Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The construction started in August 1248 and took more than six centuries to get completed as it was finished in 1880.

Measurement of the Cathedral: –

With a height of 157.25 meters, it is the second highest cathedral in Germany and the third-highest in the world.  It covers approximately 86,111 square feet of floor space. It closely resembles Amiens Cathedral in many features such as style, ground-plan, width to height proportion of the nave, and many more.

Interior of the structure: –

There are a total of 104 carved oak seats in the Cologne Cathedral. These seats were a major feature of medieval churches. These seats are surrounded by frescoed walls, painted statues and stained glass.

West Front

Quick Facts: –

  • During World War II, Cologne Cathedral was hit by 14 aerial bombs and approximately 70 firebombs but the building did not fall.
  • This cathedral was originally built to house the Three Wise Men’s Shrine.
  • At 157.38 meters the North Tower of the structure is 7 centimeters higher than the South Tower.
  • The cathedral includes the Gero Cross. It dates back to the year 970 which makes the oldest crucifix of this size.
  • The color of this structure was not always this dark grey. The sandstone used in the exterior of the building turned grey after reacting with sulphuric acid in the rain.
  • The Cologne Cathedral is still the highest building in Cologne after the telecommunication tower.
  • Similar to other Gothic cathedrals, the plan of this structure is also in the shape of a Latin cross.
  • In terms of the ground plan and style etc. this cathedral closely resembles Amiens Cathedral.
  • The Cologne Cathedral has the world’s third largest church interior.


Bird's Eye View of Cathedral


Question & Answers: –

Ques. When did construction begin on Cologne Cathedral?

Ans. Construction began in 1248.


Ques. What was the purpose of building the Cologne Cathedral?

Ans. It was originally built to house the Three Wise Men’s shrine.


Ques. Who designed the Cologne Cathedral?

Ans. The cathedral was designed by the architect Gerhard von Rile.


Ques. What is the height of cathedral towers?

Ans. The northern tower is 157 meters in height and the southern tower is 6 centimeters below that.


Ques. How long was the cathedral the highest building in the world?

Ans. It was the tallest building in the world between 1880 and 1884.


Ques. How large is the floor space in the cathedral building?

Ans. It covers almost 8,000 square meters of floor space.


Ques. Where is the Altar of the City Patrons placed and who painted it?

Ans. The famous painting is placed in the Lady Chapel and it was painted in 1442 by Stefan Lochner.


Ques. What is the Madonna of Milan and where is it located?

Ans. The Madonna of Milan is a wooden sculpture depicting Mary and her child Jesus. It is placed in the Sacrament Chapel.


Ques. How many church bells are there in the cathedral?

Ans. There are eleven church bells in the cathedral.


Ques. How many stone steps are there in the spiral staircase to reach the viewing platform?

Ans. There are 509 stone steps.


Ques. How old is the Gero Cross or Gero Crucifix is estimated to be?

Ans. It is estimated to date back to 965–970.


Ques. What are the two organs located in the cathedral and who built them?

Ans. The cathedral has two pipe organs by Klais Orgelbau. The Transept Organ built in 1948 and the Nave Organ built in 1998.


Ques. When was the towers added to the structure?

Ans. The two big towers were added in 1880.


Ques. Who laid the new cornerstone in 1842?

Ans. A new cornerstone was laid by King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1842.


Ques. The cathedral was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in which year?

Ans. In 1996.


Ques. How many people can it can hold at once?

Ans. 20,000 people


Ques. During the World War II, how many bombs hit the cathedral?

Ans. The building was hit by 14 bombs during the World War II but did not fall.


Cologne Cathedral


Location Map of Cologne Cathedral: –

Map of Cologne Cathedral