Cologne Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, known as the most famous attraction of the country. It’s a symbol of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
German Eau de Cologne bears the name of the oldest city of Germany; Cologne. An array of beautiful churches, up-to-date and ancient architecture, street markets, and world-famous museums make up this megacity.
But among all these attractions, one stands out. With its colossal dimensions and delicately adorned interior, the world-famous Cologne Cathedral has a breathtaking effect on visitors from all over the world.
History of Cologne Cathedral
The construction of Cologne’s Cathedral was started in the Middle Ages in 1248. Due to a lack of financing, the Cathedral’s construction was abandoned in 1530, making the unfinished Cathedral a prominent feature of Cologne’s cityscape for more than 300 years. The building process was not resumed until 1842, and the project was completed in 1880.
It was necessary for the Catholic Church to build such a large, capacious church to receive the pilgrims who came to visit the relics of the three wise men located in one of its most important locations. An ancient gold casket, which has been treasured in the Cathedral for centuries, contains their relics. It also has many well-preserved stained-glass windows, including one by Gerhard Richter that has enriched the Cathedral since 2007.
Although the Cathedral was severely damaged during the world wars, there are still a number of valuable works inside, including the Shrine of the Magi, the biggest Romanesque reliquary still intact. As well, the Cathedral’s treasure room, displaying priceless artifacts and religious artifacts, remains open to visitors.
Daily opening hours are 06:00 to 20:00. Most tours are offered between 10:00 and 20:00 (Monday through Saturday) and 8:00 to 20:00 on Sunday. During religious ceremonies, the times may vary. Access to the Cathedral can only be arranged by reservation, which may be booked at the building entrance. Bear in mind that booking an appointment in advance is not possible.
What to Do
You are welcome to join masses, devotions or stay for personal prayer. As well as open for silent prayer, the Cathedral is available for personal devotion. Tourists should keep in mind the Cathedral is closed during daytime Masses and evening events. In addition, certain parts of the Cathedral may need to be closed off at the time of important events.
Confessions are offered on working days (in German). In the ambulatory are the chapels where you can find confessionals. Public attendance is permitted at the morning masses on weekdays (Monday through Saturday). There is no need to buy a ticket for these masses.
- Wear FFP2 masks or something similar during your visit and keep enough space from other people. Visitors will be limited to 200 by the Cathedral attendants during the pandemic.
- Please don’t attend mass at the Cologne Cathedral if you are sick or unwell.
- A reservation is required for Sunday masses or the evening mass on working days (6.30 p.m. Monday through Saturday). Reservations can be made at the website of the Cathedral. Your ticket will be emailed to you after registration. Attend the mass with this ticket. Reservations for the coming week will be open every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Each reservation can include no more than two free tickets. Ticket transfers are not allowed.
- Masses on working days (MON-SAT) do not require prior registration. Only 122 people will be able to attend mass here, as well. The Cathedral will not be open to anyone else once this number is reached. To ensure that the chain of infection can be traced, They will record the information of everybody attending mass.
- Please use the markings on the ground outside the West Portal to keep a safe distance from others. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located outside the Cathedral for your convenience.
- You can’t select or change the seat allocated for you.