One day last May as we were zipping along the Autobahn at light speed, we decided to make an impromptu stop in Köln (Cologne) to see its impressive and famous cathedral, the Kölner Dom. So we zipped in, saw it, and zipped out.
And impressive it is, to say the least. I craned my head back, looked up at it, and said, “Mein Gott!” It was hard to even fit the whole front facade into one photo. The cathedral is one of the world’s largest churches, and is the largest gothic church in northern Europe. With its enormous twin spires, it boasts the largest facade of any church in the world. Construction on the cathedral began in 1248, and building continued intermittently until its completion in 1880. It seems the cathedral is continually under some kind of renovation/restoration…always. The Mann says this is the Sagrada Familia of German building projects.
The Dom supposedly houses the relics of the Three Kings (yes, those Three Kings), but I have a hard time believing that. Nonetheless, one can view the gilded gold sarcophagus that holds the relics.
We sat inside for awhile to just absorb the enormity of the structure. Then we walked around, admiring the afternoon sunshine streaming in the high windows and creating eerie shadows. Incense hung thickly in the air and in the sunshine created a wonderful smoky effect.
Suddenly the sunshine was extinguished and people began pouring into the cathedral. Curious, we stepped outside to find a storm brewing with a whirl of dark clouds. The Platz (place) in front of the cathedral was alarmingly empty as people scurried away in fits of screaming and hooting. It was pretty funny, actually. Yet somehow the brooding dark sky seemed to fit this brooding, massive building.
Take a look at some of my picture from the trip below: