Cologne Cathedral - Table of Contents      ..............   Architecture Around the World

Facade - Cologne Cathedral
Cologne, Germany

1248 Construction begins

Construction on Western section (facade), Nave, and transept

Construction halted - A large crane remained in situ scarring the Cologne skyline for 400 years
1842-1880 Construction completed
  • Master (Meister) Gerhard
  • Master Arnold (active 1271-1299)
  • Ernst Friedrich Zwirner (1802-1861) - From 1833, the leading architect of the cathedral which was to be completed; argued for the accurate reproduction of Gothic detail
Rayonnant Gothic style, with some  Flamboyant Gothic architecture
Important exterior features:
  • Largest facade of any church in the world
  • Architectural statues
  • Steep gables,
  • Blind tracery
  • Unifying series of spires
  • Flying buttresses
  • Stone sculpture
  • Pinnacles
  • Lofty porticos.
In 1996,  added to the UNESCO World Heritage List

       On this page, below:

Twin towers

Center portal

Center portal door jambs - left side

Center portal  door jambs - right side

November 2019 Photos

Twin towers

Meister Arnold, West facade,1280

Two dominant towers   ...   Rayonnant Gothic style, with some  Flamboyant Gothic architecture

Lighter areas are the result of cleaning   ...   Note the extensive cleaning taking place on the south elevation   ...   Twin steeples   ....   Finials   ...    Crockets   ...  Pinnacles   ...   Belfries

Cologne Cathedral is the model for St. Louis Church in Buffalo   ...   19th century European Immigrants to the US continued their religious beliefs and built churches that imitated churches from their homeland    ...   See German-American history in Buffalo

Vertical Gothic gable roofs   ...   
Finials   ...     Crockets   ...     In lower tympanum, unusual cinquefoil tracery

Lighter area is the result of cleaning

Note bird in flight   ...   CenterQuatrefoil above paired trefoil tracery with flanking crocketed pinnacles   ...   Right:

In center tympanum, unusually shaped cinquefoil tracery

St. Mark the Evangelist and his symbolic lion

Center main portal

All sculptures of the Cathedral are made by Christian Mohr and Peter Fuchs. The three portals of the west façade are the Magi Portal, the Main Portal and St. Peter's Portal.

The theme of the center portal is the age before redemption.

Triple portals feature gable roof tympanums, archivolts, and jamb statues      ...   Center portal details below:

Tympanum center : Christ, holding a book with the letters Α and Ω and making a blessing gesture with his right hand   ...    At his sides are statues of the four great prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel

Compound arches    ...   Archivolts, (ornamental moldings surrounding the arched opening)    ...   Tympanum   ...   Jamb statues  fanning from the doors   ...   Details below:

Archivolts    ...   Note  netting to prevent pigeons from nesting

Tympanum   ...   Relief depicts scenes, from top to bottom: The Fall of Man   ...    Noah's Ark   ...   Moses receiving the laws   ...   the Nativity    ...    Jesus in the temple  ...   2 tympanum details below:

  LeftNoah's Ark     ...   Center: Moses receiving the laws    ...   Right: Worship of the Golden Calf

panel:  The Annunciation   ...    the Nativity    ...    the Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple
Lower panel: 
Jesus in the temple  ...    the Baptism of Christ   ...    Sermon on the Mount

Mary, crowned as Queen of Heaven holding a royal scepter, stands on a crescent moon and a snake symbolizing evil   ...   2 details below:

Note fleurs-de-lis on crowns   ...   Jesus holds an orb (the world) and gives a blessing

Crescent moon and a snake

Center portal door jambs - left side

Adam   ...    Noah & Ark   ...   Moses    ...   David   ...   Elijah   ...   Joachim, the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus    ...   St. John the Baptist    ..   4 details below:

Adam   ...  Noah & Ark

Moses  and the Ten Commandments

Fae left: King David and his harp   ...    Elijah   ...   Joachim,, the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus    ...   St. John the Baptist

King David   ...    Elijah 

Center portal compound arch door jambs - right side

St. Joseph    ...   St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary    ....   Eliseus / Elisha, prophet   ...    King Solomon and the First Temple, son of David    ...   Samuel   ...   Abraham   ...   Eve  (detailed below):

Eve and the serpent with a female face, detailed below:


Abraham, detailed below

Photos and their arrangement © 2019 Chuck LaChiusa
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