Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1996
Size of heritage:
- Buffer zone: 258 ha
Begun in 1248, the construction of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880. Over seven centuries, successive builders were inspired by the same faith and a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plans. Apart from its exceptional intrinsic value and the artistic masterpieces it contains, Cologne Cathedral testifies to the enduring strength of European Christianity.
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Cologne Cathedral, located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic landmarks in the country. This magnificent Gothic masterpiece has a rich history dating back to its construction in the 13th century and continues to be a symbol of religious and architectural significance.
The construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248, but due to various interruptions, it was not completed until 1880. The cathedral was built to house the relics of the Three Kings, which were brought to Cologne by Archbishop Rainald von Dassel in the 12th century. The cathedral's design was influenced by French Gothic architecture, particularly the Notre-Dame de Paris.
Throughout its history, the cathedral faced numerous challenges, including financial difficulties, wars, and natural disasters. During World War II, the cathedral suffered severe damage from Allied bombings, but its core structure miraculously survived. The restoration efforts took several years, and the cathedral was finally reopened to the public in 1956.
Cologne Cathedral is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It stands at an impressive height of 157 meters, making it one of the tallest cathedrals in the world. The exterior is adorned with intricate stone carvings, gargoyles, and stained glass windows, showcasing the craftsmanship of medieval artisans.
The interior of the cathedral is equally breathtaking. The nave is supported by soaring columns, and the high vaulted ceilings create a sense of grandeur. The highlight of the interior is the Shrine of the Three Kings, a golden sarcophagus that holds the relics of the Magi. The cathedral also houses numerous chapels, each with its own unique artwork and religious significance.
Today, Cologne Cathedral continues to be a vibrant place of worship and a major tourist attraction. It attracts millions of visitors each year who come to admire its architectural beauty and religious significance. The cathedral also hosts regular religious services, including Masses and concerts.
Efforts are constantly made to preserve and maintain the cathedral's historic fabric. The ongoing restoration work ensures that the building remains structurally sound and that its intricate details are preserved for future generations to appreciate.
Visitors to Cologne Cathedral can explore its interior, climb the 533 steps to the top of the south tower for panoramic views of the city, or simply marvel at its grandeur from the outside. The cathedral's central location in the heart of Cologne makes it easily accessible and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or religious heritage.
Cologne Cathedral stands as a testament to human ingenuity and devotion. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and religious significance make it a UNESCO World Heritage site of immense cultural value. As one of Germany's most iconic landmarks, it continues to inspire awe and reverence in all who visit, ensuring its legacy for generations to come.
Hotels and places to stay
Excelsior Hotel Ernst Leading Hotels of the World
CityClass Europa am Dom
Eden Hotel Früh am Dom
Callas am Dom
Sandmanns DOM Apartments
Hotel Königshof The Arthouse
Centro Hotel Central am DOM
A&O Köln Dom
ibis Koeln Am Dom
Domspatz Hotel | Boardinghouse
Videos from the area
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Large airport - 10 mi (16 km) Norvenich Airport
Medium airport - 15 mi (25 km) Düsseldorf International Airport
Large airport - 25 mi (41 km) Mönchengladbach Airport
Medium airport - 28 mi (46 km) Essen Mulheim Airport
Small airport - 32 mi (52 km) Aachen-Merzbrück Airport
Small airport - 35 mi (56 km) Geilenkirchen Airport
Medium airport - 40 mi (65 km) Dortmund Airport
Large airport - 49 mi (79 km) Maastricht Aachen Airport
Large airport - 52 mi (84 km) Münster Osnabrück Airport
Large airport - 88 mi (142 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Bergisch Gladbach
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Alt Engeldorferhof
- Neu Engeldorferhof