Mystical story of the Cologne Cathedral

Mystical story of the Cologne Cathedral

One of the greatest and most beautiful Christian churches is the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, oddly enough, closely associated with the name. The devil. The legends that surround this magnificent building for many hundreds of years, persistently attributed to the evil one. And the fact that the Cologne Cathedral was started almost 800 years ago, and it still is not completed, also confirms the rumor that the case is fishy.

“Yes the world will end with the last stone on the Cathedral”

The start was good, and absolutely in the spirit of the Gothic time. In 1248 the Archbishop of Cologne Konrad von Hochstaden laid the first Foundation stone of the Cologne Cathedral.

The inhabitants of Cologne, at that time considered one of the richest and most powerful German cities, dreamed of his own Cathedral, which has eclipsed other European churches with their beauty and size. But to assume then that the construction will last for hundreds of years, almost indefinitely.

Cologne Cathedral, as shown by the excavations, was built not on an empty place. In the 50 years B. C. here stood. Roman pagan temple, which then in IV century BC was replaced by the Episcopal Church. Enlarged it to the IX century, after three hundred years, the first stone has already formed the basis of a Gothic Cathedral on the French model. As this the sample was mainly the Amiens Cathedral in France.

The chief architect was appointed Gerhard, who, according to ancient tradition, became the main victim of the wiles of the devil. These sinister versions of the legend differ. One of them says that when the tower of the new Cathedral has risen up and has acquired clear contours, Gerhard was Satan and threatened to hurt to complete the construction of the temple, if the architect does not agree to the bet. The bet was that Satan tried to build the canal and bring water under the Foundation of the Cathedral. And the proof was to serve the duck, that will come through this channel to the temple. Confident that the secret of holding the channel knew he was the only one, Gerhard agreed to the bet and gave a pledge his soul. And in vain, because to argue with the evil one’s own soul is very stupid.

The devil took advantage of the talkative wife of the architect, which he rashly told about the plans to build a canal. The result is that the devil built the canal and let the water flow. When Gerard saw the duck coming, rushed down from the scaffolding, and Satan, turning the dog rushed after him.

According to another legend, the wife of Gerhard, on the contrary, rescues her husband. According to this version, the architect could not come up with a drawing of the future temple, and during the period of his creative agony to him were the devil and offered to exchange soul for this drawing. The architect agreed. Unequal exchange had to take place after the first cock. But the wife of Gerhard, overhearing the conversation, decided to save the soul of her husband and to get a drawing. She got up at dawn and crowed instead of a rooster. The devil gave the drawing, but it later emerged that he had been deceived. Then he cursed and the Cathedral, and the city: “Yes the world will end with the last stone of this Cathedral.” As for the city, the Cologne will stand and thrive, while to build a Cathedral, and when his last stone will fall on its rightful place, the world will suffer an Apocalypse.

Is there any truth behind the legends — not given to know, but some facts are alarming. So, the architect Gerhard really died on the construction of the Cathedral under very mysterious circumstances. And not far from Cologne is an ancient underground channel of water.


In September 1322, were consecrated the Cathedral gallery. At the moment of consecration, the decoration was considered the most beautiful and richest in Christendom. The temple was unfinished, several of the alleged towers only 59-foot South pierced the heavens. But it was not completed completely.

The construction of the Cathedral lasted until 1450, and then slowly all work stopped. Was it the fault of the curse of the evil one, or prevent the epidemic that swept through Europe, maybe, simply did not have enough money?

Some of the researchers referred to as the main causes of the cessation of construction of the Cathedral to change attitudes of contemporary society. Renaissance with new values and ideals has changed the dark Gothic Ages, and people of the new time and the new Europe is simply not required such a Grand Gothic Church.

The admiration and awe of all who saw it, the Cologne Cathedral in an unfinished form stood up to the XIX century, when the wave of new craze of Gothic, it was decided to bring it “to mind”.

In 1842, after the preparatory work, king of Prussia, Frederick William IV ordered to complete the construction of the Cologne Cathedral according to its original plan. This time things moved much faster, and October 15, 1880, was held the celebration of the completion of the construction of this Grand Medieval “protracted”. However lush the celebrations have not meant that the Cathedral was finally completed. Had to glaze, laying floors, to decorate.

In 1906 one of the 24 decorative towers suddenly collapsed, then broke some other towers. In some places there were found damages of masonry. In General, the Cathedral obviously did not want to be completed.

During the Second world war, Cologne was almost completely destroyed. The Cathedral went too, but he was, perhaps, almost the only building in the city, which survived after the terrible bombing. Later it became clear why there was such a “miracle”: it turns out, there was an unspoken collusion of the pilots who used the tall spires of the Cathedral as reference points.

Restoration works were started already in 1945, but the temporary restoration of the Desk is still standing on the ground near the building.


Cologne Cathedral is not just God’s house, but the Treasury, where amazing relics that attract pilgrims from all over the world. Among the most valuable artistic treasures of the Cathedral is the miraculous crucifix of Gero, is made of oak before 976. It is considered the oldest surviving in Western Europe. Christ on the crucifix does not depict suffering and triumphant, but just accepted the death of the Savior, who had redeemed by his death the sins of mankind. There is a legend of this relic: the wooden crucifix, there was a crack, which is again closed, when Archbishop Gero made her proverku. Since then, the Gero crucifix considered miraculous.

Among the most valuable artistic treasures of the Cathedral is the miraculous crucifix of Gero, is made of oak before 976

Another priceless treasure can be called the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings, one of the most precious relics of Christianity. The three Holy kings (Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar) — these are the three wise men brought to Bethlehem broke out on the birth of baby Jesus star. In 1164, Cologne’s Archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought these Holy relics to Cologne, and one version of the creation of the Cologne Cathedral says that the acquisition of the city’s relics, and prompted the construction of the Cathedral, which would correspond to the highest rank of one of the most important shrines of Christianity, where it would be stored. The famous master Nicholas of Verdun in 1184-1220, created a beautiful gold reliquary for Holy relics.

Among the other treasures of the Cologne Cathedral include the magnificent stained-glass Windows, some of which — “the box of kings”, “Bible window” and “window of the three Holy Magi” — preserved from the year 1280. No less ancient are considered and other Windows of the Cathedral — the Royal stained glass in the top tier of choirs Dating back to the year 1310.

The Cathedral keeps the cancer also of St. Engelbert, the famous reliquary of the cross. The Cathedral is the main work of the great masters of the Cologne school of Stefan Lochner — Altar of the adoration of the Magi (1442).

The biggest bell of the Cologne Cathedral and at the same time the largest existing bell in the world is “Peter”, whose weight is impressive — 24 tons! “Preconnect” years this bell, however, can not boast, it was cast in 1923 from cannons captured from the French in 1871. But another the old bell of the Cologne Cathedral, “Precioso”, cast in 1448, weigh 11 tons and was once considered the largest in Europe. And this bell was due to the striking clarity of sound.

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