If you like sightseeing and old beautiful buildings you will love the old German cathedrals.
As part of any old downtown there is plenty of them in Germany, from different epochs and of many different styles.
A Must see is the Cologne Cathedral:
Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria, English: High Cathedral of St. Peter and Mary) is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne (currently Cardinal Joachim Meisner, and is under the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is renowned as a monument of Christianity of German Catholicism in particular, of Gothic architecture and of the continuing faith and perseverance of the people of the city in which it stands. It is dedicated to Saint Peter and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cathedral is a World Heritage Site, one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany, and Colognes most famous landmark, described by UNESCO as an “exceptional work of human creative genius”.It is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete. It is 144.5 meters long, 86.5 m wide and its towers are approximately 157 m tall. The cathedral is one of the world’s largest churches and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. For four years, 1880-84, it was the tallest structure in the world until the completion of the Washington Monument. It has the second-tallest church spires, only surpassed by the single spire of Ulm Minster, completed 10 years later in 1890. Because of its enormous twin spires, it also presents the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir of the cathedral, measured between the piers, also holds the distinction of having the largest height to width ratio of any Medieval church, 3.6:1, exceeding even Beauvais Cathedral which has a slightly higher vault.
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 of 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”.
Located smack in the center of downtown cologne, its hard to miss.
The Cologne Cathedral is right next to the central railway station of Cologne; take the metro or train to the stop “Dom/Hauptbahnhof”.
Opening Hours of the Cologne Cathedral:
Main Hall: daily, 6 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Treasury Chamber: daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tower: November – February, 9.00 a.m. – 4 p.m.; March – April, October, 9.00 a.m. – 5 p.m.; May – September, 9.00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission to the Cologne Cathedral:
Main Hall: free
Treasury Chamber: Adults 6 Euro, reduced price 3 Euro
Combi Card, Treasury & Tower: Adults 8 Euro, reduced price 1 Euro
Guided Tours of the Cologne Cathedral:
Guided tours in English (45 minutes): Monday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. and 2:30. p.m.; Sunday and holidays 2:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults 6 Euro, reduced price 4 Euro
Treasury Chamber: for guided tours, please call 0221 – 17940-555
Ulm Minster (German Ulmer Münster, literally: minster) is a Lutheran church located in Ulm Germany. Although sometimes referred to as Ulm Cathedral because of its great size, the church is not a cathedral as it has never been the seat of a bishop.
Ulm Minster is a famous example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. Like Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), also begun in the Gothic era, Ulm Minster was not completed until the 19th century. It is the tallest church in the world,and the tallest structure built before the 20th century, with a steeple measuring 160.9 meters (528 ft) and containing 768 steps. From the top level at 143 m (469 ft) there is a panoramic view of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg and Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and, in clear weather, a vista of the Alps from Säntis to the Zugspitze. The final stairwell to the top (known as the third Gallery) is a tall, spiraling staircase that has barely enough room for one person.
Munsterplatz 1, Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Nov-Feb: daily 9am-4:45pm
Mar: daily 9am-5:45pm
Apr: daily 9am-6:45pm
May-Jun, Sep: daily 8am-6:45pm
Jul-Aug: daily 8am-7:45pm
Oct: daily 8am-5:45pm
Münster free; tower 5€ adults, 3,50€ children. Buy tickets an hour before the climb.