The incredible story of Cologne Cathedral's 600-year construction
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The Cologne Cathedral is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture and German Catholicism that has captured the hearts of millions of visitors from all over the world. Located in the heart of the city, it is the most visited landmark in
Germany, attracting approximately 20,000 visitors every day.
The construction of the Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and lasted for over 600 years. Despite the extended period, it is an outstanding monument that has stood the test of time, dominating the city's skyline. However, the history of the Cologne Cathedral dates back to the early Christian period, with Christian churches standing in the same spot since the fourth century.
One of the most remarkable features of the Cologne Cathedral is its height. At 515 ft. (157 m), it is the tallest twin-spired church globally, featuring the second-tallest spires and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. It was also the tallest building in the world when it was completed on August 14, 1880, and remained so until 1884.
The cathedral's interior is a treasure trove of diverse works of art, spanning different eras and styles. The oldest stained-glass windows in the cathedral date back to the 13th century, and they remain a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of that era. More recently, in 2007, a massive stained-glass window designed by Cologne-based artist Gerhard Richter was installed, replacing 19th-century glass shattered during World War II.
While the Cologne Cathedral remains a remarkable architectural and artistic masterpiece, its upkeep is a significant challenge. The current key priorities of the Cologne Cathedral Workshop are the maintenance and safeguarding of the priceless historical windows and the restoration of the stonework, which has been significantly harmed by weathering and climatic factors.
Despite these challenges, the Cologne Cathedral continues to be an iconic symbol of German Catholicism, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at its grandeur and beauty. It has become a symbol of the city of Cologne, a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship and dedication of its builders, and a symbol of faith and hope for generations to come.
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