Cologne Cathedral (1996)
Germany

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Deutsches Reich 1923. Cologne Cathedral.

Germany 2003. Cologne Cathedral

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

Over seven centuries, successive builders were inspired by the same faith and a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plans. Apart from its exceptional intrinsic value and the artistic masterpieces it contains, Cologne Cathedral testifies to the enduring strength of European Christianity. 

  • Germany 2003. Cologne Cathedral. 

  • Deutsches Reich 1923. Cologne Cathedral. Scan by courtesy of Gerhard Reichert (Germany). 

Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the German city of Cologne, begun in 1248 and completed in 1880. Cologne Cathedral was erected on the site of a stone chapel built in the 6th century. The present building, in Gothic style is dedicated to the Three Kings who are said to have visited the infant Jesus. It houses a shrine, constructed between 1180 and 1230 and designed by French goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun, which contains what are believed to be the remains of the Three Kings. 

The cathedral choir, the design of which shows the influence of the Gothic cathedrals of northern France, especially Amiens Cathedral and Reims Cathedral, was finished in 1322. 

  • Germany 1956. Ground plan of Cologne Cathedral, and the profile of a hand. The stamp was issued for the 77th German Catholic Day. 

Germany 1956. Ground plan of Cologne Cathedral.

The building's twin spires, 156 m (512 ft) high, were begun in 1310. The interior of the cathedral is notable for a statue of the Virgin Mary known as the Mailänder Madonna and made about 1290; 104 richly carved wooden choir stalls dating from about 1320; several 14th-century stained-glass windows; and a carpet woven about 1640 and modeled on a design by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens.

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 20 aug 2006  
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