Cologne Cathedral Guide (Opening Hours, Tickets, Facts, History)

Updated on September 7, 2023  

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Hidden among Cologne's treasures is Cologne Cathedral - the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe with an intriguing 600-year construction history!

This blog post will act as your guide to navigating this UNESCO World Heritage Site, enriching your visit with fascinating facts and must-see highlights.

Cologne Cathedral Highlights

Shrine of the Three Kings

Emerging behind the high altar of the Cologne Cathedral, you'll find an intriguing highlight - The Shrine of the Three Kings. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar rest in this space; rumored relics from these wise men enhance its allure. [1]

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A peek inside reveals bones and ancient garments bestowed upon them. Gold cloaks this rich shrine located on a grand scale beyond the cathedral's main altar.

Showcasing it suggests reverence for these three figures who hold deep significance within Christian narratives worldwide.

Cologne Cathedral Treasury (Dom Treasury)

The Cathedral Treasury in Cologne is a spectacle to behold. As the largest and richest treasury in Germany, its selection of historical relics and sacred treasures stands testament to centuries of religious devotion.

Back in the Middle Ages, it began as a collection of cherished relics, now housing an array of art from the medieval period up till date.

One sight within this treasury that never fails to captivate visitors is the colossal gold Shrine of the Three Kings.

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These valuable possessions breathe life into scenes from different periods, making every exploration feel like you're stepping back through time itself!

Further along your visit, you'll also find delicate artworks and precious relics born out of venerable craftsmanship unmatched anywhere else in Germany.

The invaluable artifacts housed here span eras, embodying layers upon layers rich cultural heritage preserved by those who came before us.

Largest Free-Swinging Bell in the World

High above in the South Tower of Cologne Cathedral, proudly swings Petersglocke, also known as St. Peter's Bell. Nestled right here in Germany, it garners attention from around the world being the largest functioning bell to swing freely for almost a century now. [2]

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A spectacle to behold indeed! Visiting this cathedral virtually allocates you an exclusive pass to witness this colossal marvel and its ever-echoing sonorous music that seems etched within the historical walls of the structure itself.

So make sure not to miss out on experiencing one of the grandest highlights inside this monumental German edifice.

Madonna of Milan (Cologne Cathedral)

As part of your exploration inside the Cologne Cathedral, you will encounter an exquisite wooden sculpture nested in the Sacrament Chapel. This is none other than the captivating Milan Madonna, a stirring depiction of Virgin Mary and Jesus.