Cologne Cathedral – The Shrine of the Three Kings – Opening hours, Mass times

Cologne Cathedral, Köln, Nemčija

Website of the Sanctuary

+49 2 211 794 0200

Ever day 06:00 – 19:30 (21.00 - Summer)

Cologne Cathedral – The Shrine of Three Kings

Cologne Cathedral – The Shrine of the Magi is the largest, most artistically significant, and, in terms of its content, most ambitious reliquary of the Middle Ages. The relics were brought to Cologne from Milan duomo in 1164. From about 1190 to 1220 a number of artisans worked on the shrine in the workshop of the goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun and in workshops in Cologne and along the river Meuse that continued his work.

Ornamentation on the shrine includes gold- and silver-embossed, fire-gilded figures, filigree panels set with precious and semi-precious stones, intaglios, and cameos, and columns, arches and profiles trimmed with enamels.

Cologne Cathedral - The Shrine of the Three Kings - Opening hours, Mass times

Measures of the Cathedral

Description Measures
Overall length outside 144,58 m
Overall width outside 86,25 m
Width of the western façade 61,54 m
Width of the transept façade 39,95 m
Width of the nave inside 45,19 m
Height of the southern tower 157,31 m
Height of the northern tower 157,38 m
Height of the ridge turret 109,00 m
Height of the transept façades 69,95 m
Height of the ridge of the roof 61,10 m
Inner height of the nave 43,35 m
Inner height of the aisles 19,80 m
Build over area ca. 7.914 qm
Window surface ca. 10.000 qm
Roof surface ca. 12.000 qm
Interior area without buttresses 407.000 cbm
Places (entire) 4000
Places (stand) 2800
Places (seats) 1200
Steps of the Tower 533

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Cologne Cathedral - The Shrine of the Three Kings - Opening hours, Mass times

The images depicted on the shrine include scenes from the history of salvation from the dawning of time to the Last Judgment. Although the shrine was shortened by one axis after being hidden from French revolutionary troops in 1794, it was largely restored to its original shape during the most recent period of restoration, which lasted from 1961 to 1973.

The intention in the Middle Ages was that the shrine would be placed in the crossing. Today, however, it rises above the medieval high altar at the back of the inner choir, making this area the main focus of the Gothic cathedral, which was built as a stone reliquary for this precious shrine.

Cologne Cathedral - The Shrine of the Three Kings - Opening hours, Mass times

The Milan Madonna

Legend has it that when Rainald of Dassel brought the relics of the Magi from Milan, he also brought with him a statue of the Madonna. This high Gothic carving of the Milan Madonna from Duomo Milan was made in the cathedral workshop sometime around 1280/90 as a replacement for the original, which was obviously lost in the fire that destroyed the old cathedral.

This is the oldest representation of the Madonna in the cathedral that is said to have miraculous powers. Originally, the painted carving stood beneath a baldachin crowned with a gable on the altar of the Lady Chapel.

Like the figures on the choir piers, which it resembles in terms of its posture and garments, the Milan Madonna was influenced by French art. The figure was restored sometime around 1900; the colouring, sceptre and crown date from this period.

Cologne Cathedral - The Shrine of the Three Kings - Opening hours, Mass times

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1998

Even though Cologne Cathedral was hit by 14 large aerial bombs it survived also the Second World War. Many years of reconstruction followed. Modern construction styles were used – above all- in the northern transept..

The most conspicuous mark of the post war era which can be seen in the picture is the modern crossing tower. It was formed by Cologne Cathedral Architect Willy Weyres and the sculptor Erlefried Hoppe.

Even today some of the wounds slayn during the war exist. They must be repaired together with the damages caused by weather and pollution. Therefore Cologne Cathedral is an“eternal costruction site” and will hopefully stay thus for a long time to come, because these enduring works on the cathedral show us how important the cathedral still is for us today.

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Measures of the Cathedral

Description Measures
Overall length outside 144,58 m
Overall width outside 86,25 m
Width of the western façade 61,54 m
Width of the transept façade 39,95 m
Width of the nave inside 45,19 m
Height of the southern tower 157,31 m
Height of the northern tower 157,38 m
Height of the ridge turret 109,00 m
Height of the transept façades 69,95 m
Height of the ridge of the roof 61,10 m
Inner height of the nave 43,35 m
Inner height of the aisles 19,80 m
Build over area ca. 7.914 qm
Window surface ca. 10.000 qm
Roof surface ca. 12.000 qm
Interior area without buttresses 407.000 cbm
Places (entire) 4000
Places (stand) 2800
Places (seats) 1200
Steps of the Tower 533

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1170

The place in which the cathedral is situated today has been since late roman times the place where the first christians assembled in Cologne. Several churches- each one in turn larger than its predecessors- have been built on this site near the city walls. The first of these churches of which we know what it looked like was the Carolingian cathedral finished around 800. It had on each end of the nave a transept as well as a choir.The altar to the east was consecrated to Maria and the western altar was consecrated to St. Peter. Under the archbishop Bruno a northern and a southern side aisle were added to the nave. This cathedral stood until the 13th century and underwent only small changes during this time. The picture shows the cathedral as well as the St.Maria ad gradus church situated towards the east of the Cologne Cathedral.

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1248

Ever after archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought the relics of the Magi to Cologne in 1164 the cathedral was not only the official church of the Cologne archbishop, but also became one of the most important pilgrimage churches throughout Europe. Therefore it desperately needed another architectonic form. The old cathedral had to be pulled down step by step before the building of the Gothic cathedral could be begun in 1248. When the workers tried to demolish the eastern choir by fire the whole building burned down. The western parts were restored for the time being in order to be able to hold services there.

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1322

In 1322 the Gothic choir was consecrated. Its vautlts span high above and a filigree wood of buttresses and flying buttresses surrounded the building in order to back up its walls. Once again this part of the building was closed up by a wall towards the west so that services could be held in the whole of the choir building. This also enabled the cathedral chapter to hold its meetings in the inner choir. The eastern choir was richly decorated even before they started to build the remaining parts of the cathedral. Important works of art which had already been in the old cathedral as e.g. the Gero cross and the shrine of the Magi were placed in the new building. Saints like e.g. Irmgardis and important archbishops like e.g. Philipp von Heinsberg were once again buried in the choir chapels.
The Cathedral in the Year 1794

After the Gothic choir was finished the two aisles of the nave were built as well as two storeys of the southern tower.Until approximately 1530 works on the cathedral continued and the building was adorned with furnishings. Then lack of money and a general lack of interest stopped the building. The nave was closed with a makeshift roof. The building remained apparentely a fragment as shown in the picture, but seen from inside it was a large church which was obviously regarded as sufficient. Therefore its rich decoration inside was continued throughout the following centuries. In 1794 the troups of the french revolution marched into Cologne. The archbishop and the cathedral chapter fled. From then on the cathedral served during many years profane purposes, e. g. as a warehouse. Only in 1801 it was consecrated again as a church.

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1864

The love and the enthusiasm of the Cologne people for this extraordinary building grew especially during those years in which the cathedral was profaned. Many forces united so that they could carry on the building of the cathedral in 1842. About half of the necessary money came from the Prussian treasury the other half was raised by the Zentral Dombau Verein (Central Association for Building the Cathedral), in which many committed Cologne citizens were engaged. A very intensive and effective phase of building began. The builders strictly followed the medieval plans in regard to form, but they used modern building techniques.
The picture shows that in 1864 the two transept facades as well as the triforium of nave and transept were already finished. The wooden roof truss above the medieval choir was replaced by an iron construction which covered the whole building. It was one of the most progressive examples of its time. In 1880, finally, both of the towers were finished.

The Cologne Cathedral in the Year 1998

Even though Cologne Cathedral was hit by 14 large aerial bombs it survived also the Second World War. Many years of reconstruction followed. Modern construction styles were used – above all- in the northern transept.. The most conspicuous mark of the post war era which can be seen in the picture is the modern crossing tower. It was formed by Cologne Cathedral Architect Willy Weyres and the sculptor Erlefried Hoppe.
Even today some of the wounds slayn during the war exist. They must be repaired together with the damages caused by weather and pollution. Therefore Cologne Cathedral is an
“eternal costruction site” and will hopefully stay thus for a long time to come, because these enduring works on the cathedral show us how important the cathedral still is for us today.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schock-Werner, Cologne Cathedral Architect

 

The Gero Crucifix

This monumental wooden crucifix was donated by Archbishop Gero (d.976). It originally stood at the centre of the old cathedral at the archbishop’s grave. In the new cathedral, it was hung over the altar in the Chapel of St Stephen sometime around 1270 before being moved to its current position on the eastern wall of the Chapel of the Cross around 1350. The Gero Crucifix and the Milan Madonna in the Lady Chapel were the two major Gnadenbilder (representations said to have miraculous powers) in the Gothic cathedral.

The Milan Madonna

Legend has it that when Rainald of Dassel brought the relics of the Magi from Milan, he also brought with him a statue of the Madonna. This high Gothic carving of the Milan Madonna was made in the cathedral workshop sometime around 1280/90 as a replacement for the original, which was obviously lost in the fire that destroyed the old cathedral. This is the oldest representation of the Madonna in the cathedral that is said to have miraculous powers. Originally, the painted carving stood beneath a baldachin crowned with a gable on the altar of the Lady Chapel. Like the figures on the choir piers, which it resembles in terms of its posture and garments, the Milan Madonna was influenced by French art. The figure was restored sometime around 1900; the colouring, sceptre and crown date from this period.

We bring you our recommendations for Hotels in Cologne Germany for every pocket and the distance from the Cologne Cathedral.

Tips and Recommendations for Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • Find flights to Cologne from 1000s of airlines and travel agents – HERE

Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt Köln

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.6 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • This 5-star hotel is in central Cologne, 183 m from the Heumarkt Square.
  • It has spacious rooms, a restaurant and access to a health club with large indoor swimming pool.
  • Provides spacious rooms with soundproof windows and modern décor. All rooms include free tea/coffee facilities and a stylish marble bathroom.
  • Some rooms offer a view of Cologne Cathedral.
  • Guests 18 years old have access to Holmes Place Health Club. They receive a discount to the facilities, which include a spacious fitness center, beauty farm, saunas and hot bathtubs.
  • This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Cologne! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
  • 5 stars
  • Very Good 8.4 /10 Score from 2,105 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Hyatt Regency Köln

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.9 km from Cologne Cathedra
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • Offering great views of the Cologne Cathedral, gourmet cuisine, and a free spa area with large indoor pool, this stylish, business hotel is located in central Cologne directly beside the River Rhine.
  • Featuring a striking façade, the Hyatt Regency Köln has spacious, classical-style rooms and suites with a flat-screen TV, tea/coffee facilities, and free WiFi. All include an elegant marble bathroom.
  • International specialities are served in the Hyatt’s Glashaus restaurant, located in the glass atrium. Its windows provide wonderful views of the Old Town and River Rhine. Fine cocktails and whiskeys are available in the Legends bar with summer terrace.
  • Deutz is a great choice for travelers interested in restaurants, city trips and city walks.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • 5 stars
  • Excellent 8.7 /10 Score from 2,697 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Hotel Santo

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.9 km from Cologne Cathedra
  • “location was great” 161 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food” 124 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff” 112 related reviews
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • This 4-star hotel is within a 10-minute walk from Cologne Cathedral, Cologne Main Station and the Rhine River. Hotel Santo offers designer rooms with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and Nespresso coffee maker.
  • The modern and spacious rooms at Hotel Santo feature contemporary design. Each room includes cable TV, a minibar and a bathroom with hairdryer.
  • A full buffet is served each morning in the elegant breakfast room with its leather seats and stylish black-and-white photos. Guests are also welcome to relax in the Santo’s bar with its white décor.
  • On-site parking is available at Hotel Santo.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • 4 stars
  • Excellent 8.6 /10 Score from 2,865 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Wyndham Köln

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.4 km from Cologne Cathedra
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • Soundproof rooms with flat-screen TV, as well as a 24-hour front desk, are provided by this 4-star hotel.
  • It is right next to Cologne Central Train Station.
  • Provides air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, free tea/coffee facilities, a desk and safe. Every day, guests receive 2 small bottles of mineral water for free.
  • Köln Hauptbahnhof U-Bahn (subway) and S-Bahn Train Station is right outside the Wyndham Köln. The Kölnmesse Exhibition Centre and Lanxess Arena are 1 S-Bahn stop away.
  • This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Cologne! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
  • 4 stars
  • Good 7.7 /10 Score from 1,864 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com.

Eden Hotel Früh am Dom

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.1 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • “location was great” 214 related reviews
  • “very clean” 70 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff” 61 related reviews
  • This hotel is located in the heart of Cologne, right across from the famous Cologne Cathedral and shopping district. It offers Wi-Fi connection, an outdoor terrace and international cuisine.
  • All modern rooms at the Eden Hotel Früh am Dom feature a TV, minibar and private bathroom with shower. Some rooms also offer a view of the cathedral itself.
  • The Eden Hotel is a 5-minute drive from the Cologne convention center and Central Train Station. Parking is available at a nearby location.
  • This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Cologne! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • 3 stars
  • Very Good 8.5 /10 Score from 2,393 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Hotel zur Malzmühle

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.7 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • One of top picks in Cologne.
  • This hotel is located at the Heumarkt square, in the heart of Cologne’s Old Town district. Hotel zur Malzmühle offers free WiFi, views of Cologne Cathedral and a restaurant with brewery.
  • All rooms at Hotel zur Malzmühle feature a flat-screen TV, desk, safe and a private bathroom with shower and hairdryer.
  • At Hotel zur Malzmühle you will find a 24-hour reception and luggage storage facilities
  • Guests may want to explore the Ludwig Museum or visit the Cologne Philharmonic Concert Hall, both can be reached in 5 mintues on foot.
  • Altstadt-Sued is a great choice for travelers interested in christmas markets, shopping and food.
  • This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Cologne! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
  • 3 stars
  • Excellent 8.7 /10 Score from 1,442 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Hotel Engelbertz

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.3 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • This family-run hotel is located in the heart of Cologne, just a short walk from its landmark cathedral.
  • “location was great” 93 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff” 64 related reviews
  • “very clean” 37 related reviews
  • The main train station, the historic quarter, the opera house, the theater, the philharmonic orchestra hall, the museums and the Rhine all lie in close proximity to the hotel.
  • Altstadt-Nord is a great choice for travelers interested in museums, cathedrals and shopping.
  • This property also has one of the top-rated locations in Cologne! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • 2 stars
  • Very Good 8.2 /10 Score from 922 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Hotel im Kupferkessel

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.9 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • One of bestsellers in Cologne!
  • “location was great” 57 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff” 53 related reviews
  • “very clean” 52 related reviews
  • Just 101 m from the Sankt Gereon Basilica, this small, family-run hotel in central Cologne offers free Wi-Fi internet, brightly decorated rooms, and a varied breakfast each day.
  • The Hotel provides modern rooms with cable TV, a work desk, and a private or shared bathroom.
    Attractions near the Kupferkessel include the world-famous Cologne Cathedral, only a 10-minute walk away.
  • The Christophstraße/Mediapark Underground (subway) Station is a 3-minute walk from the Kupferkessel.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • 2 stars
  • Excellent 8.7 /10 Score from 771 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

Aparthotel Adagio Köln City

Hotels in Cologne Germany

  • 0.9 km from Cologne Cathedral
  • Situated in the heart of Cologne’s Old Town, these modern apartments are only a 10-minute walk from Cologne Cathedral. Each one comes equipped with a kitchen and free wired internet.
  • The colourful apartments offer contemporary interiors with wooden floors and stylish furnishings. Comforts include a TV, work desk and private bathroom with hairdryer.
  • Home-cooked meals can be prepared in the fully-equipped kitchen, or guests can go to one of the many restaurants and cafés within 5 minutes’ walk of Adagio Köln City. A buffet-style breakfast is served daily in the breakfast room.
  • Cologne’s historic town hall is 700 m away, while it is 650 m to the Schildergasse shopping street. Guests can also enjoy a stroll along the Rhine River, approximately 500 m from Adagio Köln City
  • Altstadt-Sued is a great choice for travelers interested in christmas markets, shopping and food.
  • This property is also rated for the best value in Cologne! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
  • Very Good 8.4 /10 Score from 1,000 reviews
  • Or go directly to Booking.com

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