The Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany is a masterpiece of Medieval architecture and Gothic style. It’s the tallest structure in the city and rises up out of the ground like something out of a fantasy movie! It is truly a sight to behold. We were able to see it while on a trip for Cologne’s Carnival, more about that here.
The Cologne Cathedral – A Masterpiece of Medieval Architecture
The Kölner Dom, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Cologne, Germany. It is one of the largest and most impressive Gothic cathedrals in Europe, and it is widely regarded as a masterpiece of medieval architecture.
Cologne Cathedral – Construction Went on for More than 800 Years!
Construction of the cathedral began in the mid-13th century and continued for over 600 years until its completion in 1880. The cathedral was built on the site of a former Roman temple and several earlier churches. The cathedral’s construction was funded by donations from the citizens of Cologne, and it was intended to be a grand monument to the city’s religious and cultural heritage.
It is MASSIVE!
The cathedral is massive in scale, with a length of 144 meters (472 feet), a width of 86 meters (282 feet), and a height of 157 meters (515 feet) at its tallest point. It features two huge towers, each measuring over 150 meters (492 feet) in height. It also has a number of intricate stone carvings and stained-glass windows.
Compared to other cathedrals, it is often ranked among the largest in the world. However, it is not the largest. Some other notable large cathedrals include the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Ivory Coast, which is the largest church in the world. Another is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, which is the largest church in terms of interior space.
It was the Largest Structure In the World from 1880-1884
However, at the time of its completion in 1880, the Cologne Cathedral was the largest structure in the world. It was even larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in height. It held this title for four years until the completion of the Washington Monument in the United States in 1884.
During World War II, Cologne Was in Ruins…but the Cathedral Survived!
The cathedral was heavily damaged during World War II, but it miraculously survived the bombing raids that devastated much of Cologne. The cathedral suffered 14 direct hits during the war, but its massive stone walls and vaulted ceilings proved to be surprisingly resilient. It turns out that the allies used the Cologne Cathedral twin towers as a landmark while they bombed the city. Thankfully, they didn’t want to destroy it.
After the war, the cathedral underwent a massive restoration effort, which lasted for several decades. Many of the cathedral’s stone sculptures and carvings were damaged or destroyed during the war. These were painstakingly repaired or replaced by skilled artisans. Today, the cathedral stands as a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the people of Cologne. It also serves as a magnificent example of medieval architecture and craftsmanship.