Briefly about the cathedral in Cologne
Cologne Cathedral is located 50 meters from the main railway station of the city, so it meets every guest arriving in the metropolis by rail. The religious building of impressive size takes third place in the list of the world’s tallest Christian cathedrals and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites by just three criteria. The building is unique and harmoniously integrated in its architectural appearance, it testifies to the persistence of the Christian faith and marks the highest, unsurpassed point of development of the Gothic style in Europe.
Briefly about the cathedral in Cologne
The main temple of the city is considered its main attraction and an unofficial symbol. At the time of completion in 1880, the building was the tallest in the world.
Today, the cathedral is ready to receive parishioners, pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Prayer services and celebratory masses, ceremonies of communion and wedding, baptism and repentance are performed within its walls. Here are choral performances, concerts of organ and classical music.
The largest organ (about 90 registers) is located at the main altar. Two small ones are in the chapels and are heard during the Liturgies. The structure of the cathedral includes four choirs – children’s, female, mixed adult and professional, which include singers with a conservative education. The schedule of concerts can be found on the official website.
Cologne hotels near Cathedral
History of Cologne Cathedral
Archaeological excavations have confirmed the existence of several ancient churches on the territory of the Gothic church, fragments of which were found on the underground levels of Cologne Cathedral. Here are the remains of an octagonal baptistery built around the year 500. Today, the excavation zone can be accessed as part of an excursion group.
The last temple (Old Cathedral), which appeared on the site of the next burnt church, was larger than the previous buildings. It was consecrated in 870, and later turned into the residence of the Cologne archbishops. The building had three naves, small choirs, semicircular aisles and two towers. Nearby was a courtyard surrounded by all kinds of extensions. By the X-XI centuries. the church was expanded to include two more naves and a chapel.
The first mention of the laying of a huge Christian church dates back to 1248. Notes are preserved in the Cologne royal chronicle, which describes the general history of medieval Germany. At that time, the city was considered one of the most powerful and wealthy, so it needed a new cathedral corresponding to its status. The construction, according to Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden, was supposed to eclipse the similar temples existing in Europe. One of the main goals was to attract crowds of pilgrims to the relics important for Christians, brought from Milan in 1164.
The construction of the Cologne Cathedral was carried out in stages. 70 years after laying the first stone, the choirs were finished and the western part of the Old Temple was demolished. In the XIV century. south naves appeared, in the XVth they built the third floor of the South tower and installed the first two bells. In the 16th century, the middle nave was built, it was covered with a roof and forced to suspend the further process until the middle of the 19th century.
A new phase of construction began in 1842 and ended in 1880. The work was carried out taking into account the surviving medieval drawings. In total, the construction of the building lasted 632 years. However, in the future, Cologne Cathedral demanded constant attention. I had to rearrange the stained glass, reposition the floors, repair the collapsed decorative tower, put in order the damaged masonry, and carry out the restoration. Work continues today.
Cologne Cathedral Architecture
The foundation of the temple was laid in the likeness of the “new” French cathedrals. In the construction of the ground part of the building, reinforcing pilasters and pointed arched vaults were used, which visually directed the structure upward. All this was supposed to evoke a sense of reverence for the Almighty and the kingdom of heaven.
The author of the grandiose project was the architect Gerhard von Riehl. As a model, he chose the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, still surpassing all similar temples in France. According to legend, the master made a deal with the devil, giving his soul for the proposed drawings and assistance in construction. The deadline was three years, and the moment of reckoning was the cry of the first rooster. Gerhard’s wife, who crowed at dawn earlier than the time allotted by nature, helped the family escape from evil spirits. Today on the facade you can see the stone statue of the devil.