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Cologne Cathedral

Marvel at the Gothic architecture and the shrine of the three wise men at one of the largest churches in the world.

The Cologne Cathedral is the tallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the world. It was built between 1248 and 1880 in order to house the precious Shrine of the Three Holy Kings. The cathedral stands 516 feet (157 meters) tall and is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Admire the majestic spires before entering the cathedral. Once inside, walk down the main aisle and look up at one of the tallest Gothic vaults in the world. The stained-glass windows are particularly eye-catching; five of them were gifts from King Ludwig I of Bavaria. One of the windows is a 66-foot (20-meter) high modern interpretation added by the German artist Gerhard Richter in 2007.

Approach the impressive High Altar to see the sarcophagus the cathedral was built for. Decorated in gold and studded with jewels, the shrine is said to hold the crowned skulls of the Magi, otherwise known as the “three wise men,” and is the largest reliquary in the Western world.

The shrine is not the only treasure you’ll find in the Cologne Cathedral. The oldest surviving crucifix monument north of the Alps, the Gero-Kreuz, is located just by the sacristy. In the Sacrament Chapel is the Milan Madonna, an elegant wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus, dating back to the 13th century. Enter the Treasure Chamber to see a collection of precious artifacts, some dating as far back as the fourth century.

Climb the cathedral tower for views of the city from 328 feet (100 meters) high.

Some say the cathedral is an example of divine intervention, as it survived the bombings that razed the rest of central Cologne to the ground during World War II. Others attribute its survival to the fact that Allied bomber pilots used the cathedral as a point of orientation for navigating the area.

The main hall can be entered free of charge. There are small fees for entry to the Treasury Chamber and Cathedral Tower. The cathedral is located next to Cologne’s main train station. Take the U-Bahn to the station Dom/Hauptbahnhof. There is a pay parking facility nearby.


Guide to Exploring around Cologne Cathedral


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Lodging Near Cologne Cathedral

See all 289 Hotels near Cologne Cathedral
$74
Senats Hotel

Senats Hotel

Unter Goldschmied 9-17, Cologne
3.9
of 5, from 653 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Altstadt-Nord, this hotel is steps from Praetorium, Romano-Germanic Museum, and City Hall. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and Alter Markt are also within 5 minutes.

$126
Lindner Hotel Dom Residence

Lindner Hotel Dom Residence

Stolkgasse/ An den Dominikanern 4a, Cologne
4.3
of 5, from 1,302 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This Cologne hotel is within a half-kilometer (about 0.3 mi) of the Cologne Cathedral, Old Town, the National Socialist Document Center, and the Museum Ludwig. The River Rhine is 1 km away.

$51
Günnewig Kommerz Hotel by Centro

Günnewig Kommerz Hotel by Centro

Johannisstraße 30-34, Cologne
3.9
of 5, from 209 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Altstadt-Nord, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Musical Dome, Cologne Cathedral, and Romano-Germanic Museum. Great St. Martin Church and City Hall are also within 15 minutes.

$73
Hotel Cristall

Hotel Cristall

Ursulaplatz 9-11, Cologne
3.9
of 5, from 2,059 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Modern hotel situated in Cologne's city center, near the Dom Cathedral, Old Town, Central Station and Rhine.

KNM MS Switzerland II - Cologne

KNM MS Switzerland II - Cologne

Am Schokoladenmuseum 1A, Holzwerft, Cologne
3.6
of 5, from 7 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Altstadt-Sued, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Haymarket, Great St. Martin Church, and Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Alter Markt and City Hall are also within 10 minutes.

$66
Centro Hotel Central am Dom

Centro Hotel Central am Dom

An Den Dominikanern 3, Cologne
3.2
of 5, from 691 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Altstadt-Nord, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cologne Cathedral, Romano-Germanic Museum, and City Hall. Alter Markt and Wallraf-Richartz-Museum are also within 10 minutes.

$175
Hyatt Regency Cologne

Hyatt Regency Cologne

Kennedy-Ufer 2a, Cologne
4.5
of 5, from 776 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Cologne hotel is located on the riverwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Cologne Trade Fair Grounds, Great St. Martin Church, and Romano-Germanic Museum. City Hall and Alter Markt are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$121
Eden Hotel Früh am Dom

Eden Hotel Früh am Dom

Sporergasse 1, Cologne
4.2
of 5, from 265 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Altstadt-Nord, this hotel is steps from Wallraf Square, Cologne Cathedral, and City Hall. Chocolate Museum and LANXESS Arena are also within 2 mi (3 km).