Cologne sights

At 157 metres, Cologne Cathedral is the third tallest church building in the world. From 1880 to 1888 it was the tallest building in the world and it remains the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. In 1996 it was declared a World Heritage site and each year some six million visitors come to the cathedral, making it Germany’s most popular tourist attraction.

Excavations beneath the cathedral have uncovered the remains of Roman buildings from the 1st and 2nd centuries, with evidence of the first church building on the site from the 5th or 6th century. The ‘old cathedral’ was consecrated in 873 and remained standing for almost 400 years. In 1248, work began on building the new cathedral. In 1880, construction was finally completed.

Opening times
Despite taking 14 hits from Allied bombs during World War II, the cathedral remained largely intact and reopened for church services in 1956. The cathedral is now open to visitors from 6am to 7.30pm seven days a week (restricted during services). The cathedral’s treasure chamber is open from 10am to 6pm (entry in 2005 was 4 euros). For 2 euros (2005 price) you can also climb the 509 steps of one of the towers for a panoramic view of the city. The tower is open from 9am daily, closing at 4pm (Nov-Feb), 5pm (Mar-Apr) and 6pm in the summer.

Roman-Germanic Museum
Following the discovery of a Roman mosaic during the construction of an air-raid shelter in 1941, Cologne’s Römisch-Germanische Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum) was subsequently built over the mosaic and further remains of a Roman villa, with construction completed in 1947.

In addition to the mosaic, dating from 220/230AD, the museum also houses the reconstructed tomb of the legionary Poblicius (c. 40AD), the world’s largest collection of Roman glass vessels and an outstanding array of Roman and early medieval jewellery, as well as countless everyday Roman artefacts. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm (Wednesday late till 8). Adult admission (2005): 6 euros.

Cologne Cathedral

* Official website
* Cologne tourism site

Römisch-Germanische Museum

* Official website
* Cologne tourism site

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