What is the coolest historical structure you’ve visited?
The Cologne Cathedral mesmerized us from the very moment we saw it. A backdrop to the central train station, it’s impossible to miss, and it gives a striking first impression of the city.
We were so intrigued by its gothic architecture that we couldn’t help but return to admire it each day of our visit. We photographed it at sunrise, we explored its vast interior, and we even climbed its highest tower (533 steps)!
The history behind this cathedral is also fascinating! Due to various leadership and city priorities, the construction spanned over 600 years! Some argue construction still hasn’t ceased, as it is constantly undergoing renovations and upgrades. This stained glass window is one of the newest additions – meant to resemble pixels (certainly not your typical stained glass subject!). It also survived bombings of the city. It is thought it was deliberately avoided because it serves as such a prominent landmark from the sky.
The cathedral was the world’s tallest structure at 157m until 1884 when the Washington Monument was built. The title then shifted to the world’s tallest building and the world’s tallest church until the Ulm Cathedral dethroned it in both regards in 1890. But folks in Cologne love their records, so they just added some adjectives! It now holds the record of tallest twin-spire church in the world. This might not hold if the Sagrada Familia surpasses it with its expected completion in 2026. But that’s ok – it still holds the record for housing St. Peter’s Bell: the largest functioning swinging bell in the world.
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