Friday, November 26, 2010

Cologne Cathedral

The Gothic architectural design, I learned, appears at its best if it's used for a very tall building. The Cologne Cathedral already looks magnificent from the outside, but the real beauty is inside. Soaring, rather thin pillars that are absorbed into the pointed arches on the high ceiling creates a kind of space that contemporary architecture cannot replicate.

Climbing the south tower (for 2.50 euro) is worthwhile not because of the view from the top (which is obstructed by the 2-meter high wire netting) but because of the views through windows on the way up. You don't often look down on a modern city landscape through the Gothic windows, do you?

And I'm surprised to see some contemporary art that's part of the cathedral. Gerhard Richter's contemporary counterpart of the stained glass window is only subtly out of place and somehow in place:

Among those stained glass windows, I love these:

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