Cathedral : Michelin's recommendations
In 1164, Frédéric Barberousse offered the city of Cologne some Relics of the Wise Kings from Milan. Since then, pilgrims have come here. In 1248, a new cathedral was begun, inspired by those in Paris, Reims and Amiens. Its construction lasted more than 600 years (1248-1880). The solemn inauguration finally took place in 1880 in the presence of Emperer William I. The façade's two towers show the pinnacle of the flamboyant Gothic style. If you enter by the western portal, you will be struck by the unique perspective along the nave (144 metres long, 45 metres wide and 43.5 metres high). You must see the following masterpieces: the Cross of Gero*, a fine example of Ottonian art (Chapel of the Cross), the shrine to the Wise Kings*** (1181-1220) in the shape of a basilica, the statue of the Madonna of Milan (1270-1280), the five 5 windows* in late Gothic style (left side), the famous retable of the patrons of the ciy*** (1440) by Stephan Lochner (Chapel of Mary), the retable of the Five Moors (1521), and the choir stalls* (the largest medieval stalls in Germany). Don't miss the treasury* (liturgical objects and precious ancient cloth). If you walk up the very steep 509 steps in the south tower , you can get a very wide panoramic view of the city and its surrounding area. Do not miss the Bell Room here and the Bell of St Peter, one of the largest bells in the world.
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