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Devil’s drawings. Why could the construction of Cologne Cathedral lead to the end of the world?

Devil's drawings. Why could the construction of Cologne Cathedral lead to the end of the world? 1

Cologne Cathedral, located in the third largest city in Germany, is rightfully one of the most mysterious structures made by human hands and certainly the most mysterious temple on Earth. Its construction began in 1248, but has not yet been completed, which makes the cathedral a record “long-term construction” in the history of architecture.

The majestic Gothic-style building attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. But what does the devil’s drawings have to do with it and why does the completion of the construction of Cologne Cathedral herald the end of the world?

The construction of the cathedral was carried out in several stages, stretching over many centuries, during which the temple experienced a number of amazing events, the veracity of which is difficult to believe.

The mysterious history of the construction of Cologne Cathedral

The first stone of the cathedral’s foundation was laid in 1248. The construction was entrusted to the German architect Gerhard von Riehle, whose task was to create a symbol of the city – once one of the most powerful centers of the Holy Roman Empire.

The project of the giant cathedral was striking in its scope: 472 feet in length, 282 feet in width, 515 feet in height, which would have made the temple the tallest building in the world at that time.

Inexplicable events began to occur already at the planning stage of the grandiose cathedral. An old German legend says that Gerhard von Riehle, despite his outstanding knowledge of architecture, could not create drawings for the future cathedral – either errors in arithmetic calculations or lack of creative ideas let him down. Then, out of despair, the architect made a deal with the devil himself, asking him to exchange the finished cathedral project for his soul.

According to the terms of the agreement, the transfer of the drawings was to be marked by the morning crow of the first rooster. However, von Riehle’s wife found out about the mysterious deal and crowed instead of the rooster, and the deceived devil brought the promised drawings. Thus, the architect was able to save his soul and received the long-awaited drawing, thanks to which he could create the most majestic and grandiose temple in the history of mankind.

Gerhard von Riehle died in 1271, without even having time to complete the construction of the eastern part of the building, from which construction of the cathedral began. Further construction was carried out with frequent stops and interruptions and was completed only at the end of the 19th century, after which the restoration of the building immediately began, which continues to this day.

Devil's drawings. Why could the construction of Cologne Cathedral lead to the end of the world? 2
Over the hundreds of years of construction, the cathedral has experienced many amazing stories.

Why will the completion of the cathedral mark the end of the world?

Let’s return to the legend. The deceived devil harbored a grudge against the architect and his cunning wife for violating the terms of the agreement. He cursed the cathedral, saying that as soon as its construction was completed, the apocalypse would come.

Of course, one can approach this story in different ways. But how can we explain that one of the greatest churches in human history cannot be completed for almost 800 years? Throughout the entire period of construction, the threat of complete destruction repeatedly hung over the Cologne Cathedral.

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For example, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was marching through Europe with his conquests, could have destroyed the temple, but he ordered that it be treated more favorably, albeit very disrespectfully – a storage facility was organized in the cathedral for hay, which was used to feed the horses.

It is also surprising that Cologne Cathedral remained almost undamaged during the massive bombing of Germany at the end of World War II. The majestic towers of the almost intact cathedral rose above the ruins that remained of Cologne after the explosions of hundreds of British and American shells dropped on the city. Subsequently, scientists put forward the theory that the bombers used the cathedral spiers as a reference point for striking Cologne, so it was simply unprofitable for them to destroy the cathedral itself.

But who knows, maybe Cologne Cathedral really is under the protection of heavenly forces trying to protect humanity from the end of the world?

The cathedral is the main attraction of Cologne, which can be seen from all points of the city
The cathedral is the main attraction of Cologne, which can be seen from all points of the city.

Interesting facts about Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the World Heritage in Danger list. Rains and pollution cause serious damage to the temple.

The annual construction and restoration work carried out in the cathedral costs the German budget approximately 10 million euros.

The Cologne Cathedral houses the largest working bell in the world – “Peter”, weighing 24 tons. Now it is powered by electricity, but previously it took the strength of twelve men to swing it.

In 1842, a community was created to support the construction of the temple, which is still active today. It has more than a thousand members around the world – caring people who collect donations for the construction of the temple (and, apparently, want to hasten the end of the world).

And by the way, the legend of the construction of the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary in Munich also tells about a deal with the devil. The architect could not come up with a project for a long time and turned to the “evil one” for help. The devil agreed, but put forward a condition that there should be no windows. An agreement was formed and the devil went away satisfied, leaving the architect with the blueprints. He shook and moved the supporting columns to the center of the nave, making them thicker. And it turned out that the person standing inside sees the light, but does not see where it is falling from. Such is the effect!

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