Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), Cologne

Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), Cologne (must see)

Cologne Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and Germany's most visited landmark. Twenty thousand people visit each day. Cologne Cathedral is 157 meters (515) tall and the world's tallest twin-spired church. It is Europe's second-tallest church and the world's third tallest church. In addition, it is Northern Europe's largest Gothic church.

Construction began in 1248 and stalled between 1560 and 1840. Finally, the tower was completed in 1880.

The site has hosted Christian buildings since the fourth century. A seventh-century baptistery was located at the Cathedral's east end. The "Old Cathedral" stood here from 818 to 1248.

Cologne Cathedral was originally built to house the relics of the Three Kings. The eastern arm of the cathedral was built first. Construction on the west front continued in the 14th century. When construction stalled in 1473, a massive crane stayed in place for 400 years.

In the 19th century, the original facade plans were discovered, and officials decided to complete the cathedral. In 1860, the cathedral was completed 632 years after construction began. World War II bombs damaged the church, and repairs were carried out.

The black marble High Altar was installed in 1322. The Shrine of the Three Kings is the cathedral's biggest draw. The shrine holds the remains of the Three Wise Men. Work on the gilded shrine began in 1190.

The Gero Crucifix was created in the 10th century and is one of the oldest examples of a large free-standing crucifix. The wooden Milan Madonna dates to around 1290. An interior wall features a pair of stone tablets from the 13th century, which legalized Cologne's Jewish residents. The choir has original carved stalls that date to the 14th century.

The cathedral features 11 bells. The oldest bell was cast in 1418. When St. Peter's Bell was cast in 1922, it was the world's largest free-swinging bell.

Why You Should Visit:
Simply jaw dropping in size. You may never see another church so detailed and so large.

Tip:
Take a look at the beautiful mosaics on the floor in the Cathedral's rear part. You may also climb up to the top for a great view of Cologne, or go to underground parking to see the original foundations exposed there.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cologne. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) on Map

Sight Name: Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)
Sight Location: Cologne, Germany (See walking tours in Cologne)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cologne, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Cologne

Create Your Own Walk in Cologne

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cologne is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cologne Introduction Walking Tour

Cologne Introduction Walking Tour

Cologne is one of Germany's oldest cities. It was founded as a Roman settlement on the Rhine in the first century, then known as the Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium.

The name came from Agrippina the Younger, wife of Roman Emperor Claudius. She came from the area and petitioned the emperor to raise the status of her home to a Colonia--a city under Roman law. During the Roman period, it...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Cologne Shopping Tour

Cologne Shopping Tour

Calling the shops, whilst in Cologne, is the thing you definitely should not miss! One of the most popular shopping destinations in Germany, this “cathedral” city abounds in malls, designer stores and various national and international brand outlets fit to impress anyone and let you shop till you drop! Some people even make special trips to Cologne just to stroll and buy things to their...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Cologne's Architectural Landmarks Walking Tour

Cologne's Architectural Landmarks Walking Tour

Around 75% of Cologne was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II. Following such devastation, it meant that most of what was built immediately after the war came from the so-called “As quickly and cheaply as possible” school of architecture. Eventually, as the things settled, the architects were given the chance to build something that would really stand out.

Decades later, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Beer House Walking Tour

Beer House Walking Tour

In Cologne they say, "Kölsch is the only language you can drink." Brewed only here and nowhere else, Kölsch – a light beer, slightly bitter, bright yellow in color, and made of top-fermented yeast – is forbidden for production in any other part of Germany.

Each licensed brewery in the city makes its own variation of Kölsch, served traditionally in a tall, thin, cylindrical...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Cologne's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Cologne's Historical Churches Walking Tour

The beautiful and historically rich city of Cologne has been around for over 2,000 years. For centuries, it has been regarded as a very important religious center.

The Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), one of its biggest attractions, is renowned as a symbol of Christianity and “a masterpiece of exceptional intrinsic value” (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The twelve Romanesque churches of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles