Cologne Germany is the fourth largest city in Germany located in the western part of the country. Known for several Romanesque cathedrals present here, this place continues to entice visitors for a pilgrimage. This is most especially to the Cologne Cathedral where the biblical Three Kings / Magi / Three Wise Men: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar are buried.
Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom
Cologne Cathedral (Kolner Dom) is the most famous cathedral in Germany because of its Gothic architecture. This building stands tallest in the whole of Cologne at 157 meters. With a fantastic view over the Rhine river, this is a must-visit place when in West Germany. But there are a lot more to do here than just that.
- Cologne Cathedral or the Kölner Dom
- Address: Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany
- Website: http://www.koelner-dom.de/
Things To Do in Cologne Cathedral
This church is huge. In fact, it is bigger than a football field and has an overall area of approximately 8,000 square meters. Coming here is a top tourist attraction for lots of things to do such as the following:
Marvel at the Cologne Cathedral’s Gothic Architecture
Be awe-inspired at the 2000-year-old structure that is built since the year 1248 and finished in the year 1880. The 500 years of construction is splendid in its history and outcome.
With all the outstanding complex sculptures, intricately stained glasses, golden and elaborate details, it is no wonder why over six million spectators come here yearly.
Believe me, I myself was in wonder of all the craftsmanship and ingenuity I see inside and outside the Cologne Cathedral. I could not imagine the number of people involved in creating this magnificent building and how lofty this structure is.
The priest friend I was tagging along to told me one of the reasons why gothic churches are designed to be lofty pointing up – it is because gothic churches aim to lift people’s hearts up as soon as one enters the church. Indeed!
Visit the Shrine of the Three Kings
Secondly, visiting the Cologne Cathedral is fascinating for it houses the Shrine of the Three Kings or Three Wise Men (German Dreikönigsschrein). Viewing it is magical when you think of the relics that this shrine houses. Set inside an enclosure yet elevated with glass, this shrine is spectacularly adorned with elaborate golden sculptures of other prophets.
On July 20, 1864, the shrine was opened, and remains of the Three Kings and the coins of Philip I, Archbishop of Cologne were discovered. An eyewitness report reads:
- “In a special compartment of the shrine now there showed – along with remains of ancient old rotten or moulded bandages, most likely byssus, besides pieces of aromatic resins and similar substances – numerous bones of three persons, which under the guidance of several present experts could be assembled into nearly complete bodies: the one in his early youth, the second in his early manhood, the third was rather aged. Two coins, bracteates made of silver and only one side striken, were adjoined; one, probably from the days of Philipps von Heinsberg, displayed a church (See Note), the other showed a cross, accompanied by the sword of jurisdiction, and the crosier (bishop’s crook) on either side.”
Walk up 533 Steps Up the Tower
For the healthy and adventurous pilgrims or visitors, climbing up the South Tower offers an adorable challenge and reward to view a panorama of the whole city of Cologne at 100m height.
Also, passing through one of the eight big bells of the church on the way up is a delight.
Explore the Cathedral Treasury
Enjoy a tour in the cathedral’s Medieval Sacristan Crypt that is open daily to view works of art made of gold, silver and other metals that are from centuries to millennium years old. Other relics and religious items are found here as well that will fascinate visitors of all kind.
Getting here is very easy as this is just next to the Cologne Central Station. Just a minute walk out of the train as soon as you arrive Cologne Hauptbahnhof (HBF) and you’re here.
The nearest airport from here is the Cologne Bonn Airport at just 15 minutes away by train or public bus. However, if you decide to come here from Frankfurt Airport, it takes you at least an hour to arrive. Nevertheless, it is still worth the visit just like other places of interest in Germany.
Do take the time to read my other travel guides in Germany such as my remarkable Snow Experience in Ruhpolding and my fantastic tour of the Bavaria in Lake Konigssee and the Underground Salt Mine – Salzbergwerk. Moreso, know here why Millions of Visitors enjoy the Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg Germany.
photo credits to commons.wikimedia for some photos.