traveling and meeting other cultures: ideas, destinations, reviews and tips
Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Idea About: artifact, place
The Shrine of the Three Kings is a container (reliquary or shrine) with the bones of Magi also known as the Three Kings or the Three Wise Men. The Magi are specifically mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew in verses 2:1–12 describing the arrival of the Magi at the court of Herod the Great in Jerusalem and their homage to newly born Jesus and symbolic gifts to him. The Gospel itself does not mention many details related to the Magi (their number, names, the fact that they were kings); even the translation of "wise" differs in versions of the bible and is open to interpretations. Scholars trace the word "magi" to the Old Persian maguŝ referring to the caste preaching the teachings of prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, around 6th century BC), the origin of the English term magic. As far as the Bible (New Testament) is concerned, the Magi disappear from the narrative after mentioning that they decided to return home by a different route having gotten a warning from an angel not to tell Herod when they found Jesus.
What Makes It Special
You may be wondering why I am writing about the Shrine of the Three Kings, a seemingly small part of the Cologne Cathedral and not about the cathedral itself. Well, I know that to experience the Shrine, you will have to visit this magnificent church (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - so, I do not have any concerns in this regard. But my focus on the Shrine is to stress its importance in the Christian tradition. In fact, the Shrine is the very reason the Cologne Cathedral exists; the original cathedral was found to be too small to accommodate legions of pilgrims who visited it after the relics of the Magi were brought there from Milan in 1164. And up until now, the Shrine of the Three Kings remains the most celebrated work of art in the cathedral as well as one of the greatest religious symbols of Christian religion.
Directions To Destination
Most international flights (including overseas flights) to Germany arrive either to Frankfurt Rhine Main International Airport (FRA), the largest airport in Germany, served by all major international airlines, or Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (MUC) located near Munich, Germany's second largest airport. With the exception of transatlantic destinations, you can also use Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS), the third largest in Germany.
Best Time To Go
You can visit Cologne all year round. Generally, the period between June and September is a good time to visit Germany when the weather is warm, mild and pleasant. The highest average high temperature is about 75 °F (24 °C) in July and August, with average lows during these months about 55 °F (13 °C). The lowest temperatures take place in December - January with average highs of about 42 °F (6 °C) and average lows of about 37 °F (3 °C). Precipitation in Cologne is spread more or less evenly throughout the year around 2.5 inches (64 mm) every month picking in July and August (around 3.5 inches or 89 mm).
Where To Stay
- Maria Suite am Dom (Marzellenstraße 66, Altstadt, 50668 Cologne), a four star hotel with rates from €200 (double occupancy, prices are per room/night, all taxes and service included). The hotel located within minutes walk from Cologne Cathedral and main train station. There are 4 rooms in the hotel.
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
Cologne Cathedral is open every day all year round. Opening times: November to April 6:00 AM - 19:30 PM, May to October 6:00 AM - 21:00 PM The access to the Cathedral is restricted during the Mass and the shrine is closed during confessions confession (Mon-Fri 7-9 AM, Sat 2-4 PM). There is no entrance fee to the Cathedral but visitors are asked for donations. Visit the Cologne Cathedral Web site for detailed information regarding the cathedral.
Tags: art and culture (26); Basilica of St. Severin; CGN; Church of the Assumption; Cityscape (10); Cologne; Cologne Bonn Airport; Cologne carnival; Cologne Cathedral; Cologne City Hall; Domschatzkammer; DUS; Dusseldorf International Airport; FRA; Frankfurt; Frankfurt Rhine Main International Airport; Franz Josef Strauss International Airport; Fredrick Barbarossa; Germany (3); Gospel of Matthew; Gothic (2); Great St. Martin Church; Gurzenich; Heritage site (22); High altar; Historia Trium Regum; history (31); Holy Land; Holy Trinity Church (2); ICE; InterCityExpress; Koblenz; Koln; Koln-Deutz; Koln Hauptbahnhof; Kolsch; Magi; Mosan art; Mosan Romanesque art; MUC; Museum Ludwig; Netherlandish art; North Rhine-Westphalia; NS Dokumentationszentrum; Overstolzenhaus; Palestine (2); Pilgrimage (14); Rainald of Dassel; Religion (18); Religious architecture (17); Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area; Rhine Valley; Roman-Germanic Museum; Sacred place and sanctuary (20); Saint Helena; sarcophagus; S-Bahn; Shrine (10); Shrine of the Three Kings; Site of legend (2); Stained-glass windows; St Peters Bell; Three Astrologers; Three Kings; Three Wise Men; Treasury chamber; UNESCO World Heritage Site (19); Wallraf-Richartz Museum