Thursday, September 29, 2011
For several years this cathedral was the main reason I've wanted to go to Germany. It was everything I expected. Even though there is lots of space around it, there was no spot where I could get a really good picture. It is too huge.
Ninety-five percent of Cologne ("Koln" in German)was destroyed by a bombing during the Second World War in retaliation for the bombing of London. The cathedral was hit by 15 bombs, but the skeletal Gothic structure flexed, and it remained standing. The windows and art treasures had been taken to shelters and were saved.
When I entered the cathedral, the extremely high Gothic ceiling drew my eyes up immediately. That was the aim of this breath-taking style: to lift the mind and heart to God. As a result the altar does not grab your attention. In medieval times the Mass was lost in Latin. People did not grasp what was going on at the altar. So the building itself becomes a kind of "sacrament" of God's grandeur.
It was frustating not being able to get pictures of the inside of the church and of the grand windows.
There was a small side chapel for reserving the Blessed Sacrament where I spent some good time in prayer. I even went back to the chapel before I left the city.