Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom in German) is, along with the Hohenzollern Bridge, one of the most emblematic icons of the city.
In this article I am going to tell you some fun facts about the Cologne Cathedral, an essential monument to see in this German city.
If you are planning a trip to Cologne, I highly recommend you to take a free tour of the city. For me, they are a great way to get an idea of what the city is like, get to know the most central streets to learn how to get around and learn some curious facts about the place you are visiting.
Other places that might interest you near Cologne are Bonn, Drachenfels or Brülh.
11 things you didn´t know about Cologne Cathedral
1. It took 632 years to build
Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248. However, for economic reasons, its construction was interrupted from 1510 to 1842.
It took more than 6 centuries to build this place, which was inaugurated on 15 October 1880.
2. It´s the tallest gothic building in the world
Its 157 meters height makes it the tallest gothic building in the world so far.
3. It was bombed 14 times
During the Second World War, Cologne Cathedral was bombed 14 times. Its structure remained intact. However, one of the bombs caused serious damage, even destroying the base of its left tower.
4. The most visited monument in Germany
Cologne Cathedral’s impressive history, location and design have made it Germany’s most visited monument, with free admission, but the tower costs 4 euros to climb.
5. Houses the tomb of the Three Kings
The bones of the Three Kings were brought from Milan in 1164. They are kept in a highly protected reliquary inside Cologne Cathedral and are one of the main reasons to visit the cathedral.
6. It´s the third structure on the site
Cologne Cathedral is the third structure built on this site. During the 4th century there was a Roman temple. In 818, a church was built, which was burnt down in 1248.
7. It has 12 bells
Four of them belong to medieval times. The largest and best known is St. Peter’s bell. It is nicknamed ‘Der Dicke Pitter’ (Fat Peter) by the inhabitants of Cologne. And the oldest is the bell of the Three Kings (Dreikönigenglocke) from 1418.
8. Was the tallest building in the world
It was the tallest building in the world for 4 years. In 1884, the Washington Monument surpassed its 157-metre height.
9. It is a UNESCO heritage site
In 1996, the Cologne Cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site for its historical-cultural and spiritual importance..
10. It´s under continuos repair
The cathedral is built with a type of stone that is quite sensitive to contamination. It is therefore subject to a constant process of repair.
11. It can be seem for almost anywhere in the city
Cologne Cathedral has an incredible view of the city. More than 500 steps lead up to the tower from where you can see Cologne and the Hohenzollern Bridge, but did you know that you can also see the Cathedral from almost anywhere in Cologne?