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Cologne Cathedral: Overall view of main facade and towers
The towers were not completed until 1880, at which time it was the tallest structure in the world. The spires are 157 m tall.
Cologne Cathedral, dedicated to St Peter and the Virgin Mary, follows the pattern of the High Gothic cathedrals of northern France. The 4 m high parchment drawing (ca. 1300) of the design of the west façade provided guidelines for the 19th-century builders. There were no such medieval guidelines for the transept façades, which were designed afresh by the cathedral architect Ernst Friedrich Zwirner. For four years, 1880-1884, it was the tallest structure in the world, until the completion of the Washington Monument. It has the second-tallest church spires, only surpassed by the single spire of Ulm Minster, completed 10 years later in 1890. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.