2006-Cologne - Page 1

A visit to Catedral in Cologne (Koln)

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The map. Cologne is located in NW Germany, in North-Rhine Westphalia land. 1 Mio. inhabitants.
We reach Cologne from Dusseldorf on autobahn. I love the clouds - Yes, I am a certified cloud-spotter :)
The famous landmark of the city is the Cathedral (Dom), which is visible from everywhere in the city.
Dom-Platz is located next to the main railwaystation. The Dome is located to the right in this picture, and in background you can see the Roman ruins.
The Roman Ruins, from the first Roman colony here, started in ~ 50 A.D. Most of them are underground, and part of the old walls are now in the cathedral foundations.
The Cathedral is very close. It was built by various architects, between 1248 and 1880. Initial plans were made by a highly skilled stonemason called Gerhard, and they are still preserved in the chapel.
The frontal wall of the Cathedral, with three gates and two towers. The facade was designed around 1280; the building of the towers started around 1360 and took centuries.
The side of the cathedral. The roof of the building is 70 m high, and the towers are 157 m high. In 1880, when the last stone was put on top, it was the highest building in the world. As a comparison, The Empire State Building is 381m high.
It looks like a skyscraper! Medieval one!
Raul, in front of the main gate.
The main gate, in detail.
Statues of the Holy Apostles are guarding the door.
On the other minor gates, the amount of work and detail is similar and impressive.
Inside the Cathedral, in the "small" lateral aisle. The Nave is on the right in this pictures, separated by columns and hanging tapestries.
The Nave of the cathedral.
The Nave, towards exit
Candle lights, and in the background is the shrine with some holy remains of the Three Wise Men from the East.
The reliquary of the Three Wise Men in the East (also called Three Kings of the Orient, or Magi) - noble pilgrims followed a star to Israel to pay homage to the newborn Christ Child. It is believed that this shrine has some remains from them, and it's handmade by famous juveliers; wood-carved covered with massive gold and gems.
The floor of the cathedral is also an example of exquisite hand-work.
In the interior of the enormous SW corner pillar there is a small medieval spiral staircase, leading to the Bells' Room and top of the South Tower.This staircase has 509 steps.
The belfry houses eight bells, located at 53 meters. The image shows the St.Peter's Bell ("Petersglocke"). With a diameter of 3.22 m and 24.000Kg is the largest free-swinging bell in the world.
Above the Belfry the medieval staircase ends in a large room.
The staricase continues, but is made from metal and goes to the observation platform.
The windows are not ocluded here. Rain drops do not fall vertically because of the winds. The tiny white specks are raindrops, rushing with high speed ( there are no special effects in this picture).
The observation platform is a narrow corridor, located at 97m. The spires of the towers are still going 60 m above this level, but you cannot climb them anymore. From here, one can see the city.
Also, the delicate masonry of the roof is visible from the platform.
Inside the spire.
Even at this level, the amount of stone-work detail is mind-boggling.
Inside the Observation Platform. Unfortunately, there are a lot of graffiti painted on non-protected areas.
A small gothic tower which serves as a "mere" ornament for the South Tower. These small towers disguise the transition between the quadratic structure at the inferior levels to octogonal one, at upper levels.
A broad view, from a postcard (that I bought it from a tiny shop in the right spire).
A small guardian.
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