|Length||144.5 metres (474 ft)|
|Width||86.25 m (283.0 ft)|
|Number of spires||2|
|Spire height||157 m (515 ft)|
|Director of music||Eberhard Metternich|
|Organist(s)||Prof. Dr. Winfried Bönig|
|Organ scholar||Ulrich Brüggemann|
|Tallest in the world from 1880 to 1890 [I]|
|Preceded by||Rouen Cathedral|
|Surpassed by||Ulm Minster|
|Antenna spire||157.4 m (516 ft)|
|Criteria||Cultural: i, ii, iv|
|Inscription||1996 (20th Session)|
Cologne Cathedral (German : Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus, English: Cathedral Church of Saint Peter ) is a Catholic cathedral in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and of the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day, and currently the tallest twin-spired church at 157 m (515 ft) tall, second in Europe after Ulm Cathedral and third in the world.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, Sham'un al-Safa, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.
A cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul, Spain and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches and episcopal residences.
Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 but was halted in 1473, unfinished. Work did not restart until the 1840s, and the edifice was completed to its original Medieval plan in 1880.The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires. The towers for its two huge spires give the cathedral the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.
Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was widely used, especially for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century.
A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, often a skyscraper or a church tower, similar to a steep tented roof. Etymologically, the word is derived from the Old English word spir, meaning a sprout, shoot, or stalk of grass.
A choir, also sometimes called quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the western part of the chancel, between the nave and the sanctuary, which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, so at right-angles to the seating for the congregation in the nave. Smaller medieval churches may not have a choir in the architectural sense at all, and they are often lacking in churches built by all denominations after the Protestant Reformation, though the Gothic Revival revived them as a distinct feature.
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".
A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures. The authenticity of any given relic is often a matter of debate; for that reason, some churches require documentation of the relic's provenance.
The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.
When construction began on the present Cologne Cathedral in 1248 with foundation stone, the site had already been occupied by several previous structures. The earliest may have been for grain storage, and possibly was succeeded by a Roman temple built by Mercurius Augustus. From the 4th century on, however, the site was occupied by Christian buildings, including a square edifice known as the "oldest cathedral" that was commissioned by Maternus, the first bishop of Cologne. A free-standing baptistery dating back to the 7th century was located at the east end of the present cathedral but was demolished in the 9th century to build the second cathedral. During excavations of the present cathedral, graves were discovered in the location of the oldest portion of the building; including that of a boy that was richly adorned with grave goods and another of a woman, popularly thought to be Wisigard. Both graves are thought to be from the 6th century. Only ruins of the baptistery and the octagonal baptismal font remain today.[ citation needed ] The second church, called the "Old Cathedral", was completed in 818. It was destroyed by fire on 30 April 1248, during demolition work to prepare for a new cathedral. Myths state that Kris Kringle [Santa Claus] would take the naughty kids to the cathedral were he would punish them severely. He would drop them off of the South Tower if they resisted. You can even visit that South Tower today when visiting Cologne, Germany.
The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
Ancient Roman temples were among the most important buildings in Roman culture, and some of the richest buildings in Roman architecture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Today they remain "the most obvious symbol of Roman architecture". Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion, and all towns of any importance had at least one main temple, as well as smaller shrines. The main room (cella) housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated, and often a small altar for incense or libations. Behind the cella was a room or rooms used by temple attendants for storage of equipment and offerings. The ordinary worshiper rarely entered the cella, and most public ceremonies were performed outside, on the portico, with a crowd gathered in the temple precinct.
Maternus, also known as Maternus II, was a Roman-Catholic saint and allegedly the third bishop of Trier, the first known bishop of Cologne, and founder of the diocese of Tongeren.
In 1164, the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel, acquired the relics of the Three Kings which the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, had taken from the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, Milan, Italy. (Parts of the relics have since been returned to Milan.) The relics have great religious significance and drew pilgrims from all over Christendom. It was important to church officials that they be properly housed, and thus began a building program in the new style of Gothic architecture, based in particular on the French cathedral of Amiens.[ citation needed ]
The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop representing the Archdiocese of Cologne of the Catholic Church in western North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany and was ex officio one of the electors of the Holy Roman Empire, the Elector of Cologne, from 1356 to 1801.
Rainald of Dassel was Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor of Italy from 1159 until his death. A close advisor to the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick Barbarossa, he had an important influence on Imperial politics, mainly in the Italian conflict of Guelphs and Ghibellines.
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
The foundation stone was laid on 15 August 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden.The eastern arm was completed under the direction of Master Gerhard, was consecrated in 1322 and sealed off by a temporary wall so it could be used as the work continued. Eighty four misericords in the choir date from this building phase. In the mid 14th century work on the west front commenced under Master Michael. This work ceased in 1473, leaving the south tower complete to the belfry level and crowned with a huge crane that remained in place as a landmark of the Cologne skyline for 400 years.
Konrad von Hochstaden was Archbishop of Cologne from 1238 to 1261.
Meister or Master Gerhard was the first master mason of Cologne Cathedral. He was also known as Gerhard von Rile or by the Latin version of his name, Meister Gerardus.
A misericord is a small wooden structure formed on the underside of a folding seat in a church which, when the seat is folded up, is intended to act as a shelf to support a person in a partially standing position during long periods of prayer.
Some work proceeded intermittently on the structure of the nave between the west front and the eastern arm, but during the 16th century this also stopped.
With the 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, and spurred by the discovery of the original plan for the façade, it was decided, with the commitment of the Protestant Prussian Court, to complete the cathedral. It was achieved by civic effort; the Central-Dombauverein , founded in 1842, raised two-thirds of the enormous costs, while the Prussian state supplied the remaining third.[ citation needed ] The state saw this as a way to improve its relations with the large number of Catholic subjects it had gained in 1815.[ citation needed ]
Work resumed in 1842 to the original design of the surviving medieval plans and drawings, but utilizing more modern construction techniques, including iron roof girders. The nave was completed and the towers were added. The bells were installed in the 1870s. The largest bell is St. Petersglocke.
The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event on 14 August 1880, 632 years after construction had begun. 157.38 metres (516.3 ft), it was the tallest building in the world for four years until the completion of Washington Monument.[ citation needed ]The celebration was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I. With a height of
The cathedral suffered fourteen hits by aerial bombs during World War II. Badly damaged, it nevertheless remained standing in an otherwise completely flattened city. The twin spires were an easily recognizable navigational landmark for Allied aircraft bombing.
On March 6, 1945, an area west of the cathedral (Marzellenstrasse/Trankgasse) was the site of intense combat between American tanks of the 3rd Armored Division and a Panther Ausf. A of Panzer brigade 106 Feldherrnhalle. The Panther successfully knocked out a Sherman, killing three men, before it was destroyed by a T26E3 Pershing hours later. Footage of that battle survives. The destroyed Panther was later put on display at the base of the cathedral for the remainder of the war in Europe.
Repairs were completed in 1956. An emergency repair to the base of the north-west tower, carried out in 1944 using poor-quality brick taken from a nearby ruined building, remained visible as a reminder of the war until 2005, when it was decided to restore the section to its original appearance. The brick-filling can be seen in the photograph on the right.
Repair and maintenance work is constantly being carried out in one or another section of the building, which is rarely completely free of scaffolding, as wind, rain, and pollution slowly eat away at the stones. The Dombauhütte, established to build the cathedral and keep it in repair, is said to employ the best stonemasons in the Rhineland. There is a common joke in Cologne that the leader of the Dombauhütte, the Dombaumeister (master builder of the cathedral), has to be Catholic and free from giddiness. Half the costs of repair and maintenance are still borne by the Dombauverein.[ citation needed ]
On 25 August 2007, the cathedral received a new stained glass window in the south transept. The 113 square metres (1,220 sq ft) glass work was created by the German artist Gerhard Richter with the €400,000 cost paid by donations. It is composed of 11,500 identically sized pieces of colored glass resembling pixels, randomly arranged by computer, which create a colorful "carpet". Since the loss of the original window in World War II, the space had been temporarily filled with plain glass. The then archbishop of the cathedral, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who had preferred a figurative depiction of 20th-century Catholic martyrs for the window, did not attend the unveiling. Holder of the office since 2014 is Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. On 5 January 2015, the cathedral remained dark as floodlights were switched off to protest a demonstration by PEGIDA.
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In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites. In 2004 it was placed on the "World Heritage in Danger" list, as the only Western site in danger, due to plans to construct a high-rise building nearby, which would have visually impacted the site. The cathedral was removed from the List of In Danger Sites in 2006, following the authorities' decision to limit the heights of buildings constructed near and around the cathedral.
As a World Heritage Site, and with its convenient position on tourist routes, Cologne Cathedral is a major tourist attraction, the visitors including many who travel there as a Christian pilgrimage.
Visitors can climb 533 stone steps of the spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 100 m (330 ft) above the ground. The platform gives a scenic view over the Rhine.
On 18 August 2005, Pope Benedict XVI visited the cathedral during his apostolic visit to Germany, as part of World Youth Day 2005 festivities. An estimated one million pilgrims visited the cathedral during this time. Also as part of the events of World Youth Day, Cologne Cathedral hosted a televised gala performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Choir conducted by Sir Gilbert Levine.
As of 1 March 2017, authorities instituted a ban on large bags in the cathedral in light of recent terrorist attacks in the country.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. was modeled after the cathedral.
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. The plan is in the shape of a Latin Cross, as is usual with Gothic cathedrals. It has two aisles on either side, which help to support one of the very highest Gothic vaults in the world, being nearly as tall as that of the Beauvais Cathedral, much of which collapsed. Externally the outward thrust of the vault is taken by flying buttresses in the French manner. The eastern end has a single ambulatory, the second aisle resolving into a chevet of seven radiating chapels.[ citation needed ]
Internally, the medieval choir is more varied and less mechanical in its details than the 19th century building. It presents a French style arrangement of very tall arcade, a delicate narrow triforium gallery lit by windows and with detailed tracery merging with that of the windows above. The clerestory windows are tall and retain some old figurative glass in the lower sections. The whole is united by the tall shafts that sweep unbroken from the floor to their capitals at the spring of the vault. The vault is of plain quadripartite arrangement.
The choir retains a great many of its original fittings, including the carved stalls, which is made the more surprising by the fact that French Revolutionary troops had desecrated the building. A large stone statue of St Christopher looks down towards the place where the earlier entrance to the cathedral was, before its completion in the late 19th century.
The nave has many 19th century stained glass windows. A set of five on the south side, called the Bayernfenster, were a gift from Ludwig I of Bavaria, and strongly represent the painterly German style of that date.
Externally, particularly from a distance, the building is dominated by its huge spires, which are entirely Germanic in character, being openwork like those of Ulm, Vienna, Strasbourg and Regensburg Cathedrals.
|External length||144.58 m (474.3 ft)|
|External width||86.25 m (283.0 ft)|
|Width of west façade||61.54 m (201.9 ft)|
|Width of transept façade||39.95 m (131.1 ft)|
|Width of nave (with aisles, interior)||45.19 m (148.3 ft)|
|Height of southern tower||157.31 m (516.1 ft)|
|Height of northern tower||157.38 m (516.3 ft)|
|Height of ridge turret||109.00 m (357.61 ft)|
|Height of transept façades||69.95 m (229.5 ft)|
|Height of roof ridge||61.10 m (200.5 ft)|
|Inner height of nave||43.35 m (142.2 ft)|
|Building area||7,914 m2 (85,185.59 sq ft)|
|Window surface area||10,000 m2 (107,639.10 sq ft)|
|Roof surface area||12,000 m2 (129,166.93 sq ft)|
|Gross volume without buttresses||407,000 m3 (14,400,000 cu ft)|
One of the treasures of the cathedral is the High Altar, which was installed in 1322. It is constructed of black marble, with a solid slab 15 feet (4.6 m) long forming the top. The front and sides are overlaid with white marble niches into which are set figures, with the Coronation of the Virgin at the centre.
The most celebrated work of art in the cathedral is the Shrine of the Three Kings , commissioned by Philip von Heinsberg, archbishop of Cologne from 1167 to 1191 and created by Nicholas of Verdun, begun in 1190. It is traditionally believed to hold the remains of the Three Wise Men, whose relics were acquired by Frederick Barbarossa at the conquest of Milan in 1164. The shrine takes the form a large reliquary in the shape of a basilican church, made of bronze and silver, gilded and ornamented with architectonic details, figurative sculpture, enamels and gemstones. The shrine was opened in 1864 and was found to contain bones and garments.
Near the sacristy is the Gero-Kreuz , [ full citation needed ]a large crucifix carved in oak and with traces of paint and gilding. Believed to have been commissioned around 960 for Archbishop Gero, it is the oldest large crucifix north of the Alps and the earliest-known large free-standing Northern sculpture of the medieval period.
In the Sacrament Chapel is the Mailänder Madonna ("Milan Madonna"), dating from around 1290, a wooden sculpture depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus. The altar of the patron saints of Cologne with an altar piece by the International Gothic painter Stefan Lochner is in the Marienkapelle ("St. Mary's Chapel"). Other works of art are in the Cathedral Treasury. The altar also houses the relics of Saint Irmgardis.
Embedded in the interior wall are a pair of stone tablets on which are carved the provisions formulated by Archbishop Englebert II (1262–67) under which Jews were permitted to reside in Cologne.
Cologne Cathedral has two pipe organs by Klais Orgelbau, the Transept Organ built in 1948 and the Nave Organ built in 1998. Cathedral organists have included Josef Zimmermann, Clemens Ganz (1985–2001) and Winfried Bönig (2001).
The cathedral has eleven church bells, four of which are medieval. The first was the 3.8-tonne Dreikönigsglocke ("Bell of the Three Kings"), cast in 1418, installed in 1437, and recast in 1880. Two of the other bells, the Pretiosa (10.5 tonnes; at that time the largest bell in the Western world) and the Speciosa (5.6 tonnes) were installed in 1448 and remain in place today.
During the 19th century, as the building neared completion, there was a desire to extend the number of bells. This was facilitated by Kaiser Wilhelm I who gave French bronze cannon, captured in 1870–71, for this purpose. The 22 pieces of artillery were displayed outside the Cathedral on 11 May 1872. Andreas Hamm in Frankenthal used them to cast a bell of over 27,000 kilos on 19 August 1873. The tone was not harmonious and another attempt was made on 13 November 1873. The Central Cathedral Association, which had agreed to take over the costs, did not want this bell either. Another attempt took place on 3 October 1874. The colossal bell was shipped to Cologne and on 13 May 1875, installed in the Cathedral. This Kaiserglocke was eventually melted in 1918 to support the German war effort. The Kaiserglocke was the largest free-swinging bell in history.
The 24-tonne St. Petersglocke ("Bell of St. Peter", "Decke Pitter" in the Kölsch language or in common parlance known as "Dicker Pitter"), was cast in 1922 and was the largest free-swinging bell in the world, until a new bell was cast in Innsbruck for the People's Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest in Romania.
The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the third-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title "minster" is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.
Chartres Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, is a Roman Catholic church in Chartres, France, about 80 km southwest of Paris and is the seat of the Diocese of Chartres. Mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220, it stands at the site of at least five cathedrals that have occupied the site since Chartres became a bishopric in the 4th century. It is in the Gothic and Romanesque styles.
The architecture of cathedrals, basilicas and abbey churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that all ultimately derive from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in the Constantinian period.
Lichfield Cathedral is situated in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. It is the only medieval English cathedral with three spires. The Diocese of Lichfield covers all of Staffordshire, much of Shropshire and part of the Black Country and West Midlands. The 99th and current Bishop of Lichfield is Michael Ipgrave who was appointed on 10 June 2016.
The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of Saint Patrick is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and seat of its archbishop, currently Peter Comensoli.
The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney, currently Anthony Fisher OP. It is dedicated to the "Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians", Patroness of Australia and holds the title and dignity of a minor basilica, bestowed upon it by Pope Pius XI on 4 August 1932.
Rouen Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Rouen, Normandy, France. It is the see of the Archbishop of Rouen, Primate of Normandy. The cathedral is in the Gothic architectural tradition.
Bourges Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Bourges, France. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Stephen and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges. It is in the Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles.
The Frauenkirche is a church in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city. Although called "Münchner Dom" on its website and URL, the church is referred to as "Frauenkirche" by locals.
Regensburg Cathedral, also known as St. Peter's Cathedral, is an example of important Gothic architecture within the German state of Bavaria. It is a landmark for the city of Regensburg, Germany, and the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Regensburg.
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The Catholic Cathedral of Limburg, also known as Georgsdom in German after its dedication to Saint George, is located above the old town of Limburg in Hesse, Germany. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Limburg. Its high location on a rock above the river Lahn provides its visibility from far away. It is the result of an Early Gothic modernization of an originally Early Romanesque building and therefore shows a Romanesque-Gothic transitional style.
Naumburg Cathedral, located in Naumburg, Germany, is the former cathedral of the Bishopric of Naumburg-Zeitz. The church building, most of which dates back to the 13th century, is a renowned landmark of the German late Romanesque and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. The west choir with the famous donor portrait statues of the twelve cathedral founders (Stifterfiguren) and the Lettner, works of the Naumburg Master, is one of the most significant early Gothic monuments.
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The medieval cathedrals of England, which date from between approximately 1040 and 1540, are a group of twenty-six buildings that constitute a major aspect of the country’s artistic heritage and are among the most significant material symbols of Christianity. Though diversified in style, they are united by a common function. As cathedrals, each of these buildings serves as central church for an administrative region and houses the throne of a bishop. Each cathedral also serves as a regional centre and a focus of regional pride and affection.
The Basilica of St. Cunibert also St. Kunibert is the last of Cologne's twelve Romanesque churches to be built. It was consecrated 1247, one year before work on the Gothic Cologne Cathedral began. It was declared a minor Basilica in 1998 by the then Pope John Paul II.
St. Patrokli is a Roman Catholic parish and church in Soest, Germany. The church is of great significance in the history of architecture as it is the epitome of Romanesque architecture in Westphalia. As a result, it is known as St.-Patrokli-Dom. It holds relics of its patron saint Patroclus of Troyes from 954. It was the church of the canonical foundation of St. Patroclus, which existed from the 10th century until its abolition in 1812. Since 1823 the church has been the parish church of the St. Patrokli parish in the diocese of Paderborn. In 1859 it was promoted to the rank of provost church.
In Cologne, the authorities switched off the lights of the city's cathedral as a way of warning Pegida supporters they were supporting "extremists". "We don't think of it as a protest, but we would like to make the many conservative Christians [who support Pegida] think about what they are doing," the dean of the cathedral, Norbert Feldhoff, told the BBC.
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