Talk:Cologne Cathedral

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Sanssouci is currently up for peer review here. If anyone has any comments to make to improve it, I would be very grateful.


16 April 2006: This web page: has the sound of one of the bells of the Dom, the one that seems most fredquently heard. The only problem is that I don't know the name of the bell. Could someone who knows that add the webpage (which is the Cologne Cathedral website) and also indicate which bell this is in the external links?

Also, the Cologne cathedral now has a webcam for services. Itr would be very nice to note that in the external links. It works very well. Nkb

Contradictory dates[edit]

The caption of the photo says this building was the world's tallest from 1880 to 1890. The article's introduction indicates it was surpassed in 1884. Which is it? --dreish~talk 18:04, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

I placed the clean up tag on this article. While reading it, I noticed that this article repeats itself, specifically the fact that the cathedral used to be the tallest in the world before the Washintgon Monutment was built. This is possibly the rsult of some contributors editing one section without carefully reading the other sections.ErinHowarth 22:16, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the stuff about its tallest-building status from the lead, which eliminates the repetition. List of tallest buildings and structures in the world says that the Cathedral was the tallest from 1880 until 1884, when it was surpassed by the Washington Monument. The text of this article now says the same.
The infobox on the right is a bit different. It had said that Cologne Cathedral was the tallest until 1889, when it was surpassed by Ulm Munster. That infobox refers to the "world's tallest buildings" as being fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to rooftop. This is not the definition used by the list of tallest buildings, which doesn't even include Ulm Munster. There is a whole consistent run of infoboxes linking tallest buildings as defined this way, though, so I'm not going to mess with it. However, Ulm Munster was finished in 1890, not 1889 (that was the Eiffel Tower) so I fixed the date.
I've removed the clean-up tag, as that was the only issue listed. If more is required, feel free to restore it.Eron 17:50, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

A roman temple?[edit]

Recent archaeological research dealing with former buildings on the site of Cologne Cathedral suppose that there rather a horreum (roman store-house) has been than a temple. Diggings in the city center of Cologne brought several remains of those horrea out into the open, and it is correct that throughout the Imperium Romanum horrea were used as places of christian worship when christendom reached the provinces. Cologne’s romanesque St. Martin-church in the city center also is built onto the foundations of a horreum, what can be seen in the modern crypt. After WW II archaeologists recovered foundations of the warehouse beneath the gothic cathedral and, following an ancient assumption, called it a temple. Maybe that early christians in Cologne used the room for service so that there is an liturgical tradition at this place from the beginning until now.

I apologize that my English may be not quite correct.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Removal of box[edit]

This is a B class article that I am trying to turn into an A class article, which shouldn't be hard, with a more adequate description of the very significant architecture, and a bit of inline referencing.

With regards to thhe removal of the BOX:- as has already been noted, there are conflicts in the info about height. They are not really conflicts, if you read the small print. The claim in the box was based on "habitable" building, and the building needed to be habitable from top to bottom. So what?

  • It was the tallest Gothic style structure in the world (NOTE: not genuine Gothic as in Medieval) and remains the second tallest to Ulm Minster.
  • It was the tallest structure in the world until surpassed by the Washingtom Monument 4 years later (and many other buildings since.
  • The fact that it was also the tallest "habitable" structure until Ulm Minster was built is really labouring the tall stuff a bit far. It adds a fairly meaningless dimension, better covered in the other two classes of tallness which are both discussed in the intro.

On the other hand the fact that the building is a 'World heritage Site' is of current and ongoing significance which has to do with all its intrinsic values, not just the height factor.

As far as I'm concerned, a misleading box about a highly-qualified factor that is no longer important detracts rather than adds quality to the article.

--Amandajm 13:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


Could someone please locate the source of the measurment that are listed in the intro? --Amandajm 09:33, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry. It's fixed.
I've cleaned up, sorted out, incorporated a range of pictures illustrating diverse aspects of the building, with comments. I've removed some pics that doubled up, were of poor quality, or didn't substantially contribute to the unique aspects of this particular place. I've probably dropped someones's favourite in the meantime. Can't please everyone! There was lots of external atmospherics and not enough architectural detail for an encyclopedic article. That's been fixed.

--Amandajm 10:25, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Height to width ratio 5:1.[edit]

These measurement of ratio is certainly wrong. For the width of the central aisle of the quire (as well as of the nave and the transepts) is ca. 15m (from axis to axis of pillar) the ratio is nearly 3:1. Swaan's book at all is not reliable as far as details of measurements are concerned. There is a groundplan available edited by the Cathedral's own publisher precise measurements can be taken from. ( See also for reliable information in general: Wolff, Arnold: Cologne Cathedral. Its History - Its Works of Arts. Cologne 2003.Monsventosus 12:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


I did some checking of figures and came up with 3.6:1 measured clear, ie between the columns. Thank you for pointing out this error. --Amandajm 14:30, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Ceasing of mideaval works[edit]

More recent researches made it obvious that the works ceased rather in the 1520s. The suggestion that works had stopped in 1560 were a missinterpretation of a historic source. See in this case the profund essay in : Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln (Ed): Ad Summum 1248. Der gotische Dom im Mittelalter. Köln 1998 Monsventosus 12:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

According to Swaan, the work continued intermittently during the 1500s, and finished completely in 1560. I don't read German. Could you please translate the relevant passage from the book you have cited that says at what date the work stopped entirely. --Amandajm 13:57, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Pardon - no, I could not. I don't think that an encyclopedic article is the appropriate place for extensive quotations. Monsventosus 07:13, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not asking you to translate the entire essay, just the relevant bit. You could put the translation onto this page. That is the sort of thing that this page is for. --Amandajm 14:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)


I have added a new title. It is only a visitors' guide, but it contains nearly all important informations concerning history, architecture and art. The author is the former cathedral's architect in chief (Dombaumeister) an so the informations are reliable as can be.

Skyscraper box..[edit]

I've noticed that this cathedral is in the list of world's tallest buildings. The wiki provides a useful "skyscraper" infobox so that users can quickly scroll up or down to see which building preceded a skyscraper as tallest and/or which building surpassed it. One can scroll through, all the way down to the Giza pyramid, but when you hit this page the skyscaper infobox is not there, and you hit a wall. Should this be added along with the world heritage box?

Tallest Building box[edit]

There was a skyscraper box.
Two boxes, one under the other take up an awful lot of room. It's really a matter of what you consider significant. Cologne Cathedral was, for a few short years, the tallest building and is still the second tallest church.
The skyscraper box gives a pretty odd and really specific definition. It isn't about the tallest building. It's about the tallest inhabitable building, and it's supposed to be inhabitable right up to the top floor, which is hardly the case with an openwork spire,, although there is probably a ladder the whole way to the top.
If you put in the box, it will totally stuff up the formatting. We will have to remove every picture from down that side, the view of it in the 19th century with the ancient crane, the interior, the oldest large crucifix in the world, etc etc, just in order to show a box that says that for about ten years 120 years ago it was the tallest building in the world.
Personally I get sick of the "record" stuff. It is the unmeasurably beauty of the building, the spires against the sky, the view across the river, the glory of its interior, the wealth of sculpture and glass and all those other things that make the building worthwhile. These are the things that have put it on the UNESCO World Heritage list, not the fact that it once held a fairly abiitraryy record and no longer does.
I'm asking you please not to overestimate the importance of that one single fact about the building to the extent that it crowds out every other concern. I see its World Heritage staus as being of far greater importance.
Why not add the other box to this page instead?

--Amandajm 11:40, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Another suggestion[edit]

add the skyscraper box at the bottom, immediately beneath the box which links to wikimedia commons. That way it will run down the sides of all the references etc.

There will probably be room for a picture, so the "sunset picture" which is already down there with the references could go at the top of the box.

--Amandajm 11:47, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

About the Box[edit]

Well, I added the skyscraper box and it looks fairly good as it gives information about the height record that Cologne Cathedral reached in some point of its history. Would someone please check it out in order to review it and possibly fix it if there's something wrong? I used the image of the cathedral at sunset as Amandajm suggested and added the original caption below it but I don't know if the caption itself screws a bit the appearance of the skyscraper box. Is it necessary or should it be moved to the image page? Another thing, which is the specific use of the command "emporis_id", present in the skyscraper box formatting?

I think the Cologne is a beautiful place and I hope you will visit this place... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:37, 18 March 2008 (UTC) Mannschaftskapitän 17:10, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I removed the caption, which was already in the article anyway, and I think it looks great! It's such a stunning photo and it demonstrates the height well, without showing any details which are all shown elsewhere. I'm glad we were able to fit in that box as well.--Amandajm 07:07, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. It was a great idea from yours and we finally completed the circuit of the tallest bulidings along history of the world. Mannschaftskapitän 04:06, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

World Heritage Box[edit]

I have just removed the information that said that it was the tallest building in the world between certain dates


  1. that inforamtion is contained in the box below
  2. the information in the box is qualified by this description

"Fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to highest structural or architectural top; see world's tallest buildings and structures for other listings."

  1. In the leading paragraph to this article, a different set of dates are given because this church was also the world's tallest structure, bbefore the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower. If you have two sets of dates and facts side by side, it looks ridiculous, because in the case of the set of facts in the UNESCO box, they are "unqualified".

--Amandajm 08:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Clean up Still Required[edit]

Some of the language is still a little "unencyclopedic", eg "...eventually became a unified whole of architectural distinction and overwhelmingly majestic presence" --ukexpat 13:11, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

"a unified whole of architectural distinction" is hardly unencyclopedic. "Overwhelmingly majestic" has given way to a quotation from the UNESCO World Heritage website. --Amandajm 09:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
And we need to make it Cathedral or cathedral for consistency's sake. - Dudesleeper | Talk 18:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
"Cologne Cathedral" takes capitals, "the cathedral" takes lowercase. That's the convention. Amandajm (talk) 09:46, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Intentional Non-Destruction[edit]

A remark was added that the RAF intentionally spared the Cathedral for use as a navigation point for further raids. A nice thought, but wishful thinking I'm afraid. Even with the new navaids such as 'Gee', bombing at night was still a fairly hit-and-miss affair even at this stage in the war. Such accuracy was simply not possible. The only way that the RAF could have spared the Cathedral would be to not bomb central Cologne at all. The fact that the Cathedral survived while all around its base was destroyed was just pure good luck. The intention of the RAF was to obliterate Cologne, with the Cathedral falling under the same category of 'sadly unavoidable collateral damage' as had Coventry's cathedral 18 months before. ChrisRed (talk) 13:43, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe that the survival of the enormous spires Cologne Cathedral, Ulm Minster and Strassburg was accidental. And I must point out that although Coventry Cathedral was burnt out, its tower and spire remained intact.Amandajm (talk) 13:32, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

For what its is worth, my father was a navigator with the Polish Free Airforce attached to the RAF bomber command in WW2. His log book shows bombing targets in Cologne but he also told me that the Cathederal was indeed a key marker (its size and specific location on the river)that reflected in moon light and was indeed used as a "marker" for bomber turns to other tragets in Cologne as well as a refernce point for bomber navigators to other German locations. He also said that the Poles (mostly Catholics) did try and avoid religious sites. Having said that he also pointed out that there was no such thing as "precision bombing" in WW2 (especially at night) and was surprized that amything of the Catheral remained. Obviously this is antidotal so take it as an opinion of one man.Vumba (talk) 23:08, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Hello and thanks. Well, I am looking at a photobook that I bought many years ago when I visited Cologne (I presume it was photographed by the occupying Americans, as it contains the same photo of a GI outside the cathedral shown in the article, plus several others of GIs inside looking up/pointing at the damage). I don't think that most people realise just how much damage the cathedral actually suffered in the bombing. It didn't 'escape' anything. I would say that the number of bombs that hit the cathedral was similar (in terms of bombs per square hectare or whatever unit you prefer) to the rest of central Cologne, and according to the German-language page it was hit by over seventy bombs over the course of three years. Don't forget also that the majority of arms dropped on Cologne were incendiaries - not 'blast' bombs. Most of the damage to Cologne was done by runaway fires, not blast. It is pure good fortune (for humanity) that the cathedral didn't go the same way as the Dresden Frauenkirche, Coventry Cathedral and several others too. These oddities do happen...for example the similarly against-the-odds survival of St Pauls Cathedral in London, which was also hit several times but survived despite all around its base being devastated. Perhaps the craftsmen who built these massively over-engineered stone structures could teach us a thing or two :-) ChrisRed (talk) 07:30, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting! In the case of St Pauls, the fire brigades were ordered to give the cathedral priority over all other buildings in the City as was also the case with Westminster Abbey in Westminster. The Houses of Parliament were severely damaged, with the House of Commons being lost, and the tower of Big Ben damaged. At Buckingham Palace, the Royal Chapel was lost. The present art gallery stands on its site. Amandajm (talk) 11:23, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
True. Also St Pauls had its own force of volunteer fire-watchers, who stood guard on the roof during air raids, instead of taking to the shelters! Perhaps there were some similarly-brave Germans doing the same at Cologne Cathedral. I suspect that if the Germans were to bomb London now, most people would be happy to see the Palace of Westminster painted dayglow orange with big illuminated arrows pointing to it :-) I'm no expert, but I suspect that the main reason why so many cathedrals seemingly-miraculously survive air attack is that they usually to some extent stand apart from other surrounding buildings in their own grounds, which form something of a firebreak. As to the spires: as you point out, the spire of Coventry survived when the 'body' of the building was gutted. Perhaps when they are the target of vertical bombs, tall thin structures have a greater chance of survival than large horizontal ones.ChrisRed (talk) 13:06, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I think your two comments here are probably both pertinent. It is certainly true that the majority of English Cathedrals are surrounded by green lawns, and for this reason are less likely to catch fire from adjacent buildings. However this is rarely the case in Europe. I think that the point that you make about vertical structures is probably relevant to the survival of so many spires. Amandajm (talk) 11:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Amandajm, you know that England is part of Europe, don't you? :-)))-- (talk) 09:31, 16 April 2011 (UTC) andre
.....on the European continent..... I am speaking historically, which you probably understand. Amandajm (talk) 15:27, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Of Course the Dom was hit by some fire-bombs; but the Top of the dome ist one of the first modern iron-Building structures, so that some volonteers - taking a great risk - had the change to stop the fire in its beginning; the first plans of the Dom prefers a normaly wood-Construction. All others is just talking, cause its no hero-work to bomb a Church. --ChikagoDeCuba (talk) 16:51, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

It is ridiculous to think that the cathedral was spared intentionally. The bombing aimed explicitly for civilian infrastructure in order to create chaos and spread fear. The cathedral was indeed heavily damaged and did not collapse only due to its unique structure and the efforts of firefighters. I corrected the paragraph accordingly. Levimanthys (talk) 19:25, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Cologne Cathedral[edit]

This has been pasted here from the page of an editor who deleted the explanation from their own talk page. This is my explanation for why the tall building box is at the bottom of thhe page, not the top. It was previously discussed before it was placed there. Amandajm (talk) 07:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

I just reverted your edit. These reasons for so doing are:

  • The box that is in place contains much more currently significant info ie. World Heritage Site
  • Two boxes will not fit. I looked at the arrangement, presuming that when you moved the box, that you looked at it on the narrowest possible screen (ie. that the text stretched the furthest possible distance beside the box) Even on a very narrow screen, the main heading to the main section of the article was orphaned from its text, by the box that you inserted. (Go back in the history of the article and you will almost certainly see what I'm talking about.) On a wide screen, like the one that I'm currently using, the gap between the main heading and the text that pertained directly to that heading was about four inches long. Which is ridiculous. Thie gap indicates that the person who moved the box didn't use the show Preview options, or else, didn't see or recognise that they had caused a serious formatting problem. People who jam boxes in, frequently show no regard for the layout of the article, and I find this annoying. Perhaps, to give you the benefit of the doubt) the format of your computer screen is very very different to mine, and from most.
  • With regards to the info contained in that box:

Fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to highest structural or architectural top; see the list of tallest buildings in the world for other listings.

This is the criteria, and it is absolute nonsense! It excludes arials, watch towers, the Eiffel Tower etc. it presumes that the church is fully habitable. No! No church spire is fully habitable. Take a bell-ringer's word for it! The spire of Cologne is a great deal less habitable than the upper floors of the excluded Washington Monument. Why? because it is an open-work spire, and the wind and rain drives through it. The notion of habitability is a false criteria which gives that entire list, and the series of boxes that pertain to it, no real credibility whatsoever. I would like to see the whole lot deleted.
  • An ongoing problem with Wiki is that editors often fall back on numeric facts like "This is the fifth largest Catholic church in the world". Who cares? The fact that for a brief few years Cologne held some record which must be highly qualified to exist is insignificant.
The significant facts are lost because of importance given to a pseudo-important claim, just because that claim has a blinking box around it! The matters of real significance (heightwise) are that Cologne has the tallest paired towers on any church, and (churchwise) its height is only exceeded by the similar tower on Ulm Minster. It is also significant that its interior height is among the 3 highest Gothic church interiors, floor to ceiling. It is very tall and narrow. These two facts give a far more accurate picture of its significance.
  • While I realise I must sound cross and horrible, I have already had this out several times. The box is included merely to keep box-lovers happy, to maintain its place in a sequence which some people follow, for which reason it can't be deleted altogether! It is down the bottom, so that people read the significant facts about Cologne Cathedral before they get to that piece of dubious trivia.

Amandajm (talk) 07:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC) and again Amandajm (talk) 07:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Interior volume of 407,000 m³ is impossible[edit]

It is impossible that the Cologne Cathedral has an interior volume of 407,000 m³. A building area of 7,914 m² would require an average interior height of 51.4 m, while the main nave has a max. inner height of only 43.35 m, and a max. inner height of the other naves is just 19.75 (calculated based on photogrammetric measurments taken from a nave looking east picture) at an area of 150 % of the main nave (calculated based on a ground plan measurements). Hence, the inner volume excluding the two towers above 20 m is less than 3,165.6 m² x 43.35 m + 4,748.4 m² x 19.75 m = 137,229 m³ + 93,781 m³ = 231,010 m³. Hence, the two towers at roughly 17 m by 17 m (measured on said plan printed on a 1:500 scale) and a combined area of 588 m² would need to be more than [(407,000 m³ - 231,010 m³) : 588 m²] + 20 m = 299 m + 20 m = 319 m tall inside (excluding the spires with relatively small volume), which they are not at 157 m including spires. A volume of 407,000 m³ may refer to the exterior including crypts at best. At a towers' 120 m inner height (based on photogrammetric measurement taken from a cathedral's picture), a cathedral's volume of the interior above ground including the towers would be less than 100 m x 588 m² + 231,010 m³ = 289,810 m³, which is consistent with volumes of similarly structured Gothic cathedrals. -- (talk) 18:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't know where the figures come from. Is it possible that the height of the spires has been mistakenly used to calculate this volume? Amandajm (talk) 06:09, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I have clarified above after calculating accurately and adding explanations of the professional methods applied here and widely used for architectural inventoring. -- (talk) 19:24, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

There are two language versions of the cathedral's own Web site: in German [1] and in English [2]. The original description Umbauter Raum ohne Strebewerk 407.000 cbm is obviously correct, but its translation Interior area without buttresses 407.000 cbm is incorrect and illogical since it does not make sense to exclude buttresses from an interior for obviously buttresses are not in the interior. Raum refers to 3D and not 2D, hence - to space and volume rather than to area. Raum may refer to area only with the 3rd dimension, like area between buildings, or territory. Umbauter Raum means building volume [3] or cubature, cubage [4]. Exactly, it means built up (embraced) space, but not built over space, since um- means round, around [5]. Everywhere, cubature, cubage refers to space taken by a building meaning its exterior. Hence, adding without buttresses, which is exclusion of parts of an exterior, makes sense in reference to a volume of only the exterior, since they are not part of the interior. In other words, 407,000 m³ refers and has to refer to a cathedral's (exterior) gross volume, which is not surprising considering an implied honesty of the cathedral's management, though the English translation is somehow unfortunate. -- (talk) 01:44, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Is the cubic volume of the cathedral really of that much importance that it must be included? If we were a company providing air-conditioning units, I suppose it would be highly relevant, but otherwise, I do not perceive this as an essential fact. Amandajm (talk) 05:58, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

The Cathedral gave a volume, though with an unfortunate and somehow confusing English translation, so why not to clarify it and to provide such encyclopedic data to the Wikipedia readers? Not many church buildings have an accurate volume known. It will allow to compare church buildings. Are the encyclopedias not for such purpose? -- (talk) 07:50, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

If you are sure of what you are saying, puti it back then. Amandajm (talk) 10:42, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Opening Paragraph[edit]

The sentence "It is renowned as a monument of ... the continuing faith and perseverance of the people of the city in which it stands." This sentence reads really weird to me. It suggests that this monument, as grand as it is, is somehow evidence of the "continuing faith and perseverance" of the people of Cologne. I think it is good evidence of the faith (and perseverance) of the people of Cologne 130 years ago and earlier (when it was constructed), but to say that it is evidence of faith now...well that is like saying that the Egyptian pyramids are evidence of the continuing faith and perseverance of the Egyptians to the Sun God or whoever they worshiped. I recommend changing the sentence to "It is renowned as a monument of Christianity, of German Catholicism in particular, and of Gothic architecture". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes and no. We are not just talking about an architectural object here. Unlike the pyramids, Cologne Cathedral is still in daily use. We are talking about a building which is serving its purpose as a meeting place, is visited every day, loved, polished, enhanced with flowers, sung in, worshipped in, under continual restoration and still having its fabric added to with the recent commission of stained glass. First and foremost, it is a church.
Amandajm (talk) 08:39, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Its also know as the biggest gothic church — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

No, Duomo di Milano and Seville cathedral are bigger. MathKnight 17:16, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Can't get that one past Matt! However, it is known as the biggest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Amandajm (talk) 03:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

West facade and north tower scaffolds[edit]

Are the scaffolds of the north tower are still in place, or were they finally removed, and now the west facade is as complete as it was in about 1911 (see Hasak photo in the article)? MathKnight 12:29, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Upcoming relevant records and how to mention them[edit]

I recently came upon this page and while reading the part of the article's intro regarding the cathedral spire records it felt natural to add some info about the announced height of Sarada familia being higher. A fellow editor has removed my edit basically saying that in intros of articles only actual facts and not intentions should be mentioned. I totally understand that, however, I am now having trouble finding a place in the article where this info should go, given that the height record discussion is in the intro and I would not want to artificially reintroduce it elsewhere. Can somebody help? What is the policy with this kind of info? Are there any relevant wikipedia guidelines? Should a new section be started and all such info moved there? I did find a couple of articles that mention future plans in their intro sections. Look here: Great_Berlin_Wheel and American_Commerce_Center. However, they are both about announced building themselves. Many thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lonwolve (talkcontribs) 17:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm the editor who removed the information about the proposed height of Sagrada familia from the introduction of this article, on the grounds that
  • it hasn't happened yet
  • the article is about Cologne Cathedral, not Sagrada Familia
The information about the proposed height of the spire of Sagrada Familia belongs in the article about Sagrada Familia. Not this article. As I have pointed out already, when the spires of Cologne become the third, rather than the second tallest church spires in the world, then it will be time to update this article. Until then, the info is relevant elswhere, but not here.
As for starting a new section and moving all the information there- no, that is ridiculous! The facts about Cologne are the facts. The significance of its height belongs in the introduction. You are not going to move significant facts about the main subject of the article itself, just in order to insert a piece of trivia about another different building that hasn't yet been completed and perhaps will, one day, some day, (if completed), be taller.
Amandajm (talk) 12:50, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Comment. We are supposed to be polite to new editors. However, I am now beginning to wonder why you are pushing my patience in the way you are. (NOTE: to other editors, this has been discussed at length.) I have just been to the Sagrada Familia page. There is a whole section on what they call "towers" which should more correctly referred to as spires. My comments are:
  • There is no sign that you have added the information about the proposed height of Sagrada Familia's spires to the section that is relevant. I have already suggested that you include the information in that article not this one.
  • Why haven't you done it?
  • Why are you still being so insistent on shoving information about Sagrada Familia into this article, (about a different building) when you haven't done what is relevant? It is beyond my comprehension! I don't want to discuss it any more!
  • As for the page about "Records", it's very easy to find. The article on Cologne, contains not one but two links to the list of tallest buildings.
Amandajm (talk) 13:12, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi there. Thank you for the response. Look, I can see you are pretty emotional about this article and while I appreciate that I am not sure it can be constructive in this case. I would not mind it if my piece of info did not make it in the article, but still I would like to understand better how such decisions are made, at least for future reference. Are there clearcut rules or guidelines covering this stuff? Is it editor majority that decides it? The admin that happens to be in charge of the article? The inevitably subjective aesthetic of the louder editor? Remember, we are not talking about inclusion of this info in the intro. You have convinced me that indeed it does not belong there. What I would like to know is why you think the info about Sagrada Familia intending to be higher does not belong anywhere in the article. Regarding your suggestion to improve the Sagrada Familia, yes, I will probably do that also, but obviously I will do it at a time of my own choosing. Many thanks. Lonwolve (talk) 06:41, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
There are no clearcut rules. However, the objective is generally "relevance". Basically, editors "watch" different articles, either articles that they have made a major contribution to, or articles that they are particularly interested in. They do this in order to revert vandalism. But they also revert well-meaning edits that either add little value, create red-herrings, are inserted in the wrong place, would be more applicable to a different article, or stuff-up the formatting. The longer the article, the more tightly it's likely to be protected. For example, if anybody adds any speculation to the Leonardo da Vinci article, it gets deleted immediately by one of about six editors. (Speculation includes his sexuallity, his mother's nationality, Dan Brown theories, Shroud of Turin theories, Alchemist theories, bicycle theories and the speculative attribution of paintings.) All this stuff is interesting in its own right. But there are enough solid facts with which to make a long article about Leonardo, (which is already so long that it won't load on all computers.)
You ask me here, again, why I think that the information about Sagrada Familia being higher doesn't belong in this article. Ho Hum! Cologne Cathedral was the tallest cathedral in the world for about ten years. More than 100 years ago. Then it stopped being the tallest. 100 years ago! So, since it no longer holds a record, how is tha fact that it might one day be overtaken, yet again, of any real value? Where Cologne is concerned, this thing that hasn't happened yet will be a non-event, even when it does happen!
If we are going to mention that Sagrada Familia will one day be taller, should we also include the interesting facts that the spire of Lincoln Cathedral was taller, that the spire of St. Olaf's, Estonia was taller, that the cross on top of Our Lady of Peace Basilica in Yamoussoukru is taller, that although it is the largest medieval church is Northern Europe, Winchester Cathedral is longer, York Minster is wider, Liverpool Cathedral is bigger (but not medieval, but then neither is a large part of Cologne), Seville Cathedral is larger, St Peter's Basilica is larger, etc etc etc.....
Is all this relevant to Cologne Cathedral? Or can we just find this stuff on the List of tallest churches and List of largest church buildings in the world?
Amandajm (talk) 17:45, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks for your reply. Given all of the above I would be happy if a link to the List_of_tallest_churches_in_the_world, that mentions Sagrada Familia and its announced max height, was somehow included in the height related discussion of the article's intro. In fact I find the absense of this direct link, anywhere in the article, to be an omission. What do you think? Lonwolve (talk) 08:40, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
There is a box at the bottom of the Cologne page that links directly to the List of Tallest buildings. It's down there because another box, the World Heritage box occupies the top space, and if the otherone goes below it, it reduces the space for significant historical views, and interiors. Besides which, the information is already there in the introduction.
Regarding, Sagrada Familia, I think that it would be appropriate to add a short paragraph to the introduction of the "Tallest Churches" list. There is really nowhere to put the information, except in the intro, because it is a list. If you do this, then I really think you ought to back it up in the Sagrada Familia article itself, and include an appropriate reference. It is an interesting fact which really ought to be mentioned there, and isn't, unless you have added it recently.
I just took a look. There is a statement that the central tower is intended to be 170 metres high, and that this is lower than the nearby mountaintop, but it still doesn't state that this will make it the tallest church spire in the world, which I think needs mentioning. Amandajm (talk) 11:33, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, I will be taking care of the stuff you mention. You did not answer me though, how should the Cologne cathedral article link to the List_of_tallest_churches_in_the_world article? I mean, if the list of tallest buildings in the world is relevant then this should cut it as well, don't you think? Cheers Lonwolve (talk) 00:57, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I checked, found there was no link and did it, and did it at your suggestion. It's linked at "second tallest church". Amandajm (talk) 02:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Cheers! Lonwolve (talk) 18:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Sagrada Familia article updated Lonwolve (talk) 18:58, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

All this info and nothing on the theft?[edit]

Millions of dollars' worth of treasures were taken in one of the most brazen modern thefts but I see nothing on it. The thieves lowered themselves down into the treasury from the roof - I believe this was in the early 1970s and has never been solved. (talk) 23:02, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

The thieves were caught very shortly afterwards. 40% of the of the stuff was recovered immediately, and more was recovered later. In the history of a religious site that is a thousand years old, this is a relatively minor incident. Amandajm (talk) 02:05, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

American English[edit]

I identified the revision where an American spelling was introduced to this article. I now intend to standardise the article on American spelling; at the moment it has a mixture of the two. --John (talk) 19:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Sculpture of Jews crucifying Jesus[edit]

In the middle of Cathedral a few steps lead down to the lower floor, and simply looking from above one can see people praying in front of the sculpture depicting Orthodox Jews putting Jesus Christ on the cross. Could someone who is in Cologne please snap a picture of it, so we can note this in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't know which sculpture is referred to. Perhaps the St Agilulfus altar-piece, c.1520, which has in the foreground a number of bearded figures which may be identified as Pharisees. However, Pharisees were also among those who removed Jesus' body from the Cross and buried him. Why ought this particular work be featured? If it is to make some point about the presence of Orthodox Jews in the artwork, then we also need to make the point that Jesus, his mother and disciples were also Jewish. Amandajm (talk) 09:44, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
No, that's not it. It is a statue, not a flat piece, and it depicts people dressed like Orthodox Jews putting Jesus on the cross, not taking him down. I just read an article about how widespread latent antisemitism is in Germany and possible reasons for it, and I remembered seeing this statue and people praying in front of it. I thought it might be notable for this reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Which article was that? and is it available on-line so that we can all read it? If this particular sculpture (and your personal observation of it) is not mentioned in that article, however, then it would be WP:OR to use it as example, in any wikipedia article, not just here. From what you have saia so far, it doesn't sound that it's very relevant to this article. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:00, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
The (arguably antisemitic) statue at the Cologne Cathedral is not relevant for the article about Cologne Cathedral? I just asked if someone would take a picture of it. I think this is notable and relevant for the article (just a picture, without any comment). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Did you? Let's hope someone does, then. You seemed to be claiming that its notability arose from the fact that it featured "Orthodox Jews " and that you had seen people (presumably German people) praying in front of it? And what was that "interesting article" you happened to be reading? Martinevans123 (talk) 07:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say it was interesting. Here it is: The article is not relevant to this page, but the picture of statue would be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
It's a shame it's pay for view, as the topic looks more interesting than the statue! Martinevans123 (talk) 21:07, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
You can register to read 10 articles free. And then delete cookies to register again if you want to read more. And believe me, the statue is VERY interesting. Placed just outside of view of casual visitors (tourists) but in the very central location for people who come to pray. And one look at the statue will not leave any doubt of what exactly it depicts and what message it is designed to convey. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Have you tried searching Google Images for a picture of the statue, so that we can all see what we are discussing? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:05, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I did try but couldn't find anything. That's why I asked in the very first post on this subject: "Could someone who is in Cologne please snap a picture of it, so we can note this in the article?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I think you are very optimistic. Incidentally, have you considered creating an editor account so that can contribute (and sign your posts) on a regular basis? Regards. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:49, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I am curious about this statue.
  • Firstly, Clarification. I used the word "artwork". That word doesn't mean "painting". It is equally applicable to a three-dimensional work as well.
  • You use the word "statue" which generally means a single figure. I take it that this is a three-dimensionable group, that looks a bit like a tableau, in other words, the figures are all three dimensional and may be set into some sort of architectural frame like a miniature chapel?
It could be one of the Stations of the Cross or it could be an altarpiece from the 1500s.
  • In any scene that depicts either the trial or Crucifixion, one would expect to see Orthodox Jews depicted. It was the most Orthodox Jews (Pharisees), the Priests and the Scribes who were the most offended by what Jesus had to say and who continually challenged him. It was the High Priest who organised his arrest and who paid his betrayer. However, because the country was under the governance of Rome, they were reliant on the Roman Governor to pass sentence and order execution.
The accuracy with which the Jewish hierarchy are depicted in artworks is dependent upon whether the sculptor or painter was familiar with Jews. In a town where there was a Jewish population, the painter or sculptor might deliberately imitate costumes that he saw being worn.
  • You have written that in this sculpture , the Jews are actually doing the Crucifixion. In other words, they are nailing Jesus onto the cross. When the precise act of crucifixion is depicted, it is usually the nailing, with the cross on the ground.
If it is the case that Orthodox Jews are nailing Jesus to the Cross, then it is extremely unusual and entirely inaccurate. While there would have been Pharisees and Priests present, they would not have done the execution. Firstly, it wouldn't have been legal and secondly they wouldn't have got their hands dirty. The job was done either by Roman soldiers, or labourers.
  • Are you absolutely certain that this is not a scene in which Orthodox Jews are shown, with one probably on a ladder and the other supporting either jesus' legs or arm while they lower his body down?
Below, I have attached a gallery of images. In each case the status of the wealthy and Orthodox Jews is apparent in their dress. Amandajm (talk) 12:29, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, the sculpture is a three-dimensional group, and as far as I remember it doesn't have any architectural frame around it, but I might be wrong about that.
  • Now that you've directed my attention to the possibility the sculpture depicts people taking Jesus down from the cross, not putting him up, I am not so sure anymore which of the two was depicted on the sculpture I saw.
  • When discussing these events, I am assuming you are referencing official Catholic Church narrative (which is enough for the purpose of this discussion), and not the actual historical events, which, in all likelihood, were very different, if they happened at all. (unsigned)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────*She is referencing the Gospels, somewhat filled in by commentators, which the only narrative of the events we have, or are ever going to have. I don't know why you keep saying "Orthodox Jew" - I'm not sure what a non-Othodox Jew was either in 33AD or 1500AD, or how the difference might be visually distinguished in art? Pharisees are distinguished by being relatively richly and formally dressed, & generally bearded. At this period all peoples of the Middle East & Near East, and even Far East, both ancient & contemporary - so Jews, Turks, Arabs, Persians etc - all tend to be represented wearing much the same rather fanciful exotic "Eastern" styles of dress, in fact based on Byzantine court styles as much as anything else. But of course effectively everybody around the Crucifixion who wasn't Roman was Jewish by default. When the Jewishness of individuals in New Testament scenes was being stressed by artists, having them wear the Jewish hat was the normal means of doing this, at least until the end of the period. Until someone does come up with a photo we seem unlikely to get very far with this I think. Have you checked the commons category or Flickr? Johnbod (talk) 01:04, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I think John makes some very good points. Without knowing when it was made, by whom and for whom, this whole discussion is rather difficult. We're still not sure if the sculpture was framed or not. In fact, not doubting your sincerity, anon ip, but without any image, some might even say this entire discussion was a waste of time. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:37, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Parts of this discussion are definitely a waste of time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
I think we can "see where you're coming from", unsigned ip. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:19, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Where am I coming from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
From the perspective that "sacred art cannot be appreciated outside the socio-political context", one might assume? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
One would be assuming wrong.

or Ness Ziona maybe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

And that, in your book, is relevant how?
Apologies if that assumption was incorrect - could you possibly elaborate? Also, if you register as an editor it might give others more confidence that they are discussing this with the same person. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:37, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Tallest Catholic cathedral in the world[edit]

How notable is this? How does your reader tell if this is notable or not? Does the fact that it is "Catholic" specifically, impact on it's height. Is the height more relevant because of the Catholic nature of the structure.

In other words, what is the point of saying in the first paragraph that Cologne Cathedral is the tallest Catholic cathedral.

Let's take a look at what else is included in the introduction:

  • Most visited: "It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.[2]"
  • Largest in Northern Europe: "The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe"
  • Second tallest: "...and has the second-tallest spires"
  • Largest facade: "and largest façade of any church in the world."
  • Largest ratio: "The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.[4]"

As far as I am concerned, dropping "tallest Catholic" church in amongst the real records is meaningless, unless you reader knows how many churches of however many denominations may or may not be taller. How can your reader tell, from that sentence, whether this fact is significant or not. Does it mean there is a few taller, a dozen taller, twenty taller? It demonstrates a very "Roman Catholic-centred" style of thinking, that doesn't take a broad view. We are essentially referring to church architecture here (in relation to the height of the spire) not Catholicism. In fact, there is only one, but your reader is not to know that. If I were to write "Ulm Minster is the tallest Lutheran Church in the world", it would be equally meaningless. It doesn't tell the reader what they want to know.

To respond in full to the edit summary:

  • Germany signifies an architectural type: open-work stone spires
  • The significance of "medieval" is fairly obvious: it is about the most prolific period of building large cathedrals.
  • Catholic" is insignificant from an architectural point of view in an era when many buildings changed hands, and the world's tallest spires (both in England at the time) suddenly went from being Catholic to Protestant in the 1530s.
  • The stylistic difference (and date of construction) between the towers of Cologne and that of Ulm is minimal and therefore meaningless in terms of denomination. The spire of Ulm is just slightly taller. Dragging "Catholicism" into the issue is pointless, when Ulm's spire is virtually indistinguishable from those of Cologne, except that Cologne has two of them.

Amandajm (talk) 05:03, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

For reference, the question is whether to include the bolded text in the lede:
Cologne Cathedral... is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is the tallest Catholic cathedral in the world and is a renowned monument of Roman Catholicism in Germany
Speaking for myself, I reverted the removal of the passage and suggested discussing it mainly because I see it as pointless roiling of the text -- somebody obviously thought it worthwhile, you don't, and in I-myself-wouldn't-have-written-that cases like that my preference is to let it lie.
On the merits, I don't much care either way, but I sure can see a case for leaving it in. I dunno whether or not some non-zero, or at any rate non-trivial, number of readers would find the information useful, interesting, amazing, historically significant, or any of the other things a reader might be looking for. But probably. I'm not generally of the persuasion "Nah, they don't know to know this" regarding data.
But we do want to keep ledes short and punchy and to that end eliminate any extraneous info that can be moved to the article body, provided of course that it is moved into the article body. You didn't do that, so a person wanting to answer the questions "What is the tallest Catholic cathedral?" or "Is Cologne Cathedral the tallest Catholic cathedral?" and so forth has to go to Google I guess.
I don't get what you're saying about notability, but basically, re "How does your reader tell if this is notable or not?" and "How can your reader tell, from that sentence, whether this fact is significant or not?" the readers tells this by looking into her own head I guess. The reader says to herself, "Hey, that sure is significant to me!" or not. Let's give the reader a little leeway in finding meaning in the things she reads. I think if we want to proceed from the assumption that every sentence in our articles has to be significant to every reader then our articles are going to be kind of short.
If it's trivia, which might be sort of what you're saying, that's different. But it's at least aguably not trivia, so I'd incline to leaving it in. But judging what's trivia is pretty subjective, maybe somebody else has a take on this. Herostratus (talk) 05:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Whoop, nope, don't revert. See WP:BRD. The question is open for discussion, and BTW props for opening the discussion and making cogent points. let's see if anyone else has anything useful to say. If you can get a consensus that you're correct let's remove the material then, until then let's leave it in its previous state. Herostratus (talk) 06:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Notability is a comparative thing.
Tallest Catholic Church in the world" is non-notable, by itself. If you were to write "tallest Anglican Church" or "tallest Protestant Church" it would be equally non-notable because no comparison is implicated by the statement. It's a non-fact.
The largest bird in the world that has a yellow beak is an albatross. Is the yellow beak notable?
Being an historian, I find the frequent competitive linking of facts like the "height" of a building to its denomination to be somewhat offensive and extremely small minded and parochial, when it is clear from other given examples that the denomination is actually irrelevant, Ulm Minster being the pertinent Protestant example.
Do we have to stress that Ulm Minster (yah!) is a taller Protestant Church? Do We have to state, surpassed only by the Protestant Church of Ulm Minster? If we are going to stress the Catholic nature of the second tallest spires in the world, then we equally have to stress the Protestantism of the tallest.
Or else we leave out the nonsense about "tallest Catholic" and just go with the pertinent "second tallest".
Does this make the point clear?
Amandajm (talk) 06:20, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Based on the totality of your edits, edit summaries, comments, and general intensity on the issue, I'm kind of getting the vibe that this is a Catholic/Protestant thing for you. Is that the deal? How do you feel about Catholicism in general, if you don't mind my asking? Herostratus (talk) 10:54, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll answer on your page. Amandajm (talk) 10:58, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Yeah but that splits the discussion. Well a couple things. You said "I am always very hesitant to label anything about a church building as specifically Anglican or Catholic, unless it is a relevant aspect, because it immediately draws competitive comment. At times individuals have insisted on going through all the Anglican Cathedrals of England and writing "previously Catholic" into the first sentence" OK fine, but is that the case here? I don't think that there was some Papist conspiracy afoot here. I didn't see any competitive comment.
Also, you went ahead and made changes anyway even though it's under discussion, and I'd rather we slow down. BUT, here's what: you're obviously an erudite person, and I appreciate your work and your presence here. St. Peter's Basilica is a fine, long, detailed article, and I thank you for your work on that, and the other work you do here, and you're probably a more useful editor than I. So on that basis I'll back off, it's not a huge point and I'm not inclined to make a big deal of it. Let's get back to work. Herostratus (talk) 05:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Herostratus, you asked me about my attitudes towards Catholicism, in particular. I answered on your talk page, because the question pertained to me in particular.
As I have pointed out, this is a matter of "tallest Catholic" not being a significant category. Its the tallest Catholic church, slightly exceeded by a metre or two by the tallest Protestant Church. The fact that these churches are one Catholic and the other Protestant can really only concern someone who perceives a competition between Catholic and Protestant. It is irrelevant to anything else. It isn't relevant to the country, to the style or to the date. I would prefer to leave it out. It is sufficient to say that Cologne has the second tallest spires of any in the world. If someone actually cares that much about the denomination of the church that the tallest spire happens to adorn, then it is very easy to find out. You only have to look up Ulm Minster to find its denomination.
I find the over-emphasis on denomination irritating and juvenile. People keep trying to force Leonardo da Vinci into the "Catholic painters" box. Actually, there is a fair chance that he was Jewish. And as for putting Michelangelo in the "Catholic painters" box (and the "Catholic architects" box), it's ridiculous. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, although the Vatican has never realised it, is a rejection of everything that the Papacy represents. It's very easy to see where Michelangelo is coming from. Mostly, shoving the "Catholic" label on things is as irrelevant as it is here. Christianity would achieve more if the members of the various denominations had more of a world view.
On the other hand, this cathedral's article is listed as a "Catholic article of High Importance" and so it should be.
Amandajm (talk) 07:00, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
After reading what was offered on this talk page, it is abundantly clear to me that the removal of the observation was a political consideration. While "most" and "first" rankings often are of questionable worth, as an atheist I find the observation directly relevant to article. "The fact that these churches are one Catholic and the other Protestant can really only concern someone who perceives a competition between Catholic and Protestant"- this is not innate but imposed perspective; a perceived contest between ANY partisans is only imposed by the reader. I say keep it.Mavigogun (talk) 06:15, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I am trying to make the point that the denomination has no bearing on the measurement. If it was the tallest church in the world, that would be highly significant. Being the second tallest church in the world, that was once actually the tallest for a few (but only a few) years, is rather significant. The fact that it is the tallest church with two spires is also rather significant. The fact that the two spires combined give it the largest church facade in the world is dubiously significant, because the spires don't really constitute "facade". The fact that it is the tallest church of a particular denomination (given that the denomination has very little bearing on the actual structure) is really pushing notability. What is significant, from an architectural point of view, is the width/height ration of the medieval choir, which is the most extreme in the world. This is an amazing feat of engineering, unsurpassed since the Middle Ages.
The only reason for dropping in "tallest Catholic" church is because it is not the "tallest church". This type of narrowing down of relevant categories in order to say that something is the tallest in this category, even though it isn't the tallest in that category is a bit ridiculous.
The sort of thing which really misleads people is when a statement is made that "such and such a building is the biggest cathedral". Not St Peter's? And the answer is "No, not St Peter's because technically St Peter's is not a cathedral. It is a basilica, but it has never been a cathedral. OK. So St Peter's isn't the biggest church in the world? Yes it is, but it isn't the biggest cathedral. It comes down to placing buildings in categories that don't really impact on the structure. Cathedrals are generally the largest buildings, but an abbey, or basilica can be just as large and splitting size by function or denomination doesn't help a reader understand which church is biggest or tallest. It narrows the category in a way that doesn't help anyone.
To a person who equates "catholic" with "universal" (the true meaning of the word) the emphasis on denomination simply confuses the issue. It isn't the tallest church in the world. It is the second tallest church in the world. Why confuse the issue by adding a bracket that has nothing to do with the structure?
Amandajm (talk) 12:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

"Antenna spire"?[edit]

Is that a joke? Vandalism? The spires predate the invention of radio. I am going to remove this adjective if no one objects.77Mike77 (talk) 14:17, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

It is not a joke. It is the wording of a template that doesn't relate to churches. The template relates to the height of the structure which might have either a spire or antenna. The template, as used in this article, gives no indicatio that it is about height, specifically. It is a badly constructed, and badly use template. However, if it is removed there will be a generally outcry from people who perceive its ranking among the word's tallest buildings as being of ultimate importance. Amandajm (talk) 03:05, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


User:Clivemacd, I have considered your edit which changed the words "stood tall" to "remained standing". I support the use of the expression "stood tall", because "remained standing" does not convey anything of the effect of the 500 foot spires towering over an otherwise flattened city. Amandajm (talk) 02:46, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Amandajm, I am interested in the reasoning behind your reversion. When you state that the new version does not convey the effect of the spires towering over the flattened city, who do you envisage is the person or entity experiencing this effect? Clivemacd (talk) 18:21, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
User:Clivemacd, since you are polite enough to ask, the friend in whose memory I maintain this article.
Seriously, we are talking about a work of architecture that is more than a mere building. The continued existence of one of Europe's grandest churches, when everything else was destroyed has significance on a level that goes further than "remained standing". There may be a direct quotation that could be used, to describe the feelings of the entity experiencing the effect. This begins to remind me of the Man who said "God must find it exceedingly odd...etc etc"
You can have it as "remained standing" if you really think that is adequate. If you insist on applying the rules to the max, well yes,you are perfectly right and there is no point arguing.
But there are many situations on Wikipedia where stating things in the minimal and most precise terms conveys so little that the intrinsic significance of an event or the importance of an object or the greatness of an individual in the eyes of the world is lost entirely. Michelangelo's David becomes just another statue, William Shakespeare becomes just another playwright, the Parthenon becomes just another temple.
In this case, the continued existence of this building when all else was gone was of profound significance. Amandajm (talk) 12:13, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Amandajm, as you can no doubt tell from my edit and this exchange, I feel that 'stood tall' points to an experience which no doubt many people may have felt on viewing the standing spires once the war had ended, but is nevertheless subjective rather than objective. The insertion of a direct quotation which describes these feelings is a very useful and positive suggestion and I'm happy to agree to that as a way forward Clivemacd (talk) 09:59, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Amandajm, as you have not responded to my proposal above, I intend to reinstate the reverted edit Clivemacd (talk) 09:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
It was a reasonable proposal. I don't read German, and have been busy with other matters. It's not that important either way, in the greater scheme of things. You fix it the way you want, it it matters to you. Amandajm (talk) 17:39, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
It seems that the whole paragraph is supported by the 1955 Dissertation. Monate im Dunkeln, ("Months in Darnkess") by Dr. Heinrich Schneider. If that is a Dissertation, then I think there ought to be an academic institution to which to attribute it. It does not seem to be available on line. Has anyone seen a copy? Or is there a separate source for the "fourteen hits"? The version says there were 70. It also says that some of the ceilings fell, including the vaulted nave, "but the roof remained thanks to the stability provided by the iron roof truss​​." (There's no supporting ref for the version). Martinevans123 (talk) 17:57, 30 June 2014 (UTC) p.s. by the way, the caption for W. Krogman's painting, at Bombing of Cologne in World War II, reads: "It survived the war, despite being hit dozens of times by Allied bombs."

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── ME123 pointed me to this discussion. Two points:

  • See WP:SCHOLARSHIP. Dissertations are a difficult case in terms of evaluation for reliability. A threshold requirement to resolving that is to know the institution at which the work was carried out, and that the work be publicly available. I'm having a hard time determining who the author is because the name is so common -- see [6], though I'm guessing it's [7].
  • Phrasing like standing tall can't come from WP's editors. However, if there's a source discussing, in a comprehensive way, why the cathedral remained standing (whether it be aggressive protection on the ground -- as with St. Paul's -- or the bomber's-landmark explanation, or whatever), the morale effect this had on Cologners (or Colognites, Calgonites, or whatever they're called), etc., then a quote from that might be appropriate.

EEng (talk) 13:28, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

  • The article does say, I think, that the watchers on the ground did manage to put out a lot of incendiaries. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:40, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Let's hope this doesn't become one of those heated discussions. My point, remember, is that it's nice for the article to pass on any feelings of inspiration etc. that the cathedral may have inspired during the war, but we need to take the specific form of such expression from a sober, respected source to avoid being guilty of editorializing. EEng (talk) 16:09, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Construction Ceased[edit]

I might just have missed it, but I went through the article a couple of times and couldn't find anywhere the reason why construction stopped when the cathedral was half-finished - it seems odd that you would build this huge cathedral to house some of the most important relics of medieval Europe, and then abandon part way through. Was it lack of funds or political will, for example? The fact that a crane was left behind suggests they pause was originally meant to be temporary, but then it was left pretty much alone for hundreds of years, but again why this was doesn't seem to be explained in the article? (talk) 10:33, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Rifle range?[edit]

An editor changed "It has been claimed that in June 1945 American troops used the cathedral as a rifle range" to "In June 1945, American troops used the cathedral as a rifle range". Hm, let's think about this.

The ref is "Monate im Dunkeln, Dr. Heinrich Schneider, 1955 (Dissertation)". Is this even reasonably available to the general public? Was it published, and how many copies, and who holds them? Works held in private collections are not usable, and if it's not reasonable for readers to access the ref it's not a good ref.

FOr "cologne cathedral 1945 rifle range" Google gives very many examples of our wording ("It has been claimed...") which presumably is just mirroring or parroting use. here and elsewhere we have "supposedly abused as a rifle range" which which is just parroting an earlier version of our article.

Here and here (and another site,, which is blacklisted) we do have direct assertions that the cathedral was used as a rifle range, with no "claimed" or "supposedly". These are not at all good sources though, especially for a disputed statement of fact. Google Books I can't find anything, granted I'm not that good at searching. Here's some GI's with rifles supposedly in the cathedral but they're praying not shooting.

So, so far, we're back to solely relying on Schneider's dissertation. One thing about that is by changing "It has been claimed that..." to "It is true that..." without changing the ref, the editor is making the point that the ref had previously been mischaracterized, and I'd like to some evidence here. Another thing is, I'd like to know how accessible Schneider's dissertation is to the general public so that editors can see if he really does presents ironclad proof that the assertion is true. Absent that, I've restored the original for the time being. Herostratus (talk) 15:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

It seems weak to base this on a dissertation alone. Based on your research I'll support removal of the sentence altogether. Elizium23 (talk) 15:55, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I flagged the sentence ("It has been claimed that in June 1945 American troops used the cathedral as a rifle range.") with a "by whom?" request for sourcing yesterday. There are two problems with the assertion. First, as others have noted, the citation is to a dissertation, without more information about that source. Another source--and one that is more accessible so that it can be verified--should be used. Second, the sentence is in the passive voice. Who has made the rifle range claim? Is this a claim made by the dissertation's author based on original research? Or did the dissertation simply describe unverified reports without seeking to validate their truth? Unless these problems are fixed, the sentence should be removed. Pjb dinky (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, now that I think of it, I agree, the entire sentence should be removed altogether rather than just restored. I don't know how we handle dissertations generally (never come across this before), but besides the accessibility issue, I don't know how rigorously they're fact-checked. There are obviously a lot of people copying this verbatim from our article, which just goes to show we need to be careful. Removed, subject to dispute if any is forthcoming. Herostratus (talk) 23:13, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


Why are Latin and English names different from the official German name? Is there a source for this?- (talk) 16:49, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Relevance of nearby attacks[edit]

On 31 December 2015, the Cologne Cathedral was near the site of mass sex attacks during New Year's Eve celebrations.[13]

How is this relevant for the Cathedral's 21st century history? --Pgallert (talk) 12:03, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Completed to original plan[edit]

Unfortunatly no "original plan" survived, besides of the (projected) westfassade and some groundplans of diverse parts of the towers. A complete groundplan of the cathedral is shown by an etching by Crombach, edited and publicated in the 1650s, wich may derive from at that time still existing plans. The towers where built/finished in 19th century in a more stretched form, divergent to the plan of the westfassade, the fassades of the transsept and their inner surface are a new creation of the 19th century and a great deal of the upper part of the main nave as well. t (c.f. Kölner Domblatt 2007) This part of the opening ought to be rewritten.--Nolispy (talk) 12:47, 20 July 2016 (UTC)