Cologne Cathedral Celebrates 700 Years

On September 27, 1322, the Altar and the Eastern Part of the Church were Consecrated.

Newsroom (26/08/2022 10:30 AM, Gaudium Press)  The cornerstone of Cologne’s Gothic cathedral was laid on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary in 1248. 74 years later, on September 27, 1322, the Archbishop of Cologne Monsignor Heinrich II of Virneburg, consecrated the altar and the eastern part of the church, called the choir. With the consecration, the first major phase of the cathedral’s construction was completed. It would then take another 600 years before the cathedral with its two dazzling towers was completed. In fact, the cathedral was not completed until 1880. 

Initially, and for a long time, Cologne Cathedral consisted only of the choir, which today appears to be only one of several parts in relation to the whole building. With its 104 seats, the inner choir of Cologne Cathedral is one of the largest medieval choirs preserved to date.

This is the oldest part of the famous cathedral, which also houses the magnificent Reliquary of the Three Wise Men, which is a small basilica, made in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, containing the bones of the three Wise Men who came to Cologne from Milan in 1164. This relic was the reason for the construction of the cathedral, which attracts six million visitors every year.

Indeed, Cologne Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Masses, concerts, lectures, and a 3D virtual tour are all part of the program for the cathedral’s 700th anniversary festivities. With the help of tablets, visitors will be able to see the cathedral choir in its medieval appearance. On September 15 and 16, composer Helge Burggrabe’s “Three Kings Oratorio” will be premiered. The celebrations will end on September 27.

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Compiled by Florence MacDonald


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