Cologne Cathedral, a symbol of the will to live and an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Today I would like to introduce you to a post that is very close to my heart. Probably because it's THE attraction in my hometown of Cologne. Now I call Cologne my hometown because I've lived here since I started my studies and now even feel more comfortable here than in Essen, the city where I was born. And that's despite the fact that I wasn't happy at all in Cologne for the first few months. In retrospect, however, I believe that it was mainly due to my study situation at the time.
Anyway - Cologne is a great city with incredible sights, and today I want to introduce you to one of the most famous sights in Cologne by far - the Cologne Cathedral!
Actually, it's almost a shame that I haven't written about Cologne Cathedral yet, even though I've been at home in Kön for so long - so I had to catch up! I've been wanting to climb the Cologne Cathedral with a friend here in Cologne for a long time, we were just waiting for nice weather. The last week in Cologne was really nice, and so we went at noon to see the cathedral.
We met at the Neumarkt and walked from there through the Schildergasse in the direction of the cathedral. It was a sunny day, so there was already a lot going on in the cathedral square. Admission to the cathedral itself is free, we only stood in line in front of the cathedral for about three minutes, it went very quickly!
The official name of the Cologne Cathedral is "Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus"
Here is some brief information about Cologne Cathedral before I want to tell you how our experience in Cologne Cathedral was:
The Cologne Cathedral is actually called differently, the cathedral is officially "Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus". I actually didn't know that and I was very surprised. Really everyone calls Cologne Cathedral Cologne Cathedral! I've never heard it any other way...
always under construction...
The Duomo is a Roman Catholic church and one of the largest Gothic style cathedrals. It also took a long time to build the cathedral: construction began in 1248 and was only completed in 1880!! And it's still being built, I think there were a few days last year when there was no construction and the cathedral could be seen without any scaffolding. That must have been a big event;)!
while waiting to go in
me in front of the cathedral, the mobile phone filter that zooms out makes my legs even thinner and longer lol
A miracle, a symbol of the will to live
The dome has a very uniform and balanced design. That is why it is referred to by many building and art historians as the "perfect cathedral". A nice name for a cathedral, what do you say?
During the Second World War, Cologne was almost bombed out, but guess what was not damaged and stood in place as if nobody could harmed it: the cathedral! I really don't know how it could be that everything around was bombed but the cathedral remained intact.
In my opinion, the cathedral was rightly seen as a "miracle". The cathedral was closed
a very emotional symbol, especially for the people of Cologne. A symbol of the will to live.
Since 1996 the cathedral has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most visited sights in Germany.
Inside the Cathedral
The interior of the Cologne Cathedral was more than impressive... I've been to the Cologne Cathedral before, at the very beginning of my studies, about three years ago, but the cathedral amazed me again, especially from the inside. It is even bigger and higher on the inside than you would imagine from the outside. The main nave, which leads to the chancel, is relatively slender. It measures 144 meters, making it the longest nave in Germany. There are two aisles on the right and left.
We drove to the cathedral relatively spontaneously and didn't take part in a guided tour. But if you would like to know some background information, you can also book a guided tour through the interior, into the treasury or onto the roof of the cathedral. I like discovering the places myself more and more, when there is enough information on boards or similar. They are always available in the cathedral! Church services are often held in the cathedral. It would certainly be a nice idea to visit the cathedral during a service, even if you don't have the opportunity to move around freely;).
Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the treasury downstairs last week, the entrances are closed due to Corona. Otherwise you would have gotten in there for free. But we went up to the cathedral and treated ourselves to a beautiful view of Cologne.
What I liked most about the interior of Cologne Cathedral were the stained glass windows. Rarely have I seen such beautiful colored windows that shone so brightly! The windows bring an incredible color intensity into the cathedral, which is a contrast to the otherwise rather less colorful cathedral.
Many small squares of color on an area of over 100 m² with over 80 shades
When I read him about the windows, I had to realize that they were destroyed by the Second World War and rebuilt again, this time differently. The cathedral also suffered damage from the Second World War. Fortunately, however, none or only minor ones affecting the "main building". After the Second World War, the Cologne-based painter Gerhard Richter was commissioned to paint the new windows. Above all, there are many small squares of color that adorn one of the windows. And that on an area of over 100 m². The artist chose 80 tones that already appeared in the colored windows of the 19th century. In doing so, he wanted to create an atmosphere that corresponded to the original intentions of medieval builders. He did it!
Information boards in the cathedral on the relationship between the Christian church and the Jews
A tower climb that is worthwhile
A climb of the tower was of course not to be missed during our visit. It was even relatively cheap, adults pay 6 euros, with our student ticket it only cost us 3 euros each.
Depending on the season, the Domplatte upstairs is open longer or shorter, we just got up there before the Platte closed. Also plan on waiting for the checkout. A little tip: You will find the entrance for the cathedral ascent right next to the cathedral below, which is also where the toilets are located.
So that you are prepared: I found the climb more complicated than you might be used to from other climbs to sights. There is no elevator - I'm not kidding, and that's what the ticket office says ;). This means that people with a wheelchair cannot get up there at all. Even if I can understand that you can't "just" install an elevator in a cathedral. And the staircase is very narrow, it's a spiral staircase. While my girlfriend found it very tiring and many people were getting out of breath on the way up, I got dizzy. But it actually worked, in between we were able to visit the bell tower. We also had to go through a very narrow corridor for this.
A beautiful panoramic view of Cologne city center and the Rhine
30 minutes, as it says at the cash desk, isnt true i would say. The ascent and descent does not take half an hour, it was more like 15 minutes in total.
The visitor platform is about 100 meters above the ground. So you shouldn't be afraid of heights;) We walked up a total of 533 steps to the top of the south tower.
The view of the Domplatte and the city was very impressive. The windows in the bell tower were pretty dusty. But I thought it had a mysterious touch, somehow it fit!
You actually have a panoramic view of Cologne city center and the Rhine. The only thing I didn't like so much was that there was no point where you had a clear view, i.e. there were no bars in front of your head. So high up but of course also understandable. Nevertheless, I would have wished for a somewhat clearer view. I would still recommend the cathedral ascent to everyone. You simply have to have been to the top of the cathedral, especially if you're from Cologne, but you shouldn't miss it as a tourist either!
I hope you liked my post about Cologne Cathedral. Would you visit the cathedral from the inside and climb the tower? Feel free to give me your feedback in the comments. Until next time!