Cologne Cathedral is a Gothic beauty
A pearl of Cologne and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Cologne Cathedral of the Saints Peter and Maria amazes by its monumentality, greatness, and at the same time, ease and grace, delicacy soaring forms. This is the largest Cathedral in Germany and one of the largest cathedrals in Europe.
It is a huge patinetly Basilica of reddish stone of trachyte, with an area of about 8500 square meters Cathedral Length 144 meters, the width of the transept – 83 meters, height of the building to the ridge of the roof is about 60 meters. On the Western facade of the Cathedral has two huge towers topped with pointed spires. They rise to a height of 157 meters.
The building has on the outside a lot of the supporting pilasters, buttresses, finials, galleries, pass-through gratings, and its main portal is richly decorated with sculptural plasticity, decorative thread that is repeated from tier to tier of pointed arches. The huge main hall of the Cathedral is surrounded by many chapels and tombs and vaults star-shaped support columns with a height of 44 meters. The enormity of the interior space of the Cathedral is not only impressive due to the absolute size but also as a result of intentional elevation: the middle nave is two and a half times higher side, also at different levels are the nave and choir.
The walls, the arches, the Cathedral’s floor is paved with grey Rhine stone. Two steep spiral staircases in each of steps 509 – Veduta of the bell tower, constructed in the middle layers framing the facade of the towers. Situated at a height of about 100 meters, offering magnificent views of Cologne and the surrounding area.
The biggest bell of the Cologne Cathedral and the largest “working” bell in the world is “Peter” – it weighs 24 tons. He cast relatively recently, in 1923, from the metal of cannons captured from the French in 1871. This is followed by an old bell “Pretiosa” (”Exquisite”), got its name because of the amazing clarity of tone. Cast in 1448 he weighs 11 tons, and at the time was the largest in Europe. His famous brothers echoed by two more bells
Huge towers of the Cologne Cathedral are visible from almost any point in the city, but especially deep impression thanks to the greenish glow of illumination against the dark stone of the Cathedral produces in the evening.
The history of the Cologne Cathedral dates back to the 13th century – it was then decided to build on the existing site since the 9th century, and burnt down the old Cathedral a new Church.
The construction from the outset it was conceived as something Grand – the townspeople wanted to have their Cathedral, like a great French churches, but surpassing them in size and exceeding them in beauty. An inspiring example of the architect Gerhard von Rila was the temple in Amiens, from which was derived the plan.
There was another reason for the beginning of construction. R. von Dassel, Chancellor and commander of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, received from the Emperor in gratitude for his military help in conquering Milan, the relics of the Holy Magi, who previously resided in a Milan monastery. In 1164, Rainald von Dassel triumphantly brought the relics to Cologne in the next ten years they made a special sarcophagus of silver, gold and precious stones – cancer of the Saints of the Magi, one of the most precious relics of Christianity. Highest rank reached Cologne in Western Christianity thanks to the acquisition of these relics, and was translated into appropriate to the occasion the Cathedral.
In 1248 the Archbishop of Cologne Konrad von Hochstaden laid the first Foundation stone of the Cologne Cathedral and from that time began one of the longest chapters in the history of European construction. In 1322 the choir was consecrated the Cathedral, which during the years of its creation was regarded as a miracle of art. Was also completed the construction of the portal, and a portion of the space was roofed, so it was possible to conduct a Church service. However, in 1450, had stopped work on the South tower, which was brought up to a height of 59 meters, and then all construction activity was stopped. The reason for this was not only shining in the Europe of war and epidemics and, as a consequence, the lack of funds. Very medieval worldview, thanks to which the first instance the idea of this giant Cathedral, staggered and began to leave in the past.
The construction of the Cathedral was resumed only in the 19th century – in 1842 the king of Prussia, Frederick William IV ordered to complete the construction in the original plan and on September 4 of 1842 himself laid the first stone, and in October, 1880, was held the feast on the occasion of the completion of construction.
Thanks to the talent of the architect Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, the Gothic spirit of the Cathedral was fully retained over the centuries the construction of the Cathedral builders didn’t deviate from the original plan, and its completion was conducted on the original plans, found in 1814 in Darmstadt. Then started the interior finish. However, in 1906, one of 24 decorative small towers of the main facade, collapsed. Soon broke off and other decorative tower – damaged areas of the stone work needed to restore again. And after 1945 had to repair the damage caused by bombing during the second world war.
Cologne Cathedral is not only a place of Church services, but also the largest Museum, which has over the centuries a rich collection of paintings, sculptures and jewellery. The Cathedral houses treasures that is simply not possible to list them all and evaluate them. Among them, the first thing to do would be to call such monuments of medieval art, as the rows of pews in the choir, frescoes above them, the main altar, 14 sculptures – Christ, the virgin Mary and the 12 Apostles on the fence of the choir. High in the upper rows of Windows shining magnificent stained glass Windows. Box Kings and Biblical and Saints of the Magi, located in the gallery of the choir, in a side chapel, preserved from the year 1280.
In Marienkapelle you can admire the famous “Adoration of the Magi” is the dedication, the work of Stefan Lochner. In another chapel is the most ancient sculptural depictions of the Crucifixion, the other buried the founder of the Cologne Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. The Cathedral Treasury also keeps a cancer of St. Engelbert, the famous reliquary cross, crosses different eras, Episcopal wands, statues of saints, valuable drenovci and much more.