Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

The History Of Cologne Cathedral History Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: History
Wordcount: 1794 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

Following the increasing of Christian in Europe, the place to worshiping and praying also need to be increase and serve the purpose. Cathedral or church is an important place for the citizens in every town ,it is a spiritual sustenance of human being.Among the amount of catholic church in Europe country,Cologne cathedral is a representative building of cologne town but also Germany .Cologne cathedral is a catholic church that located in cologne town ,Germany.The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northen Europe and it has the second tallest spires and also the largest façade of any church in northen Europe if comparing with other Gothic cathedral like saitns Peter and Mary ,Milan cathedral or Notre dame Paris.They decided to build a cathedral in French high gothic style to accommodate the people who came to pilgrims and visiting the Three wise man.Cologne cathedral is modeled based on the Amiens cathedral which has a five-aisle plan and single choir ambulatory adioins seven radiating chapels.It is 144.5 metres long and 86.5 wide and the each tower are 157metres tall above the city center.Cologne cathedral is a renowned monument of Catholicism German and list as a high gothic architecture in World Heritage site.Beside that,it is also a seat of archibship of cologne and also the administration of archdiocese of Cologne.Cologne cathedral had been recorded as one of the most visited landmark in German.It attracting an average of 20000 people per day to pilgrim.The foundation of building was laid and began in 1248 but it was stopped during 1473 ,leaving it unfinished due to lack of money and also lack of interest by people.The work was restarted to the original plan during 19th century and finally it was completed in 1880.In fact ,before the present of Cologne cathedral in this site, it had been occupied by few previous structure but after that it was destroyed and build cathedral.The earliest structure is this site were grain stone which succeed by a Roman temple that built by Mercurius Augustus .Following by the Christian buildings that commissioned by the first christian bishop of Cologne town, Maternus .It was build and completed in 818.It included a square edifice which well known as the oldest cathedral at this site.Unfortunately ,it destroyed by a fire on 1248 which is during the preparation of constructing the new cathedral.During 6th century, a free standing of baptistery was build at the east of the cathedral and it still remain until now but only leaved the octagonal baptismal font and ruins of



baptistery.During 14th century,the paintings on the glass windows depicted the history of the Three Wise Men whose shrine that located in the crossing part.The foundation stone of Cologne cathedral laid on this site on 15th August 1248 by an archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden.Master Gerhard had completed the eastern arm of this building in 1322 .After that ,the works continued by Master Micheal during 14th .Under his leading,west front is completed but unfortunately this work halted leaving the south tower build in half way and its uncomplete.The construction of Cologne cathedral can be said always halted when it is build in half way.The construction of cathedral later started again during 16th century to proceed the works that stopped half way.The addition of the tower and other substantial parts of cathedral resumed in 1824 and it is based on drawing and surviving mediaval plans.The bells were installed during 1870s (Figure 1)Cologne(19)_small.jpg

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Figure 1: The bells

The cathedral was completed during 19th century and was celebrated as a national event after 632 years with the attendance of Emperor Willhelm I, the completion of cathedral which is during 1880. The cathedral serve it function as well and fulfill the hope of Cologne citizens.It attracting pilgrims to visiting and to worship.Unfortunately after the completion of cathedral, the body of cathedral suffered seventy hits during World War II by the aerial bombs(Figure 2 ,Figure 3).But due to the material and the construction of building is strong and tough,so it does not collapse ,few part of cathedral been destroyed.So during the time,emergency repair being conducted by using low quality brickstones which is taken from nearby war ruin .This emergency repair carried out to repair the most serious part of cathedral which is the northwest tower’s base during 1944.This repairing works carried out and continued until 1956 just completed.The repairing part still can be used and be able to bear until late 1990s.



Figure 2:Cologne town destroyed by bombing


Figure 3: The collapse of building that cause by the bombing during WWII.

The cathedral was planned and reconstruct after World War II according to the original appearance and plan.Due to the great artwork done by ancient architect and artist whose had join the construction and design work of Cologne cathedral and also the culturally important sites,it was added to the UNCESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST during 1996 .




3.1 Construction of the cathedral

Christian church were mostly modeled based on rectangular,Roman basilica (Figure 4)which is called as basilica-plan church and the circular ,domed buildings that called as central-plan(Figure 5) chruch.For example, Notre Dame in Paris.It is based on the Roman basilica plan .Another example like The Pantheon in Rome,Italy were based on the central plan.Bernardo Rosellino.jpg

Central Plan Church(1).jpg

Figure 4 Basilica plan church Figure 5 Central plan chruch

Cologne cathedral modelled on Amiens cathedral which is look like a cross section from the plan view(Figure 6).


Figure 6 Plan view of Cologne cathedral



One enters the forecourt,atrium,narthex which runs along the building until the end ,apse.It is like a cross section,there have nave and transcept too.Cross wing which called transcept ,beside that the nave and the apse provided additional space to allow the worshipers gather together and it also can be the activities space for pilgrims and worshipers.Cologne cathedral is a high gothic architecture ,cathedral were design in Gothic style.This style start off in France as a local style and then it spread outward to the whole Europe during 12th century.The representative elements like spires ,flying buttress, stained-glasss ,rose windows,pointed arches and the rib vaults .Beside that,gothic sculpture mostly potrayed simple naturalism or idealism.The gothic sculpture are free-standing sculpture which means it is stand away from the building’s wall.It does not attach on the wall .Some of the sculpture depicted the history of Christian and the sculpture by these ancient people are impressive and real-life.The sculpture between the period of Gothic are different.During high gothic,the sculpture not only included the huge portals but also the upper levels of buildings as well.The human figure comes forward with it and it is more three dimensional.Stained glass(Figure 7& figure 8) have been applied into the construction of Cologne cathedral.It used to illustrates and depict the historical hero or Jesus if the stained glass is used on a cathedral.The broken pieces of the coloured glass were used to joined together to create another artworks.The glass fragments joined by strips of lead and then the completion of windows were strengthened by the iron bands.

koeln_7636.jpg Cologne Cathedral16.jpg

Figure 7 Stained glass illustrates St.Mary Figure 8 stained glass on the facade



Flying buttress(Figure 9) is also an important elements of Cologne cathedral.It serve the supporting function as well.Cologne(16).jpg

Figure 9 Flying buttress

The arches is one of the fundamental architectural elements and is the basis for both vaults and domes.Arches can be divided into several types like pointed arches,key hole arches,horse shoes arches and so on.Besides that,vault is an extended arch and it creates to support the building ,to make the building keep the stability .vaults can be diffrenciate into tunnel arches,barrel vaults,cross vault .Rib vaults (Figure 10)were use and applied into cologne cathedral ,it is also an another decorative elements.


Figure 10 vaults in Cologne cathedral



3.4 Comparison between English,Italian and German gothic architecture

The origin of gothic art was started by French as a local style but after that is separated widely to the other country in Europe .Country like England,Italy ,German,France have been affected by this style and adopted into their own architecture.Besides,original gothic art when they reached and start to applied into local architecture,they might be mixed with the local culture and had a differences with original French gothic .Like Cologne cathedral,Germany was modelled Amiens cathedral as the basic but it is still applied the elements that can be found in French gothic architecture.The characteristics of English gothic architecture is the screen façade ,it does not correspond to the interior of cathedral.Besides that,the use of flying buttress .It were used sparingly.The vaults that used in English gothic architecture is rib vaults.Pointed arches are applied onto the building too and the rib vaults is just exactly same with French gothic architecture.It stop at the triforim and does not continued along the wall in piers.Although there are similarities between French and English gothic architecture,but the differences between the culture can be found out obviously .Comparing with German gothic architecture,German still remaining the conservative of Romanesque.That means the architecture of German in gothic still used and do not have any big changing .They remain the same elements and applied to the German cathedral,Gerrman building.Among many structures in Germany,cologne cathedral is the one most representative gothic architecture.Gothic feature were the rib vaults that buttressed by the walls and the spires also being used.The flying buttress adooted into building and used for supporting the building wall.For the Italian Gothic,it resisted many French gothic architecture elements.For example Florence cathedral,the pointed arches were used with the flat nave ceilings.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: