The large mosaic in the crossing, which is now hidden from view by a wooden podium, was completed in May 1891. The theme of this mosaic is the cosmos. The sun is depicted at the centre of the mosaic and is surrounded by personifications of the times of day, portrayals of the phases of the moon, and a ring of zodiac signs in small round medallions. Personifications of the four cardinal points and their corresponding winds as well as four expressive faces depicting the four humours can be seen in the corners of the square area at the centre of the mosaic. The four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) also feature as crowned youths in small squares.
Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria, English: High Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Mary) 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 a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It is Germany's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Cologne Cathedral was commenced in 1248 and left unfinished in 1473. Work recommenced in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. It is 144.5 metres (474 ft) long, 86.5 m (284 ft) wide and its towers are approximately 157 m (515 ft) tall. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.
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".
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