laid the foundation stone of the church in 1248 on 15th August, and subsequently the consecration of its choir had taken place in 1322. Construction of Cologne Cathedral remained suspended from 16th to early 19th century. Construction of this monumental cathedral was completed in 1880, and a celebration to rejoice the event was attended by Emperor Wilhelm 1.

You will be amazed to note that Kíölner Dom, as this cathedral is locally called, was bombarded 14 times during 2nd World War only to be reconstructed within 1956. All medieval structures were retained with addition of a crossing tower. The Cathedral of Cologne with the largest church faí§ade is dedicated to saints Mary and Peter.

What to See

Notice the steel roof of the cathedral; it is amazing. Climb about 510 steps to an observation platform 95 meters from the ground and have an awesome view of the river Rhine and Cologne city. The belfry with the world's largest free-swinging bell is astounding.

The reliquary of the three golden skulls, one of the largest in the world, is bejeweled seven feet of gilded silver with the images of 12 apostles decorating the top and Old Testament prophets lining the bottom. The Gero Cross — the oldest monumental crucifix in this part of Europe will catch your attention. The crucifix carved in 975 A.D. represents Lord Jesus dead with eyes closed. Another Gothic masterpiece is the wooden Madonna of Milan. This aesthetic wooden sculpture of Mother Mary with child Jesus is believed to have been carved in the Cathedral of Cologne towards the last decade of the 13th century. In the 'Chapel of the Virgin' you will be mesmerized by 'The Patron Saints of Kíöln' a painting done by Stefan Lochner in 1442. You will be dumbstruck at the photographic realism of even the smallest herbs.

The statue of 'Jeweled Madonna' with only the heads of Virgin Mary and Child Jesus showing is another major attraction. Notice the Baroque sculpture which dates back to late 17th century.

The choir with stained glasses, frescoed walls, painted statues and art carved oak stalls belonging to the 13th and 14th centuries is remarkable. So is the 'Treasury' built inside stone cellar vaults of the same period. Do not miss the 'swallow's nest' organ weighing about 30 tons, in the central nave of the cathedral.

Go to Cologne Cathedral and become a witness to one of the most picturesque sights of River Rhine from the observation tower. No where else will you come across a cathedral built over a span of 600 years, nor will you see a structure remain erect even after a bombardment of 14 times. Here you also get the opportunity to see the largest free swinging bell in the world, not to mention the exceptional sculptures and carvings inside the cathedral. In your next Europe tour make Cologne your desired destination.

For some wonder audio-visual and written accounts from tourists to the Cologne Cathedral:

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=VXwu_75KUcc: For amazing views of the stupendous monument, watch this video! Although there is no narrative, but the images speak for themselves.

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=nA3NTgy2TPI: You will not get much better views of the Cologne Cathedral, both from the inside and the outside than you find in this video! Do not let the German narrative deter you!

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