Kölner Dom / Cologne Cathedral

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The Cologne cathedral is without a doubt one of the most impressive things I have ever seen in my life.  It is the dark towering symbol of Cologne.  No matter what other castles or buildings you have ever seen, you automatically feel incredibly small in the presence of this amazing structure.  Carved out of white stone which has turned black over the hundreds of year.  It is truly an amazing achievement in human history.  The building itself has seen the rise, collapse and reconstruction of the city and people around it.  It is one of those places where you truly wish that the walls could talk.  However, they do tell an amazing story of an amazing city and it's people.

When you first arrive in Cologne one of the first things you will notice is thousands of tourist attempting to get their picture taken if front of this impressive structure.  Getting your picture taken in front of the cathedral with its awe-inspiring architecture as a whole is impossible due to its size. Either only one fifth of the building is visible or you look like a speck on the picture. (To get a feel for the Cathedral and the area around it take a look at the Video Post here)

The Cologne cathedral was started over 750 years ago and it is still being worked on today.  Rumor says that the world will end once the cathedral is finished and to prevent that from happening, the workers with a high social responsibility have obviously made it their goal to never let this happen.  

Cost of up keep alone is twelve million euro per year.  The construction was financed through heavy taxes, pilgrims as well as some donations from protestant Prussians.  After the original funds ran after the first 20 years of construction, Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden implemented a tax on hops, indirectly taxing beer, making him very unpopular among the people of Cologne.  There is a statue of him on the city hall of Cologne and the stone he is standing on is carved a man showing his butt (picture Here).

Cologne Cathedral has been said to be the third holiest relics for Christians and it supposedly contains the remains of the three wise men.  This insured that for hundreds of years a steady stream of Christian pilgrims always arrived and thereby providing financial support for the continual cathedral construction.

In a city that was 96% destroyed by the end of the war, it is amazing that so little damage was done to this building.  It is also possible to go to the top of one of the towers in order to get an amazing view of Cologne.  However, the climb is not for the weak, as there are many very steep steps in a very confined space.  But the trip is worth it.  

In the end, Cologne Cathedral is truly a must see sight in Germany.  You have to, at least once in your life, stand in amazement at this wonderful structure and be part of its history.

For more pictures from Going Kraut of the Cologne Cathedral, please, visit the Gallery. (Here)

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