The Dom is the largest Gothic-style Cathedral in the world. Its huge towers stand 147 meters (515 feet) tall, making them the tallest in the world when they were completed in 1880. Construction had begun in 1248, making this a really long-term project. The work had been interrupted several times.
The cathedral contains the holy relics of the Magi (the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus in the New Testament). Another gem is the Cross of Gero, the oldest surviving monumental crucifix in northern Europe, carved in 976.
While Allied bombing devastated the city in World War II (one raid involved over a thousand planes), the cathedral escaped with only minor damage. This is one of the very few pre-war buildings still standing in Cologne.
If you hike up to the stairs to the viewing platform, 312 feet above street level, you'll be treated to a fine view of the city and the Rhine River.
The Dome of Cologne, which was built in the period from 1248 until 1880, is known as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. In its whole period of construction the original architect’s drawings had never been changed.
Up until its completion in the 19th century, the cathedral was the biggest building in the world. The draft of the western façade broke all conventions: as the biggest church façade of the world it was supposed to have a surface of 7,000 m² flanked by two powerful towers with a height of 156 metres each.
In 1996, it was included in the list of the UNESCO world cultural heritage.
The southern tower of the Dom is accessible - after you have managed roughly 500 stairs or so, you have a nice view on Cologne and the Rhine. What`s best is that the view on some of the Romanic Churches close to the Cathedral is less obstructed than from the ground and one can admire their fine architecture even better from above. Please mind: No elevator.
The Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Construction of the cathedral began in 1248 -- and it was not completed until 1880.
With this tip, I have included the link to the Wikipedia entry that provides the dimensions and other relevant facts about the Cathedral. To really appreciate this magnificent structure, though, you need to see it in person.
The Kolner Dom could quite possibly be the most visible landmark in Koln. Of all the religious structures in my recent visit to Europe this cathedral matched and sometimes exceeded its counterparts in details and intricacies. Should you possess the energy, pay the nominal fee, climb to the top via the spiral staircase view the city.
This rivals and probably is greater that St. Stephens cathedral in Vienna. The inside is fabulous, and very dark looking for a reverent feeling. The stone is porous so the black color picks up all the pollution.
Inside the Cathedral there are so many things to see that one may easily get confused or even not know what thing is what. Its the best idea to purchase a leaflet called Domforum that one gets just after entering the Cathedral in different lanuages for just one euro. It describes everything inside the Dom worth seeing and provides a map to the same.
The entrance to the Cathedral does not cost you anything and even inside you may not have to pay anything unless you are generous enough to make donation into the donation boxes hanging from the necks of one of those quite many churchmen in red robes that always walk around inside the church.
This is the Shrine of the Three Magi , completed between 1190 - 1225. It summarises the history of salvation from the beginning of Old Testament to the return of Christ at the end of time. It is a beautiful sculptural piece in Gold.
The Chapel of the Cross is the Gero Crucifix donated by Archbishop Gero. It is one of the oldest remaining monumental crucifix in the world today. This crucifix is said to represent the lifelessness of Christ.
There is nothing quite as stunning as walking out of the Cologne train station and being greeted by the twin, black, gothic spires that stretch high into the sky. This cathedral has withstood bombings and time itself and is definitely worth visiting. Plus when was the last time you saw a black cathedral, it looks like a burnt piece of toast!
When in Cologne, do some Exercise and go up the Dom Tower.
It is just about 500 steps to master.
Monday - Sunday 6.00 - 19.30 hours
You are not allowed to go on a sight seeing tour in Cologne Cathedral during mass
The gothic Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is probably the most popular sight in Germany (and easily accessible, too, since it is only a few meters walk from the main railway station). Many superlatives are connected to the cathedral: The third-highest church in the world, the second-highest church in Germany, the third-largest gothic cathedral world-wide. It is one of the finest examples of medieval church architecture, and its silhouette is instantly associated with the city Cologne. The only thing you will have to get used to is that it is always crowded - due to hundreds of tourists roaming the cathedral grounds, it never feels quiet here. The tower viewing platform is also accessible after a strenuos climb, and the treasury of the Cathedral is surely worth a visit.
The stained glass windows in the Cologne Cathedral are marvelous. For the most part depicting biblical stories, but also historical figures and coats of arms, and there is even one window made by a contemporary artist with a purely geometric image (Gerhard Richter-window).
Modern artist Gerhard Richter contributed a new stained glass - window to the Cologne Cathedral - a random collection of colourful geometrical figures. It is in the right central wing of the cathedral. The window was disputed though as some meant a church window with a purely geometrical motiv is not suitable for a place like a Cathedral. I will not add to this discussion but just say that it fits in rather well as a modern contribution.