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Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom) is one of the
best-known architectural monuments in Germany and has
been Cologne's most famous landmark for centuries. The
cathedral is under the administration of the Roman
Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of
Cologne. From 1880, when its spires were completed,
until 1884 it was the world's tallest structure,
losing its title on the completion of the Washington
Monument in Washington DC. Cologne Cathedral remains
the second-tallest Gothic structure in the world; only
the steeple of the Ulm Münster is higher.

Construction of the gothic church began in 1248 and
took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to
complete - it was finally finished in 1880. The two
towers are 157m tall, the cathedral is 144m long and
86m wide. The cathedral is dedicated to Saints Peter
and Mary.

It was built on the site of a 4th century Roman
temple, a square edifice known as the 'oldest
cathedral' and commissioned by Maternus, the first
Christian bishop of Cologne. A second church built on
the site, the so-called "Old Cathedral", was completed
in 818. This burned down on April 30, 1248.

The present cathedral was built to house the relics of
the Magi, taken from Milan (Italy) by Holy Roman
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and given to the
Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel in 1164. The
foundation stone was laid on August 15, 1248, by
Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. The choir was
consecrated in 1322. After this initial rapid
progress, construction work gradually came to a
standstill, and by the year 1560, only a torso had
been built. It was only with 19th century romantic
enthusiasm for the Middle Ages and the commitment of
the Prussian Court that construction work resumed in
1842 with the addition of the towers and other
substantial parts of the cathedral, mostly according
to surviving medieval plans and drawings. The
completion of Germany's largest cathedral was
celebrated as a national event in 1880, 632 years
after construction had begun. The celebration was
attended by Emperor Wilhelm I.

In the end, the outer appearance remained faithful to
the original medieval plans; however, the roof was a
modern steel construction. At its completion, the
Cologne cathedral was the world's tallest building,
having taken over from the minster of Strasbourg. In
1884, it lost the title to the Washington Monument. It
features the largest church facade in the world.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral]

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Viewed: 1998
Points: 8
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Additional Photos by Txxx Bxxx (thor68) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 760 W: 151 N: 919] (5586)
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