The Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany - video

The Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom, official name Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria) is one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany and has been Cologne’s most famous landmark since its completion in the late 19th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. From 1880, when its spires were completed, it was the world’s tallest structure, losing its title on the completion of the Washington Monument in Washington DC, 1884. Cologne Cathedral remains the second-tallest Gothic structure in the world; only the steeple of the Ulm Münster is higher.





Construction of the gothic church began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to complete - it was finally finished in 1880. The two towers are 157m tall, the cathedral is 144m long and 86m wide. The cathedral is dedicated to Saints Peter and Mary.
It was built on the site of a 4th century Roman temple, a square edifice known as the ‘oldest cathedral’ and commissioned by Maternus, the first Christian bishop of Cologne. A second church built on the site, the so-called “Old Cathedral”, was completed in 818. This burned down on April 30, 1248.

The present cathedral was built to house the relics of the Magi, taken from Milan (Italy) by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel in 1164. The foundation stone was laid on August 15, 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. The choir was consecrated in 1322. After this initial rapid progress, construction work gradually came to a standstill, and by the year 1560, only a torso had been built. It was only with 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages and the commitment of the Prussian Court that construction work resumed in 1842 with the addition of the towers and other substantial parts of the cathedral, mostly according to surviving medieval plans and drawings. The completion of Germany’s largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event in 1880, 632 years after construction had begun. The celebration was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I.

[Description source: Wikipedia]

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