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After World War II the twin spires of Cologne Cathedral were left standing tall among an otherwise flattened city. Amazingly, the cathedral was hit by aerial bombs somewhere around seventy times!
On my trip to the Cathedral I was most impressed by the architecture and artwork. Its nave boasts one of the very highest Gothic vaults in the world, which is externally supported by some pretty impressive flying buttresses. The repetitive lines of the nave remind you of a single arch between two mirrors that has the illusion of going on forever.
Inside are some interesting sculptures. Welcoming visitors upon entrance into Cologne Cathedral is the medieval statue of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. Also inside is the bright Gero Crucifix, a sort of modern design.
The Cologne Cathedral also houses a supposedly 2,000 year old treasure; the remains of the Three Wise Men! Called The Shrine of the Three Kings, the large gilded sarcophagus was opened in 1864 when it was discovered to contain 2000 year old bones and clothes. I'm not sure how scientific that dating was, but its a marvelous treasure none the less.
It's easy to find if you are driving around Cologne in a car hire because the spires of the Cathedral are the tallest structure in its area. The Cologne authorities mandated that no other tall buildings or skyscrapers be built near the Cathedral to protect its importance as a World Heritage Site. I collected my car hire from Cologne Airport and it was a simple 15-minute drive to the Cathedral.