Thursday, 9 October 2014

Cologne Day 1: Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral  (Kolner Dom) isn't just the most visited site in Cologne, but in Germany. Many make comparison between Cologne Cathedral and Notre Dame. This is because of their many similarities. They're both UNESCO Heritage sites, and impressive Gothic architecture.

Here's another one, just look at their main portal / entrance.

Notre Dame, Paris, France Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany

Can you tell me which is which just from memory? Especially for those who had seen them a while ago, it isn't easy to recall. The left one is 6 levels deep while the right one has 5. But who can remember numbers. There's one very easy clue. But I'll suspend it a little longer.

While they share some similarities, Notre-Dame are far more well-known than Cologne Cathedral for at least 2 reasons.

1.  Notre-Dame is located in the literally centre of Paris, and Paris is the most visited city in the world.
2.  Today nothing popularises a place more than Hollywood's blockbusters. Before movies, it was the older medium of written fictions. Notre-Dame was the backdrop for one of Victor Hugo's best-selling novel The Hunchbak of Notre Dame. Ok, Hollywood also made 6 films based on the same literature masterpiece.

Anyone who has stepped out of Cologne Hbf would very likely be awed by the sight of Kolner Dom. Its soaring spires and its impressive size. It's as tall as a 50+ storey tall building, but the twin spires accentuate that heights.

 It's the 2nd tallest cathedral in Germany until Ulm Minster. I've seen many European cathedrals, but still couldn't help but wowed by its sheer visual impact.

Finial, Cologne Cathedral, Germany Cologne Cathedral, Germany

Another thing that struck me was how dark the building was. This was caused by coal burning in the past that could be seen in some European medieval buildings. The above photos of the entrance on the right are therefore belonged to Cologne Cathedral because of its dark facades. They're cleaning it though.

While the 2 towers on the facade of Notre Dame makes it looking grand and stately, the 2 towering spires resembles 2 Gothic rockets poising to take off skywawrds.

The Shrine of Three Kings, Cologne Cathedral, Germany Silhouette, Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Bishop tom, Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Statues at the door, Cologne Cathedral, Germany Virgin Mary and Child, Cologne Cathedral, Germany Nave, Cologne Cathedral, Germany

Finial, Cologne Cathedral, Germany
The actual sized replica of the 9.5m tall finial can be
found at the top of the steps in front the Cathedral.

Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany
The top of these 3 soaring spires are topped with the
identical finial on the photo on the left.
The finials look pretty tiny up there, isn't it?

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