Germany 1400AD-Present-Modern Era Europe Churches, Cathedrals, Basilicas, Monasteries UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Cologne Cathedral – Kolner Dom | The most spectacular landmark in Germany

Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Koln Cathedral also known as Koln Dome is an exquisite masterpiece of Gothic and Neo-Gothic architecture, delighting visitors from all over the globe. Just a few steps from the altar, a treasure awaits you: the enigmatic sarcophagus of the Three Kings, believed to house the sacred remains of the Magi who traveled to witness the birth of Jesus.

Tourist Information

Opening Hours May and October – 06:00 AM – 21:00 PM
November to April – 06:00 AM – 19:30 PM
Getting thereCar
Plane – Cologne/Bonn International Airport (IATA code – CGN)
Train / Bus (Dom Station / Hbf)
Official site
LocationCologne, Germany, Europe


Why is Cologne Cathedral famous?

600 years of construction

Begun in 1248, the construction of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880.

The tallest building in the world

From its completion in 1880, it held the title of the tallest building in the world until 1884.

Impressive dimensions and complex architecture

Koln Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic places of worship in the world. Its impressive towers rise to a height of about 157 meters, which made this cathedral the tallest building in the world for a period of time.

The cathedral was built over several centuries, from the 13th century to the 19th century. Its Gothic architecture is notable for details such as its magnificent stained glass windows, elaborate ogives, and elaborate carvings.

Influences on art

Cologne Cathedral has influenced many works of art and literature. For example, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a famous poem entitled “Cologne Cathedral” (Cologne) inspired by the beauty and grandeur of this building.

UNESCO heritage

Cologne Cathedral is included in the UNESCO World Heritage.

The treasures in the cathedral

The golden sarcophagus of the Shrine of the Three Kings

The Cologne Cathedral houses an oak sarcophagus clad in gold, silver, and bejeweled containing what are said to be the relics of the three wise men who came to Jesus’ birth.

The Shrine of the Three Kings, Tomb of the Three Kings, or Tomb of the Three Magi is one of the most valuable religious and historical objects in the world, kept in Cologne Cathedral. In legends and traditions, the sarcophagus is associated with the Three Magi or the Three Kings, who according to the Gospels came to see the Baby Jesus at his birth and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The sarcophagus was brought here in 1164.

Origin and Search

A legend says that in the 4th century, Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, would have discovered the relics of the Three Magi during a trip to the Middle East. These relics would have included the bones of the Three Kings and the gifts they brought to the Baby Jesus. This legend describes a long and difficult search to find the relics, thus making them a treasure of great value.

Journey of the Relics

The relics of the Three Kings are said to have been brought to Constantinople and then transferred to the Italian city of Milan in the 4th century.

Holy Powers

The Golden Sarcophagus is believed to have holy and miraculous powers, being associated with many healings and miracles. People believe that touching or venerating the sarcophagus can bring blessing and healing.

The Exact Date of Jesus’ Birth

According to legend, at the end of these journeys, the relics of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral were found inscribed with the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ. This date is supposed to be January 6, which corresponds to the Christian feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Influence of Culture and Traditions

The relics of the Three Kings and their golden sarcophagus have been a source of inspiration for many works of art, traditions, and religious ceremonies. In some areas, the Feast of the Three Kings, also known as Epiphany, is an important time in the Christian calendar.

Cologne Cathedral was hit by 14 bombings during World War II, but the building did not fall. The Sarcophagus is said to have brought protection to this Cathedral.

Gero’s Crucifix or Gero Cross

Gero’s Cross (Gero-Kreuz) is one of the oldest and most valuable Christian art objects in Germany, part of the heritage of Cologne Cathedral.

Gero’s Cross was commissioned by Archbishop Gero of Cologne (969-976) in 965 as an expression of the power and influence of the Church of Cologne at that time.

Gero’s cross is made of wood and is covered with gold leaf, silver, and precious stones.

Gero’s cross is currently on display in the Schatzkammer (Treasure Chamber) of Cologne Cathedral.

Madonna from Cologne Cathedral (Milanesi-Madonna)

This is a statue of the Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus that dates back to 1290. The sculpture is one of the finest examples of late Gothic art and is known as the “Milanesi-Madonna” because one of its original donors was a merchant from Milan. The statue shows a solemn and tender Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus on her knees. The work is appreciated for the expressiveness of the faces and the fine details of the sculpture.

Myths and Legends about Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral (Cologne), also known as St. Peter’s Cathedral, is one of the most impressive and famous Gothic cathedrals in the world. Fascinating myths and legends have been created around this cathedral, and its rich history holds many interesting facts.

The end of the world and the Cologne Cathedral

There is an old legend related to the Cologne Cathedral, which states that when the construction of the cathedral is finished, the end of the world will come. Perhaps that is why the Cathedral is in continuous renovation.

The Legend of the Pact with the Devil and the Construction

There are several legends related to the construction of the cathedral. One of them says that the devil was giving advice to the architect of the cathedral in exchange for people’s souls, but the architect, with the help of his wife, tricked the devil and the devil could no longer claim people’s souls.

The Hidden Golden Cross

One of the most famous legends is that of the golden cross hidden in the cathedral. It is said that during the Napoleonic invasions, this gold cross worth millions of euros was hidden in a secret place in the cathedral to protect it from the invaders. However, the cross was never found and remains a mystery to this day.

The Pact with the Devil Koln

The Terrifying Secret behind the Cathedral: The Devil’s Pact for Kolner Dom

CatalinaNov 6, 20213 min read

The ArchitectThe Pact with the Devil The WifeThe End of the World The Architect Legend has it that the architect Gerhard of Ryle made a pact with the devil to build the Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). The architect was asked…

About the author


I am Catalina, and my passion for travel, mysteries, legends and archaeology drives me to explore the world and uncover its hidden wonders.