Spared by Allied bombers during World War II, Cologne Cathedral, the High Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary, does indeed reach high, with a spire height of 157 metres. Founded in the 13th century by Frederick Barbarossa and completed only in 1880, it represents Gothic architecture on its grandest scale. Its greatest attraction is the Shrine of the Three Kings, the reliquary for which it was built, still a place of pilgrimage.
The patron saints of the city are represented in a triptych by Stefan Lochner near the cathedral treasury. Visit here preferably in the morning, when the sun's rays pass through the stained glass on the south transept, made by the German artist Gerhard Richter in 2007.
The space positively floods with light. Nearly 11,500 squares of glass in 72 colours were assembled on the 20-metre window, some randomly, others in patterns. You can also climb the 533 steps of the towers to see the view of the city, or attend an organ concert.
50 667 Cologne