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Cologne Cathedral (german: Kölner Dom, officially ', English: Cathedral Church of
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham' ...

Saint Peter
) is a
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic
cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual Conference, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually spec ...

cathedral
in
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of most populous of (NRW) and the and one of the oldest in Germany. With 3.6 million people in the and 1.1 million inhabitants within its , Cologne is the largest city on the ...

Cologne
,
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, ...
. It is the seat of the
Archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
and of the administration of the
Archdiocese of Cologne The Archdiocese of Cologne ( la, Archidioecesis Coloniensis; german: Erzbistum Köln) is an archdiocese In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an orda ...
. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of sty ...
and was declared a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
in 1996. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. At , the cathedral is currently the tallest twin-spired church in the world, the second tallest church in Europe after
Ulm Minster Ulm Minster (german: Ulmer Münster) is a Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform t ...

Ulm Minster
, and the third tallest church in the world. It is the largest
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest
spire A spire is a tall, slender, pointed structure on top of a roof or tower, especially at the summit of church steeple In architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (ad ...

spire
s. The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world. The
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans f ...
has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...

medieval
church. Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 but was halted in the years around 1560, unfinished. Work did not restart until the 1840s, and the edifice was completed to its original Medieval plan in 1880. Cologne's medieval builders had planned a grand structure to house the
reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a ''shrine'', by the French term ''châsse'', and historically including ''wikt:phylactery, phylacteries'') is a container for relics. A portable reliquary may be called a ''fereter'', and a chapel in which it is ...

reliquary
of the
Three Kings , Ravenna, Italy (restored during the 19th century). As here Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches 200px, Breeches as worn in the United States in the late 18th century: ''Elijah Boardman'' by Ralph ...

Three Kings
and fit its role as a place of worship for the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
. Despite having been left incomplete during the medieval period, Cologne Cathedral eventually became unified as "a masterpiece of exceptional intrinsic value" and "a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and modern Europe". Only the telecommunications tower is higher than the Cathedral.


History


Ancient site

When construction began on the present Cologne Cathedral in 1248 with
foundation stone The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term ''mason ...

foundation stone
, the site had already been occupied by several previous structures. The earliest may have been for grain storage and possibly was succeeded by a
Roman temple , in the Forum Boarium today. before conservation work. The Forum Boarium (, it, Foro Boario) was the cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domesticated ...
built by
Mercurius Augustus Mercury (; la, Mercurius ) is a major god in Roman religion and mythology Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ...
. From the 4th century on, however, the site was occupied by Christian buildings, including a square edifice known as the "oldest cathedral" that was commissioned by Maternus, the first bishop of Cologne. A free-standing
baptistery In Christian architecture the baptistery or baptistry (Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or ...
dating back to the 7th century was located at the east end of the present cathedral but was demolished in the 9th century to build the second cathedral. During excavations of the present cathedral, graves were discovered in the location of the oldest portion of the building; including that of a boy that was richly adorned with
grave goods The gilded throne of Pharaoh Tutankhamun">Pharaoh.html" ;"title="throne of Pharaoh">throne of Pharaoh Tutankhamun is but one of the treasures found within his tomb. Grave goods, in archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of hum ...
and another of a woman, popularly thought to be
WisigardWisigard (c. 510 - c. 540) or ''Wisigardis'' was a Franks, Frankish Queen by marriage to Theuderich I. Life The life of Wisigard is slightly known by Gregory of Tours's ''Historia Francorum''.Gregor of Tours, Historiae III,20, III,27. She was daught ...
. Both graves are thought to be from the 6th century. Only ruins of the baptistery and the octagonal
baptismal font A baptismal font is an article of church furniture Furniture refers to movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating (e.g., chairs, stools, and sofas), eating (table (furniture), tables), and sleeping (e.g. ...

baptismal font
remain today. The second church, called the "Old Cathedral", was completed in 818. It was destroyed by fire on 30 April 1248, during demolition work to prepare for a new cathedral.


Medieval beginning

In 1164, the
Archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
,
Rainald of Dassel Rainald of Dassel (c. 1120 – 14 August 1167) was Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor An archchancellor ( la, archicancellarius, german: Erzkanzler) or chief chancellor was a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empi ...
, acquired the relics of the
Three Kings , Ravenna, Italy (restored during the 19th century). As here Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches 200px, Breeches as worn in the United States in the late 18th century: ''Elijah Boardman'' by Ralph ...

Three Kings
which the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
,
Frederick Barbarossa Frederick Barbarossa (german: Friedrich I., it, Federico I; 1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt on ...

Frederick Barbarossa
, had taken from the
Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio The Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio is a church in Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome. Milan served as the capital of the Western Rom ...

Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio
, Milan, Italy. (Parts of the relics have since been returned to Milan.) The relics have great religious significance and drew pilgrims from all over
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
. It was important to church officials that they be properly housed, and thus began a building program in the new style of
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of sty ...
, based in particular on the French cathedral of
Amiens Amiens (English: or ; ; pcd, Anmien, or ) is a city and commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abst ...
. The
foundation stone The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term ''mason ...

foundation stone
was laid on 15 August 1248, by Archbishop
Konrad von Hochstaden Konrad von Hochstaden (or Conrad of Hochstadt) (1198/1205 – 18 September 1261) was Archbishop of Cologne from 1238 to 1261. Life Konrad was a son of Count Lothar of Hochstadt, canon of St. Maria ad Gradus and of the old Cologne Cathedral, and ...
. The eastern arm was completed under the direction of Master Gerhard, was consecrated in 1322 and sealed off by a temporary wall so it could be used as the work continued. Eighty-four
misericord A misericord (sometimes named mercy seat, like the biblical object) is a small wooden structure formed on the underside of a folding seat A folding seat is a seat that folds away so as to occupy less space. When installed on a transit bus, i ...
s in the choir date from this building phase. In the mid-14th century work on the west front commenced under Master Michael. This work ceased in 1473, leaving the south tower complete to the belfry level and crowned with a huge crane that remained in place as a landmark of the Cologne skyline for 400 years. Some work proceeded intermittently on the structure of the
nave The nave () is the central part of a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities ...

nave
between the west front and the eastern arm, but during the 16th century this also stopped. File:Botanischer-Garten-am-Dom-um-1820.JPG, The unfinished cathedral as in 1820, engraved by Henry Winkles. The huge crane on the tower of the cathedral is visible in the picture. File:Johannesfranciscus-Michiels bau-des-doms-koeln-1855.jpg, The unfinished cathedral as in 1855. The medieval crane was still in place, while constructions for the
nave The nave () is the central part of a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities ...

nave
had been resumed earlier in 1814. File:Rheinpanorama 1856 detail Dom.jpg, The unfinished cathedral as in 1856. The east end had been finished and roofed, while other parts of the building are in various stages of construction.


19th-century completion

With the 19th-century Romantic enthusiasm for the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, and spurred by the discovery of the original plan for the façade, it was decided, with the commitment of the Protestant
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n Court, to complete the cathedral. It was achieved by civic effort; the '' Central-Dombauverein'', founded in 1842, raised two-thirds of the enormous costs, while the Prussian state supplied the remaining third. The state saw this as a way to improve its relations with the large number of Catholic subjects it had gained in 1815, but especially after 1871, it was regarded as a project to symbolize German nationhood. Work resumed in 1842 to the original design of the surviving medieval plans and drawings, but utilizing more modern construction techniques, including iron roof girders. The nave was completed and the towers were added. The bells were installed in the 1870s. The largest bell is St. Petersglocke. The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event on 14 August 1880, 632 years after construction had begun. The celebration was attended by Emperor
Wilhelm I , signature = Wilhelm_I,_German_Emperor_Signature.svg , religion = Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German Protestant Reformers, r ...

Wilhelm I
. With a height of , it was the tallest building in the world for four years until the completion of the
Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped park within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, an official unit of the National Park Service#National Park System, Un ...

Washington Monument
.


World War II and post-war history

The cathedral suffered fourteen hits by
aerial bombs An aerial bomb is a type of Explosive weapon, explosive or Incendiary bomb, incendiary weapon intended to travel through the Atmosphere of Earth, air on a predictable trajectory, usually designed to be dropped from an aircraft. Aerial bombs includ ...
during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Badly damaged, it nevertheless remained standing in an otherwise completely flattened city. The twin spires were an easily recognizable navigational landmark for Allied aircraft bombing. On 6 March 1945, an area west of the cathedral (Marzellenstrasse/Trankgasse) was the site of intense combat between American tanks of the 3rd Armored Division and a Panther Ausf. A of Panzer brigade 106 Feldherrnhalle. The Panther successfully knocked out a , killing three men, before it was destroyed by a hours later. Footage of that battle survives. The destroyed Panther was later put on display at the base of the cathedral for the remainder of the war in Europe. Repairs of the war damage were completed in 1956. An emergency repair to the base of the northwest tower, carried out in 1944 using poor-quality brick taken from a nearby ruined building, remained visible as a reminder of the war until 2005, when it was decided to restore the section to its original appearance. Repair and maintenance work is constantly being carried out in one or another section of the building, which is rarely completely free of scaffolding, as wind, rain, and pollution slowly eat away at the stones. The ''Dombauhütte'', established to build the cathedral and keep it in repair, is said to employ the best stonemasons in the Rhineland. Half the costs of repair and maintenance are still borne by the Dombauverein. File:Hasak - Der Dom zu Köln - Bild 02 Westseite.jpg, The west front of the completed cathedral in 1911 File:Warning sign in cologne.jpg, US soldier and destroyed
Panther tank The Panther is a German medium tank A medium tank is a tank classification, classification of tanks, particularly prevalent during World War II which represented a compromise between the mobility oriented light tanks and the armour and armam ...
, 4 April 1945.


21st century

On 18 August 2005,
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ran ...

Pope Benedict XVI
visited the cathedral during his apostolic visit to Germany, as part of
World Youth Day 2005 XX World Youth Day (german: XX. Weltjugendtag Köln) was a Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximat ...
festivities. An estimated one million pilgrims visited the cathedral during this time. Also as part of the events of World Youth Day, Cologne Cathedral hosted a televised gala performance of 's
Missa Solemnis {{Audio, De-Missa solemnis.ogg, Missa solemnis is Latin for Solemn Mass, and is a genre of Mass (music), musical settings of the Mass Ordinary, which are festively scored and render the Latin text extensively, opposed to the more modest Missa brevis ...
, performed by the
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), based in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east ...
and the
London Philharmonic Choir The London Philharmonic Choir (LPC) is one of the leading independent British choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of peo ...
conducted by Sir
Gilbert Levine Sir Gilbert Levine, GCSG (born January 22, 1948) is an American conductor. He is considered an "outstanding personality in the world of international music television." He has led the PBS concert debuts of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Phil ...
. On 25 August 2007, the cathedral received a new stained glass window in the south
transept A transept (with two semitransepts) is a transverse part of any building, which lies across the main body of the edifice."Transept", ProbertEncyclopaedia.comPE-tran In churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave The nave () ...

transept
. The glass work was created by the German artist
Gerhard Richter Gerhard Richter (; born 9 February 1932) is a German visual arts, visual artist. Richter has produced Abstract art, abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and Glass_art, glass pieces. He is widely regarded as one of th ...
with the €400,000 cost paid by donations. It is composed of 11,500 identically sized pieces of colored glass resembling
pixel In digital imaging Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of a representation of the visual characteristics of an object, such as a physical scene or the interior structure of an object. The term is often assumed to imp ...

pixel
s, randomly arranged by computer, which create a colorful "carpet". Since the loss of the original window in World War II, the space had been temporarily filled with plain glass. The then archbishop of the cathedral, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who had preferred a figurative depiction of 20th-century Catholic martyrs for the window, did not attend the unveiling. Holder of the office since 2014 is Cardinal
Rainer Maria Woelki Rainer Maria Woelki (; born 18 August 1956) is a German Cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the ...
. On 5 January 2015, the cathedral remained dark as floodlights were switched off to protest a demonstration by
PEGIDA Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the Occident (german: Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes), abbreviated Pegida (, stylised in its logo as PEGIDA), is a pan-European, anti-Islam, far-right Far- ...

PEGIDA
.


World Heritage Site

In 1996, the cathedral was added to the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
of culturally important sites. In 2004, it was placed on the "World Heritage in Danger" list, as the only Western site in danger, due to plans to construct several high-rise buildings nearby, which would have visually impacted the site. The cathedral was removed from the list in 2006, following the authorities' decision to limit the heights of buildings constructed near and around the cathedral. As a World Heritage Site and host to the
Shrine of the Three Kings . The Shrine of the Three Kings ( German language, German ''Dreikönigsschrein'' or ''Der Dreikönigenschrein''), Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is a reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a '' shrine'', by the French ter ...
, Cologne Cathedral is a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims, and is one of the oldest and most important pilgrimage sites of
Northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern region of Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other geographic ...
. Visitors can climb 533 stone steps of the spiral staircase to a viewing platform about above the ground. The platform gives a scenic view over the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
. There is ongoing conservation at the cathedral to address the problem of the black discoloration caused by the sandstone reacting with sulfuric acid during rainfall. The acidic rain is a consequence of air pollution. St. Joseph's Catholic Church in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
was modeled after the cathedral.


Architecture

See also: Finials of Cologne Cathedral The design of Cologne Cathedral was based quite closely on that of
Amiens Cathedral , image = 0 Amiens - Cathédrale Notre-Dame (1).JPG , imagesize = 200px , img capt = Amiens Cathedral , pushpin map = France , pushpin label position = below , coordinates = , country ...
in terms of ground plan, style and the width to height proportion of the central nave. The plan is in the shape of a
Latin Cross A Latin cross or ''crux immissa'' is a type of cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique l ...

Latin Cross
, as is usual with Gothic cathedrals. It has two aisles on either side, which help to support one of the very highest Gothic vaults in the world, being nearly as tall as that of the
Beauvais Cathedral Beauvais Cathedral or at greater length the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Beauvais (french: Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established ...

Beauvais Cathedral
, much of which collapsed. Externally the outward thrust of the vault is taken by
flying buttress The flying buttress (''arc-boutant'', arch buttress) is a specific form of buttress A buttress is an architectural Architecture (Latin ''architectura ''Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst'' is a biannual peer-reviewe ...

flying buttress
es in the French manner. The eastern end has a single ambulatory, the second aisle resolving into a ''
chevet In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Archi ...
'' of seven radiating chapels. Internally, the medieval choir is more varied and less mechanical in its details than the 19th-century building. It presents a French style arrangement of very tall
arcade Arcade most often refers to: * Arcade (architecture) An arcade is a succession of contiguous arch An arch is a vertical curved structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or syst ...
, a delicate narrow
triforium A triforium is an interior gallery Gallery may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music Groups * Gallery (band), an American soft rock band of the 1970s Albums * ''Gallery'' (Elaiza album), 2014 album * ''Gallery'' (Great White al ...

triforium
gallery lit by windows and with detailed tracery merging with that of the windows above. The
clerestory In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architec ...
windows are tall and retain some old figurative glass in the lower sections. The whole is united by the tall shafts that sweep unbroken from the floor to their capitals at the spring of the vault. The vault is of plain quadripartite arrangement. The choir retains a great many of its original fittings, including the carved stalls, which is made the more surprising by the fact that French Revolutionary troops had desecrated the building. A large stone statue of St Christopher looks down towards the place where the earlier entrance to the cathedral was, before its completion in the late 19th century. The nave has many 19th century stained glass windows. A set of five on the south side, called the ''Bayernfenster'', were a gift from
Ludwig I of Bavaria Ludwig I or Louis I (german: Ludwig I.; 25 August 1786 – 29 February 1868) was King of Bavaria from 1825 until the German revolutions of 1848–49, 1848 revolutions in the German states. Crown prince Born in the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts, Zweibrück ...

Ludwig I of Bavaria
, and strongly represent the painterly German style of that date. Externally, particularly from a distance, the building is dominated by its huge spires, which are entirely Germanic in character, being openwork like those of
Ulm Ulm () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It c ...

Ulm
,
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
,
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Bas-Rhin (; Alsatian: ''Unterelsàss'', ' or '; traditional german: links=no, Niederrhein; en, Lower Rhine) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, divi ...

Strasbourg
and
Regensburg Cathedral Regensburg Cathedral (german: Dom St. Peter or Regensburger Dom), also known as St. Peter's Cathedral, is an example of important Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style that was particu ...

Regensburg Cathedral
s. File:Cologne cathedral aerial (25326253726).jpg, A "Bird's eye view" shows the cruciform plan File:Cologne cathedrale vue sud.jpg, The cathedral from the south File:Koelner-dom-spire.jpg, The exterior of one of the spires File:Cathedral main entrance.jpg, The main entrance shows the 19th century decoration File:Koelner dom blick nach osten.jpg, The flying buttresses and pinnacles of the Medieval east end File:Koelner Dom Innenraum.jpg, The
nave The nave () is the central part of a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities ...

nave
looking east File:Cologne Cathedral interior.JPG, Interior of the Medieval east end, showing the extreme height File:Koelner dom neue orgel.jpg, This "swallows' nest" organ was built into the gallery in 1998, to celebrate the cathedral's 750 years


Dimensions


Treasures

One of the treasures of the cathedral is the High Altar, which was installed in 1322. It is constructed of black marble, with a solid slab long forming the top. The front and sides are overlaid with white marble niches into which are set figures, with the
Coronation of the Virgin Image:Peter Paul Rubens 079.jpg, upA Baroque version by Rubens, c. 1625 The Coronation of the Virgin or Coronation of Mary is a subject in Christian art, especially popular in Italy in the 13th to 15th centuries, but continuing in popularity until ...

Coronation of the Virgin
at the centre. The most celebrated work of art in the cathedral is the ''
Shrine of the Three Kings . The Shrine of the Three Kings ( German language, German ''Dreikönigsschrein'' or ''Der Dreikönigenschrein''), Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is a reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a '' shrine'', by the French ter ...
'', commissioned by Philip von Heinsberg, archbishop of Cologne from 1167 to 1191 and created by Nicholas of Verdun, begun in 1190. It is traditionally believed to hold the remains of the
Three Wise Men 3 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 3, three, or III may also refer to: * AD 3 __NOTOC__ AD 3 (III) or 3 AD was a common year starting on Monday or Common year starting on Tuesday, Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian ca ...

Three Wise Men
, whose relics were acquired by
Frederick Barbarossa Frederick Barbarossa (1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I (german: Friedrich I, it, Federico I), was the Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The La ...
at the conquest of Milan in 1164. The shrine takes the form a large
reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a ''shrine'', by the French term ''châsse'', and historically including ''wikt:phylactery, phylacteries'') is a container for relics. A portable reliquary may be called a ''fereter'', and a chapel in which it is ...

reliquary
in the shape of a basilican church, made of bronze and silver, gilded and ornamented with architectonic details, figurative sculpture, enamels and gemstones. The shrine was opened in 1864 and was found to contain bones and garments. Near the
sacristy A sacristy, also known as a vestry or preparation room, is a room in Christianity, Christian churches for the keeping of vestments (such as the alb and chasuble) and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records. The sacristy is us ...

sacristy
is the '' Gero Crucifix'', a large crucifix carved in oak and with traces of paint and gilding. Believed to have been commissioned around 960 for Archbishop Gero, it is the oldest large crucifix north of the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
and the earliest-known large free-standing Northern sculpture of the medieval period. In the Sacrament Chapel is the ''Mailänder Madonna'' ("Milan Madonna"), dating from around 1290, a wooden sculpture depicting the
Blessed Virgin Mary According to the gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, ...

Blessed Virgin Mary
and the infant
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
. The altar of the patron saints of Cologne with an altarpiece by the
International Gothic International Gothic is a period of Gothic art (''ca.'' 1145). These architectural statues are the earliest Gothic sculptures and were a revolution in style and the model for a generation of sculptors. Gothic art was a style of medieval art that de ...
painter Stefan Lochner is in the ''Marienkapelle'' ("St. Mary's Chapel"). After completion in 1265, the radiating chapels were immediately taken into service as burial place. The relics of Saint Irmgardis found a final resting place in the St. Agnes’ Chapel. Her
trachyte Trachyte () is an extrusive A volcanic rock from Italy with a relatively large six-sided phenocryst (diameter about 1 mm) surrounded by a fine-grained groundmass, as seen in thin section under a petrographic microscope Extrusive rock refers ...
sarcophagus A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a cadaver, corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from th ...

sarcophagus
is considered to be created by the cathedral masons’ guild around 1280. Other works of art are in the Cathedral Treasury. Embedded in the interior wall are a pair of
stone tablets According to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a ...

stone tablets
on which are carved the provisions formulated by Archbishop Englebert II (1262–67) under which Jews were permitted to reside in Cologne. File:Gerokreuz full 20050903.jpg, The '' Crucifix of Bishop Gero'', 10th century, the oldest known large crucifix File:Cologne Cathedral Shrine of Magi.jpg, The
Shrine of the Three Kings . The Shrine of the Three Kings ( German language, German ''Dreikönigsschrein'' or ''Der Dreikönigenschrein''), Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is a reliquary A reliquary (also referred to as a '' shrine'', by the French ter ...
File:Kölner Dom - Christophorus (2008).jpg, Medieval statue of
File:Cologne Cathedral window, interior view (2).jpg, ''Petrus- und Wurzel Jesse-Fenster'', 1509 File:Cologne Cathedral window, interior view (1).jpg, ''Anbetungs-Fenster'', 1846 File:Richter window Cologne Cathedral.jpg, Modern
stained glass The term stained glass refers to coloured glass as a material and to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings ...

stained glass
window by
Gerhard Richter Gerhard Richter (; born 9 February 1932) is a German visual arts, visual artist. Richter has produced Abstract art, abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and Glass_art, glass pieces. He is widely regarded as one of th ...


Church music

Cologne Cathedral has two
pipe organ #REDIRECT Pipe organ #REDIRECT Pipe organ #REDIRECT Pipe organ The pipe organ is a musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be consid ...

pipe organ
s by
Klais Orgelbau Orgelbau Klais is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German l ...
: the Transept Organ, built in 1948, and the Nave Organ, built in 1998. Cathedral organists have included Josef Zimmermann, Clemens Ganz (1985–2001) and Winfried Bönig (2001).


Bells

The cathedral has eleven church bells, four of which are medieval. The first was the 3.8-tonne ''Dreikönigsglocke'' ("Bell of the Three Kings"), cast in 1418, installed in 1437, and recast in 1880. Two of the other bells, the ''Pretiosa'' (10.5 tonnes; at that time the largest bell in the Western world) and the ''Speciosa'' (5.6 tonnes) were installed in 1448 and remain in place today. During the 19th century, as the building neared completion, there was a desire to increase the number of bells. This was facilitated by Kaiser Wilhelm I who gave French Bronze, French bronze cannon, captured in 1870–71, for this purpose. The 22 pieces of artillery were displayed outside the cathedral on 11 May 1872. Andreas Hamm in Frankenthal used them to cast a bell of over 27,000 kilos on 19 August 1873. The tone was not harmonious and another attempt was made on 13 November 1873. The Central Cathedral Association, which had agreed to take over the costs, did not want this bell either. Another attempt took place on 3 October 1874. The colossal bell was shipped to Cologne and on 13 May 1875, installed in the cathedral. This ''Kaiserglocke'' was eventually melted in 1918 to support the German war effort. The Kaiserglocke was the largest free-swinging bell in history. The 24-tonne '' St. Petersglocke'' ("Bell of St. Peter", "'" in the Colognian language, Kölsch language or in common parlance known as "''Dicker Pitter''"), was cast in 1922 and was the largest free-swinging bell in the world, until a new bell was cast in Innsbruck for the People's Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest in Romania.The World Peace Bell in Newport, Kentucky is larger, but turns around its center of mass rather than its top.


See also

* Gothic cathedrals and churches * List of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe * Architecture of cathedrals and great churches * Gero Cross *
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of sty ...
* Gothic Revival architecture * List of buildings and structures * List of highest church naves * List of cathedrals in Germany * Medievalism


References


Sources

* Swaan, Wim and Christopher Brooke, ''The Gothic Cathedral'', Omega Books (1969), * Fletcher, Banister, ''A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method''. * Hubbard, Howard, ''Masterpieces of Western Sculpture'', Thames and Hudson, * Wolff, Arnold, ''Cologne Cathedral. Its History – Its Works of Arts'', Verlag (editor) Kölner Dom, Cologne: 2nd edition 2003,


External links


Cologne Cathedral Official website
*
Cologne Cathedral music



Web cam showing Cologne Cathedral
*
5 Gigapixels GigaPan of Cologne Cathedral

History and photos of the Cologne Cathedral
{{Authority control Cologne Cathedral, Churches completed in 1880 Former world's tallest buildings Gothic architecture in Germany Landmarks in Cologne Landmarks in Germany Roman Catholic cathedrals in North Rhine-Westphalia Tourist attractions in Cologne Innenstadt, Cologne World Heritage Sites in Germany Christian architecture World Heritage Sites in Danger Articles containing video clips 1880 establishments in Germany