The Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is a renowned monument of Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It’s Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.
Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted 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. Its two huge spires give it 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.
In 2007, the cathedral received a new stained glass window in the south transept. (Since the loss of the original window in World War II, the space had been temporarily filled with plain glass.) Created by German visual artist Gerhard Richter it combines computer generated squares of colour randomly arranged into an abstract composition with the grandeur of Gothic tracery windows.
The 113-square-metre (1,220 sq ft) window is reminiscent of a colour chart of countless pixels. Each of the 11,500 squares is 9.7 cm by 9.7 cm (3.8 in by 3.8 in) in size; the arrangement of the individual glass panels with 72 different shades was calculated by a computer.