Cologne: The famous Cathedral and the old city


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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne
May 4th 2018
Published: May 4th 2018
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Cologne CathedralCologne CathedralCologne Cathedral

Although 95% of Cologne's buildings were destroyed in World War II, and the cathedral sustained some damage, it has remained the towering symbol of Cologne to this day.
The massive Cologne Cathedral dominates the skyline of the city. It was thought to be the highest structure in the world from 1880-1884. Constructed off and on over a period of more than 600 years, it was begun in 1248 and is reputed to be the final burial site of the bones of the three kings who visited the baby Jesus.

Although it exterior is blackened from pollution, efforts are being made to restore it, but this is extremely difficult to do without damaging the stone from which it's built.

Our cruise-supplied guide led us around the old city and then we decided to take an additional tour of the inside of the cathedral.


Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


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Cologne Cathdral from the frontCologne Cathdral from the front
Cologne Cathdral from the front

It's hard to get back far enough to get it all in the photo.
Phil, Ron and GabriellePhil, Ron and Gabrielle
Phil, Ron and Gabrielle

Waiting for our tour to begin. And what about the expected spring weather?
An attempt at restorationAn attempt at restoration
An attempt at restoration

But people didn't like the look. It made them think of concrete, not stone.
Gargoyles facing off at each other.Gargoyles facing off at each other.
Gargoyles facing off at each other.

I thought the devil was their enemy. Not each other.
Current restoration workCurrent restoration work
Current restoration work

The stone is so easily damaged that this work takes a very long time.
The wave-like roof is supposed to pay tribute to the lines of the cathdral.The wave-like roof is supposed to pay tribute to the lines of the cathdral.
The wave-like roof is supposed to pay tribute to the lines of the cathdral.

I like the waves, but I can't see the homage in them.
Walkway by the RhineWalkway by the Rhine
Walkway by the Rhine

It's an easy stroll downhill from the cathedral to get to this park area.
Fisherman's squareFisherman's square
Fisherman's square

Of course fish were an important food for the people of Cologne.
The home of 4711 eau de cologneThe home of 4711 eau de cologne
The home of 4711 eau de cologne

Referred to now as "what your grandmother sprinkled on her hankie", I'm quite sure Aunt Alice sent me to buy this for her once.
The nave of the cathedralThe nave of the cathedral
The nave of the cathedral

The sheer height is breathtaking.
Tapestries!!!Tapestries!!!
Tapestries!!!

For those of us who just saw The Lady and the Unicorn exhibit at the Art Gallery of NSW: I was struck to see the tapestries hung all down both sides of the nave.
The burial place of the three kingsThe burial place of the three kings
The burial place of the three kings

The large golden structure at the back of this photo is where the alleged bones of the three kings are buried, each with a crown on their skulls, facing to the front of the church toward the rising sun on Easter morning.
Floor mosaicsFloor mosaics
Floor mosaics

Superbly done.
The huge choir stallThe huge choir stall
The huge choir stall

One of the oldest parts of the cathedral. The wooden benches are said to have hundreds of little devils carved into them. Why???
Said to be the oldest large crucifixSaid to be the oldest large crucifix
Said to be the oldest large crucifix

The background and halo were later additions.
The modern stained glass windowThe modern stained glass window
The modern stained glass window

The colours are digitally distributed and non-representative. Some parts are mirror images of other parts.


6th May 2018

Cologne cathedral
A few years ago when we were travelling by train in Europe we stopped at Cologne where we had a few minutes to get out of the train before it finished its journey. So we got to see Cologne cathedral and take a few photos of the outside of it. So thanks for showing me what it's like on the inside. Great photos!! M xx
7th May 2018

Memories of a cold Cathedral on New Years Day 1990
I nearly froze when attending New Years Mass on the morning of 1 January 1990 while part of a Grail meeting in a nearby city - I had my Mum's very old fur coat on - but still froze - the poor reps from African countries were even colder - the hot lunch afterwards was great! Love to you both, Fran

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