The city of Cologne was an extraordinary city to visit while I was on a month exploration trip of Germany. The city is the largest along the Rhine River, and has immense culture with marvelous museums, fantastic dining, as well as the treasured Gothic cathedral. Visiting the cathedral was one of my highlights while visiting Cologne, and has been a great topic of conversation with other travelers who have visited Germany. Almost everyone I know who has visited Germany has seen this cathedral, as it is the country’s most visited landmark.
Cologne’s Cathedral had begun construction in 1248, but had stopped 300 years later in 1560 where it was left unfinished. It was not until almost another 300 years later in the 1840s when work on the cathedral restarted. Cologne Cathedral was finally completed, and according to its original Medieval plans in 1880.
In 1996, Cologne Cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site stating Outstanding Universal Value, with the following criterion: Cologne Cathedral is an exceptional work of human creative genius. Constructed over more than six centuries Cologne Cathedral marks the zenith of cathedral architecture and at the same time its culmination. Cologne Cathedral is a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and modern Europe.
Cologne Cathedral is presently the tallest twin-spired church in the world, standing at 515 ft. It is also the second tallest church in Europe, and the tallest in the world. It is the largest Gothic style church in Northern Europe, as well as having the second tallest spires. Cologne Cathedral is massive in scale. and I remember having to keep walking backwards in order to take photos of it. The spires on the tower alone give this cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world.
The interior of the Cathedral is as magnificent as the exterior, with high arched ceilings and columns, beautiful stained glass windows, and gothic characteristics throughout the church. The remaining construction completed in the 19th century faithfully followed the original medieval forms and techniques. There must have been much respect and belief for the original architects 600 years prior, to complete the cathedral in its most authentic state.
Please keep in mind that Cologne Cathedral is both a world heritage site and an active parish.
Opening hours are 6:00 to 20:00, daily, although it is open to tourist between 10:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays from 13:00 to 16:00 and the tower narthex after evening Mass until 22:00.
Masses do take priority, so the opening hours may change. For current times, please check their Mass times page before your visit.
-Cologne Cathedral Photos-
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