Cologne Cathedral

The cathedral was designed by the devil

The idea of ​​the cathedral of Cologne was so huge, that his first architect Gerhard von Riehl got a deadlock: how to implement it, how to implement such a great creation. And then came to the rescue, no, not God, but rather, the enemy of mankind. There is a widespread legend that the devil in exchange for the soul of the architect’s drawings required. But his wife was saved by her beloved husband: she got up early in the morning and the rooster crowed instead. The devil was such a simpleton that deception does not recognize under the contract, and was handed over to her drawings. Now Gerhard could be made to work, and he began working on the drawings of the devil, the soul of his wife had been ruined forever. However, Satan has not calmed down, and then he promised that as soon as the construction of the cathedral, the world will perish.

Whether to diabolical prophecy fulfilled, whether for objective reasons, but the construction was delayed for more than 600 years, and more precisely on the 632 years and 2 months. Only October 15, 1880 the grand opening of the temple. However, to this day on the steeple and walls of the cathedral can be seen scaffolding. The restoration work is constantly underway. So the end of the world we are not yet safe. But seriously, otherwise it can not be. Cologne Cathedral was included in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 still. In 2004, he was on the list “World Heritage in Danger”, and although in 2006 he was expelled from the latter, constantly in need of removal of minor injuries. The rains, pollution, and Cologne is located in the most industrialized part of Germany. – All causing inevitable damage to the cathedral.

Cologne Cathedral built for so long that he had experienced more than one war. And the enemy troops got along with spiritual and national shrine in Germany without proper respect. So, in 1794, Napoleon’s cavalry was placed in it stores hay for the cavalry. And during the Second World War, the cathedral suffered 14 airstrikes during the bombing of the city by the Allies. However, these damages were minor, it can be said that the British and Americans were spared the temple, but not the love of art: just the tallest building in the city was an excellent reference point for aviation. The effects of these bombings began to resolve in 1945, and completed the reconstruction in 1956.

On the construction of the Cologne Cathedral has been spent in total more than 1 billion. Euros in terms of today’s money. To maintain and supplement the cathedral consumes 10 million. Euros annually. Interestingly, to this day there is a society to support the construction of the cathedral, founded in Germany in 1842. It has more than 1,000 members and gathers annually most of the required amount. The fact that this money is spent as intended, shows at least the fact that in 2007 the cathedral was restored stained glass windows on the south, destroyed during World War II. They spent 11,500 pieces of colored glass of the same size.

By the end of the 19th century Cologne Cathedral remained the highest in the world (157 m), it has not yet been completed in Ulm Cathedral (161 m). However, he still is the largest Gothic cathedral on the size of Germany. Its length is 144 m, width – 86 m. Also, the Cologne Cathedral is the largest church façade in the world (western facade width – 61 m). During the post-war reconstruction was built spiral staircase. On the observation deck are 509 steps, and it is located at a height of 98 meters. View from there is truly stunning: the whole city at a glance.

The Cologne Cathedral 11 bells. Eight in the south tower, three – in the middle (on the ridge). The largest bell of the cathedral and the biggest ‘action’ bell in the world – «Peter» («Decke Pitter»). It weighs 24 tons, and it cast relatively recently – in 1923. It is followed by “Pretioza” (“Superb”). This old bell weighing 11 tons of sound with amazing clarity of tone, because of what, in fact, got its name. Cast in 1448, while “Pretioza” was the largest bell in Europe. Only twelve men have been on the force to shake this multi-ton colossus. Now bell driven by electricity. The third and fourth largest bell called ‘Spetsioza “and” Bell Three Kings. ”

Cologne Cathedral is a striking example of the style “Flamboyant Gothic”. This late Gothic, which is becoming popular in Europe in the late 15th century. It is characterized by excessive embellishment, the attraction to the elongated proportions. The very name, in fact, comes from the patterns similar to the flames. That’s where in such colossal proportions feeling of lightness and openwork temple. All of its lines fixed up to God, and like spiers pierce the sky.

Relics of the temple: the relics of the Three Wise Men, the Milan Madonna, Gero Cross

Each temple built in the name of certain saints. And Cologne Cathedral has an official name – the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary. However, he is glorified all over the Christian world because of the relics of the three Magi.

The history of this shrine is gaining. During the Italian campaign of the Second Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in one of Milan’s monasteries were seized relics of the three Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. In 1164, Archbishop Rainald Dasselsky brought them to Keln.Lyuboy temple built in the name of certain saints. And Cologne Cathedral has an official name – the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary. However, he is glorified all over the Christian world because of the relics of the three Magi.

10 years produced a precious Raku Three Kings – the sarcophagus made of silver and gold. Only the pearls and precious stones on it has gone more than a thousand. On the walls of the shrine depicts the evangelical scene. And, of course, the central of them – Adoration of the Magi to the newborn Christ and Mary. When construction began on the new cathedral, this jewel was transferred to him. And to this day it is safely located behind the altar of the cathedral of Cologne, as pilgrims from all over the world flock here to pay homage to the shrine.

Along with the relics of the Three Wise Men brought Dasselsky Archbishop of Milan wooden image of the Madonna. This sculpture was considered miraculous, but in the 13th century during a fire in the cathedral, it was burned. Around 1290 it created a new image, which has been called “Milan Madonna” and the glory of the lost image. It is this, rather than the original sculpture, can be seen today in the cathedral.

And the third is the oldest Christian relic – the crucified hero. It named after Archbishop Gero (969-976 gg.), Who presented the relic of the cathedral. This is one of the first European crucifixes, striking dimensions (2 meters) and a realistic portrayal of Christ’s sufferings. First, a crucifix hanging in the old church, and was later transferred to the new cathedral, where he remains to this day.

The Legend of Saint Ursula

In the cathedral are so many values ​​that tell about each of them impossible. One of the most interesting sculptures depicts St. Ursula. Contact her poetic legend of the Middle Ages. According to legend, Ursula was pious daughter of the British king. She soon turned to the Christian faith, and to avoid marriage to a pagan, fitted out an expedition. 11 ships, which were very pious Ursula and ten girls, accompanied by another ten thousand virgins, went to the side of Gaul. Hit the beach, the hordes of girls left the ship and went on foot to the Pope in Rome, and from there to Cologne. Under the Cologne and took all these many women martyred at the hands of the Huns. Later, Ursula was glorified as a saint, and in the 16th century was founded a monastic order of the Ursulines.

The legend of St. Christopher

As soon drew the attention of another sculpture – St Christopher carrying on his shoulders a boy in the image of Christ. This is a very popular saint in the Catholic Church, and it is associated with an interesting legend. He was a Roman named Repro. Growth was a great and simple character. And Repro accepted Christianity, but can not figure out how it is better to serve Christ. Only a holy hermit could wise giant. He brought him to the river and instructed to carry travelers on his back. He did so. And once he had a chance to carry the little boy, but the further giant step into the water, the harder it became a burden on the middle of the river has become unbearable heaviness. And then the boy confessed that he – Christ brings all the hardships of the world. Jesus was baptized in the river Giant, and he was given the name Christopher – bearing Christ.

Truly Cologne Cathedral – the pearl of architecture, Christian shrine and historical museum – three in one. More than 6 million tourists visit it every year. Indeed, it is worth a look with my own eyes on this beauty at least once in life.

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