Despite their large size, the three portals are dwarfed by the incredible expanse of the west façade. As is the case with the other façades, the two outer portals have one door and the centre portal two. This means that the cathedral has a total of 12 doors, undoubtedly a reference to the Heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21: 12). The centre portal (main portal) is 9.3 metres wide and, including its gable, more than 28 metres high. The theme of the centre portal is the age before redemption. To the left is the Magi portal, which illustrates the Appearance of the Son of God to the peoples of the world; to the right is the St Peter portal, which highlights the spreading of Christ’s teachings by his chosen apostles. All three portals celebrate the lives of the cathedral’s most important saints. The trumeau figure in the main portal is Mary, the link between the Old and New Testaments. She is flanked by Peter, the saint to whom the cathedral is dedicated, and the Magi, whose precious relics are venerated in the cathedral.
Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria, English: High Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Mary) is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Cologne Cathedral was commenced in 1248 and left unfinished in 1473. Work recommenced in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. It is 144.5 metres (474 ft) long, 86.5 m (284 ft) wide and its towers are approximately 157 m (515 ft) tall. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.
Cologne's medieval builders had planned a grand structure to house the reliquary of the Three Kings and fit its role as a place of worship for the Holy Roman Emperor. Despite having been left incomplete during the medieval period, Cologne Cathedral eventually became unified as "a masterpiece of exceptional intrinsic value" and "a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and modern Europe".
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