More than 6 centuries ago the Cologne cathedral was constructed and featured exceptional intrinsic value and artistic masterpieces. It is a compelling testimony of the consistency and persistence of Christian Faith in medieval and modern Europe.
The ancient Christians used to meet in a private house in Roman Cologne near the Cologne city’s Walls. After the Edict of Milan in 313 Emperor Constantine proclaimed the religious freedom and this building where they used to worship was expanded to make a church. The church featured an atrium, baptistery, and a dwelling house for the bishop. The building was known as ‘the mother and master of all churches in Germany’ in the 13th century.
Excavations after the WWII revealed a basilica, a central nave, two large isles, a large atrium, and a western façade. A two-storeyed Chapel of the Palatine that was made in the style of Charlemagne’s Chapel in Aachen.
The following are the major events in the history of the cathedral:
- 1164 – The dimensions of the cathedral was too small for the throngs of pilgrims who came to see the relics of Magi that had been brought from Milan
- 1225 – Engelbert wanted to create an archiepiscopal cathedral into one of the most important cathedrals in the Roman Empire and this led to the creation an entirely new building, but its work was delayed by his murder.
- 1248 – The actual work on the cathedral started.
- 1560 – The nave and a 4 side aisles and most of the structural work had been completed.
- 1794 – Cologne was seized in 1794 and the Archbishop was moved to Aachen. The cathedral building was used for storage of grain and fodder and then as a parish church.
- 1815 – Work on the Cathedral started again when Cologne became part of Prussia
- 1880 – The cathedral was finally finished in 1880, after 632 years and two months.
The Cologne Cathedral is a High Gothic five-aisled basilica that features a projecting transept, two tower façade, a high altar, a monolithic slab, black marble, carved oak choir, stained glasses and other features of Gothic architecture.
Make a visit to this cathedral and ensure you have the best of time in this historic cathedral that took 6 centuries to complete.
For more information on accommodation in Cologne or flights to Germany, please contact one of the Travel Specialists at North South Travel