Cologne Cathedral

We took a little site seeing trip while in Germany last week. My colleague wanted to show me the Cologne Cathedral or, as we almost locals like to call it, the Dom. According to Wikipedia (which wouldn't lie), it's the most visited landmark in Germany.

The Dom is a Roman Catholic cathedral and it took 800 years to build. Construction started in 1248 and ended in 1880. Well, there was a break in there from 1473 to the 1840s.

It's a very impressive structure. At one point, it was the tallest building in the world at 516 feet. The Washington Monument took that title from it in 1884.
So tall I couldn't get it all in the picture.
(I could have if I had walked further away but my ankles told me not to try it.)

Look at all the carving work!

One of the entrance doors.
The main entrance with a bunch of Saints (I'm assuming) watching it.
These were close to life size from the perspective I saw them.
You can't be called the "Hight Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary" without Mary being there.
There was an incredible amount of stained glass work.
We tried to imagine living in the construction era. I suspect generation after generation was born with designated professions as skills were passed down. This family was the stone cutters, this family built scaffolding, this family did the tile work, etc.

The columns were HUGE!
This built in the Gothic style so the structure is supported with large columns and has many arches. It's also super ornate. I mean every where you look there's a curlicue of some sort.

The church was built to house the reliquary (a word I cannot successfully pronounce for some reason) of the Three Kings. Yeah, the dudes who visited Baby Jesus. Their actual bones are supposed to be in the church.

The Shrine of the Three Kings - fancy structure to store some bones.
In the courtyard of the Dom, there's a bonus historical site, evidence of a Roman gate built in 50 AD.

Hanging at the portal, thinking about all the Romans who'd been through there.
Layout of the Roman gate throughout the area.

Random sign on the ground - oh, those funny Germans!
I'm grateful we took the time for this side trip but not so grateful about the fact that I think this is where I lost my wallet. Sigh.


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