Picture of the Day: Cologne Cathedral During WWII
COLOGNE CATHEDRAL DURING WWII
Seen here is an aerial black and white photo of the famous Cologne Cathedral during WWII. Kevin Trotman (The Rocketeer on Flickr) said he found the photo along with 19 others tucked inside a book that he bought for $1 at a library book sale.
Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It is also Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. [Source]
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 and has the second-tallest spires and largest façade of any church in the world.
The cathedral suffered seventy hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but stood tall in an otherwise flattened city. The twin spires are said to have been used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft raiding deeper into Germany in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed. [Source]