Cologne Cathedral

Keukenhof Gardens
Romantic Rhine
Altes Land
Rhein in Flammen
Cologne Cathedral
Harz Mountains
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Shelly's Sheep

Cathedral Exterior
The South Tower
Cathedral Interior

Saturday morning, we headed north along the Rhine to Cologne (Köln), eager to explore the Cologne Cathedral.  There are two guided tours on Saturdays, and we were there ready to join the morning tour.   Upon investigation, however, it appeared that all tours were cancelled for that day.  I assume it had something to do with May 1 being a holiday, but I don't know.  Since visitors are welcome to wander around between services, we sat through most of the 10:00 mass.  Although I haven't the faintest idea what was said, it was absolutely wonderful just sitting there, looking around and listening to the choir and organ.  Everywhere you look, there are beautiful works of art.  Stained-glass windows.  Sculptures.  Priests in robes chasing down tourists who forgot to leave their hats outside.  Meanwhile, Russ decided to head up the tower, all 509 steps, to see what he could see.  I decided to buy postcards, and I still believe I chose the wiser path.  The views from the top do appear quite wonderful, unless you are scared of heights.  And small staircases that wind around.  Besides, there were lots of postcards to choose from!

Cologne was settled by the Romans as early as 30, and there are still many Roman walls in the area.  Including in the parking deck under the cathedral and in the Domvorplatz, or courtyard.  The Cologne Cathedral, as we know it, is possibly the fourth building to stand here.  The original structure was a Roman temple, dating back around to when the city was known as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.  The first Christian church stood here by 313, when Christianity was legalized by the Roman Empire.  By the 9th century , the  "old Cathedral" , or karolingische Dom had been erected.  The relics of the Three Magi were then transferred in 1164/5 from Milan, nominally in recognition of the Dom being older ,  thereby making Cologne a major pilgrimage site (thus requiring a larger church).  The building of the current Cathedral began in 1248, eventually ceased in the mid 1500's due to lack of funding, and began again in 1823 after the original plans were found.  The Cathedral was finished in 1880 - 600 years after it began. 

The Cathedral Exterior Inside the Tower The Cathedral Interior

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This site was last updated 05/05/04

All images on this site are copyrighted by Michelle and Russell Taylor.