Domforum—Located opposite the Cologne Cathedral, the Domforum organizes guided tours of the interior of the Cathedral and gives information of all the city’s churches to visitors and groups. (www.domforum.de)
The building, with an area of 350 sq. m., is a listed monument, originally built between 1951 and 1954 for the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft by Fritz Schaller and converted into an information and meeting centre of the Catholic Church by Christian Schaller in 1995/1996.
科隆大教堂富麗堂皇的內部裝飾 The design of Cologne Cathedral was based quite closely on that of Amiens Cathedral in terms of ground plan, style and the width to height proportion of the central nave.
As with most Gothic cathedrals, the shape of Cologne Cathedral is that of a Latin cross. It has two aisles on each side and one of the highest Gothic vaults in the world (inner height of the nave is 43.35 m., width of the nave is 45.19 m.).
The Central Aisle of the Nave—All of the central aisles in the nave, transept and chevet are almost identical in their measurements and arrangement. The clear width measures 12.50 m.; the height, 43.35 m.; the distance between the pillars (width of the bay), c. 7.50 m.
The walls are divided into three stories; the ground floor (the arcade, i.e., the pillars with the pointed arches), the second story (the Triforium), and the upper story (the clerestory, consists almost entirely of large windows).
Nave Organ: On 29 June 1998, the “Swallows’ Nest Organ" was constructed on the north side of the nave to celebrate the cathedral’s 750 years.
The Crossing—The altar in the crossing, the floor candelabras, the communion railing and the lectern were made in cast bronze by Elmar Hillebrand between 1960 and 1971.
Cathedra: The seat of enthronement for the archbishop was designed by Cathedral Architect Weyres in 1952 and carved from cherry wood by Cathedral Carpenter Anton Rucker.
Pulpit: The renaissance oak pulpit is considered to be the oldest pulpit in Cologne and was erected in the cathedral in 1544. The body of the pulpit, which stands on columns, protrudes in the direction of the congregation and has three intricately carved panels at the front. The soundboard canopy (abat-voix), the interior of which is decorated with a grid-like pattern, is supported on baluster-like columns rising up from the body of the pulpit.
Mosaic Pavement—Using August von Essenwein’s design, Fritz Geiges created the mosaic in the inner choir and the crossing (all areas of the chevet) from 1892 to 1899, which was also executed by Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach. The floor mosaic covers three main themes, each of which is portrayed in a different part of the choir: the history of the archdiocese takes up the entire ambulatory and features the names and coats of arms of a number of Cologne’s bishops and archbishops; the Christian world order and humankind are portrayed in the inner choir; and the cosmos is depicted in the crossing.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross—
Altar of the Cross with the Gero-Kreuz, circa 970: This monumental wooden crucifix was donated by Archbishop Gero (d.976). It originally stood at the centre of the old cathedral at the archbishop’s grave. In the new cathedral, it was hung over the altar in the Chapel of St Stephen sometime around 1270 before being moved to its current position on the eastern wall of the Chapel of the Holy Cross around 1350. The corpus (carved of oak, measures 2 m.; the span of the arms, 1.66 m.) and the beams of the cross are original; the radiant sun behind the cross and the marble altar it decorates, both of which were donated by Canon Heinrich von Mering, were added in 1683. The Gero Crucifix is the first monumental sculpture of the crucified Christ still in existence.
p.s. The Gero Crucifix and the Milan Madonna in the Chapel of Our Lady were the two major Gnadenbilder (representations said to have miraculous powers) in the Gothic cathedral.
The High Choir/The Inner Choir—The high choir is not only liturgically the most important, but also architecturally the most impressive part of the interior. It is divided into three areas: the first three bays from the west form the choir of the Chapter with the choir stalls. Thereafter, the entrance area between the grated gates and the actual sanctuary in the polygonal apse with the high altar follow.
Wrought-Iron Gate in the Choir: Following a decision reached by the cathedral chapter, the inner choir was redecorated in the Baroque style between 1767 and 1770 according to plans drawn up by the Liège architect Etienne Fayn. Magnificent new Rococo gates, which were originally coloured and are now painted black, were created to separate the ambulatory from the inner choir.
High Altar: The mighty medieval high altar, which was dedicated to St Peter the Apostle on 27 September 1322, stands at the centre of the chevet. The altar slab, consisting of a single monolithic black marble slab with elaborate moldings, is the largest stone in the Cathedral. It weighs 6.7 tons. The side walls of the mensa are covered with black marble, in front of which the shiny white tracery arcades made of Carrara marble effectively contrast.
Shrine of the Three Holy Kings, circa 1190-1225: The Shrine of the Magi is the largest (153 cm. high, 220 cm. long, 110 cm. wide), most artistically significant, and, in terms of its content, most ambitious reliquary of the Middle Ages. The Shrine of the Three Holy Kings, commissioned by Philip von Heinsberg, archbishop of Cologne from 1167 to 1191 and created by Nicholas of Verdun, began in 1190. The precious reliquary is decorated with gems, intaglios, and cameos. The images depicted on the shrine include scenes from the history of salvation from the dawning of time to the Last Judgment. The intention in the Middle Ages was that the shrine would be placed in the crossing. Today, however, it rises above the medieval high altar at the back of the inner choir, making this area the main focus of the Gothic Cathedral.
p.s. The Three Magi do not play a large role in the life of Jesus, but they are honored for being the first pilgrims. The shrine was opened in 1864 and was found to contain bones and garments.
Choir Stalls: With 104 seats, they are the largest in Germany, carved entirely from oak from 1308 to 1311. The choir stalls were not only used by the 24 members of the cathedral chapter and their 27 representatives for the Pope (north side of the upper row seats) and the Emperor (south side of the upper row seats), but also by spiritual and secular visitors to the cathedral chapter (the seats of the lower two rows).
Choir Screens, c.1332–49: Behind the choir stalls the stone choir screens rise, the insides of which are covered by cycles of paintings. The pictures are organized by painted arcades; the width of each is equivalent to the width of a seat in the choir stalls. The paintings on the choir screens are the oldest examples of the Cologne School of Painting, which are considered to be “the most important work for the art to come and are the best in quality within the German monumental painting in the first half of the 14th century” (P. Clemen).
The Ambulatory and the seven Radiating chapels This oldest part of the Cathedral was begun on August 15, 1248, walled up toward the unfinished inner choir around 1265, and immediately used, including the seven radiating chapels.
Achskapelle—The Chapel of the Three Magi
Altarpiese of the Three Magi: Commissioned by Alexander Schnutgen, who donated the statues, Wilhelm Mengelberg created this Neo-Gothic altarpiece with four reliquary busts typical for Cologne in 1908. In the upper canopy there is the beautiful, art historically important Madonna of Fussenich dating from the end of the 13th century, enthroned over the Three Magi.
Älteres Bibelfenster, c.1260 (middle): The double-lancet Elder Biblical Window in the Chapel of the Three Magi is not only the oldest window in the building; as the axial window, it is also the highest ranking window in the cathedral. Using pairs of images, it relates the story of salvation by creating links between events in the Old and New Testaments. The images in the right-hand lancet focus on Christological episodes in the New Testament. The left-hand lancet features corresponding typological events from the Old Testament.
The Magi Window, c.1330 (left): The window shows the Adoration of the Magi. The eldest king kneels before the Virgin and Child holding out a goblet filled with gold coins while the other two kings stand to the right and left of the central image.
The St Peter and St Maternus Window, c.1330 (right): St Peter is depicted as the ‘primus papa’ (the first pope) in pontifical vestments with tiara and crosier. In his left hand he holds his attribute, the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Next to him stands St Maternus, the first bishop of Cologne and, according to legend, a student of St Peter. Both figures stand under richly decorated Gothic canopies and are flanked by four saintly figures.
Marienkapelle—The Chapel of Our Lady
Altarpiece of the City Patrons (Dombild), c. 1442, Open: This triptych, which was painted sometime around 1442 by the Cologne-based artist Stefan Lochner (d.1451) for Cologne’s city council chapel, is the most significant example of the Late Gothic Cologne School of painting. To this day, the wings of the altarpiece are closed during the last two weeks of Advent and Lent.
Mailänder Madonna, c. 1280/90: Legend has it that when Rainald von Dassel brought the relics of the Magi from Milan in 1164, he also brought with him a statue of the Madonna. This high Gothic carving of the Milan Madonna was made in the Cathedral workshop sometime around 1280/90 as a replacement for the original, which was obviously lost in the fire that destroyed the Old Cathedral. This is the oldest representation of the Madonna in the Cathedral that is said to have miraculous powers.
Window of the South Transept from Gerhard Richter— The original south transept window, which was installed in 1863, depicted six standing figures: three holy rulers and three sainted archbishops. Completely destroyed in the Second World War, the window was re-glazed in 1948 using colourless, ornamental glass. Although this window was considered too pale from the time it was installed, it took 59 years to come up with and implement a colourful alternative.
On 25 August 2007, the window in the façade of the South Transept was re-glazed according to a design by Gerhard Richter (b.1932). The artist applied a pattern comprising 72 different shades of coloured squares to the entire 106 square metres of window space to be glazed. The finished window contains 11,263 squares of genuine mouth-blown glass, each of which measures 9.6 x 9.6 cm. Richter used a specially developed computer programme to determine the random arrangement of the coloured squares in each of the panes. This arrangement was only calculated for one half of the window, the arrangement in the second half being a mirror image of the computer-generated arrangement. In other words, the arrangements in lancet windows 1, 2, and 4 are mirrored in lancet windows 3, 5, and 6 respectively. The individual character of the different areas of the window–the lower triforium area, the lancets, and the tracery at the top–is accentuated by subtle variations in shading.
The South Side Aisles—The main decoration in the south side aisles are the “Bavarian Windows”, which were given by Ludwig I of Bavaria and allow floods of natural light to enter the building. The window was installed in 1848 in time for the celebrations marking the sixth centenary of the start of building work on the Cathedral. It begins with the first half-window in the west.
The St John the Baptist Window, 1847: This window is the first of the so-called ‘Bavarian windows’ which, from West to East, relate the main events in the history of Redemption. The main scene shows John the Baptist preaching in the desert. The two scenes above illustrate the history of his birth. Local saints and patron saints of Cologne are depicted in the upper medallions and Christian rulers in the lower medallions. The Bavarian coat of arms and the donation inscription of King Ludwig I (dated 1847) can be seen at the very bottom of the window.
The Adoration Window, 1846: The main scene combines two events relating to the Birth of Christ, namely the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi. The scene above represents the Annunciation. The images above this show Adam and Eve, biblical progenitors and ancestors of Christ, and the Virgin Mary. The four major prophets who foretold the coming of the Saviour—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel—are depicted in the lower part of the window. The Bavarian coat of arms and the donation inscription of King Ludwig I (dated 1846) can be seen in the lower corners of the main scene.
The Lamentation Window, 1847: The main scene shows the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, whose corpse rests on his mother’s knees. Above this is a depiction of the Christ’s Last Supper with his disciples. Two smaller scenes show encounters with the resurrected Christ: Christ appears to Mary Magdalene (left) and to St Thomas the Apostle (right). The four evangelists—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are depicted in the lower part of the window. The Bavarian coat of arms and the donation inscription of King Ludwig I (dated 1847) can be seen in the upper corners of the main scene.
The Pentecost Window, 1848: The central scene depicts the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, an event which is celebrated as the founding day of the Church. This explains the scene above, where Peter is seen receiving the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The standing figures in the architectural frames of the main scene embody the four cardinal virtues: fortitude, justice, wisdom, and temperance. The four Latin Church Fathers—St Ambrose, St Gregory, St Jerome, and St Augustine—are depicted in the lower part of the window. The Bavarian coat of arms and the donation inscription of King Ludwig I (dated 1848) can be seen in the upper corners of the main scene.
The St Stephen Window, 1848: The central scene shows the martyrdom of St Stephen, who was stoned to death. Above this are two scenes from his life. The half-length portraits below the central scene show saints who are venerated in Cologne in particular: St Gregory of Spoleto, St Apollinaris, Pope St Sylvester I, and St Maternus. The Bavarian coat of arms and the donation inscription of King Ludwig I (dated 1848) can be seen in the panels at the base of the window. This window, which is dedicated to the first martyr of the Christian Church, is the last in the ‘Bavarian window’ cycle.
p.s. Cathedral Windows—絢麗多彩的窗戶，據說只用了4種顏色；金色—代表人類共有一個天堂，寓意光明和永恒；紅色—代表愛；藍色—代表信仰；綠色—代表希望和未來。
The Cologne Cathedral Treasury—The Cathedral Treasury, outside the cathedral’s left transept, is housed in the cathedral’s 13th-century stone-cellar vaults since autumn 2000. The six dim rooms (500 sq. m.) contain a variety of glittering chalices, crosses, and reliquaries, plus fine examples of bishops’ garb. (www.domschatzkammer-koeln.de)