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How much does Cologne Cathedral cost


We are visiting the Cathedral together with a child on a state-subsidized holiday. We walk around the church, marvel at its western façade which features Germany's second tallest steeples, and we admire the flying buttresses. We observe that the Cathedral's north side features less architectural decoration than its south side, which is turned towards the city, and we look at the bronze doors of the transept façade.

Frauke thinks the interior is almost even more stunning. She asks about the Richter Window and observes it without comment. Without being asked, I show her the Shrine of the Three Kings and the Gero Crucifix.

And then, at some point, the question arises. "What does such a Cathedral cost?" I have to confess that I don't know the answer. However, I do know where it can be found.

Professor Wolff, the former master builder of the Cathedral, estimated in 1998 (Quote: "Of course we have speculated about this as well.") that a new construction would cost around 5,6 billion DM, to me an enormous sum at the time.

Nowadays, dulled by expensive monetary stability mechanisms, the >2,5 billion Euro seem more or less moderate.

When one additionally realizes that the costs for the Cathedral Building Office currently run up to an annual 6-7 million Euro, and one assumes they were similarly high during the past 50 years, we arrive at >300 million Euro for this relatively short period of time. This makes the sum mentioned above more realistic.

The actual construction costs over the centuries, however, can hardly be determined. For the mere completion of the construction in the 19th century, 8 million Taler, around 2.8 billion DM, had been required.


Wolff, Arnold, Interview in Ibykus No. 64 (3/1998) on the occassion of the 750th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone.



Translation: Erik Eising (M.A.)


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