Statues - Hither & Thither

Germany
Köln
Stadt Köln

Nordrhein-Westfalen

Kardinal-Höffner-Platz
(Kölner Dom)

Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms

Statues at the West Façade of the Cologne Cathedral

Drei-Königs-Portal - Hauptportal - Peters-Portal
Magi Portal - Main Portal - St. Peter's Portal
Various sculptors
1872-80

Köln /  Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms   Köln /  Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms

Description

The Köner Dom - Cologne Cathedral - is adorned with many statues. The art work of the cathedral's portals is dominated by their life-sized jamb figures. There were originally 47 at the west end, 37 at the south end, and 25 at the north end. Except for the medieval sculptures of St. Peter's Portal all sculptures of the Cathedral are made by Christian Mohr and Peter Fuchs. The three portals of the west façade are the Magi Portal, the Main Portal and St. Peter's Portal.

Drei-Königs-Portal - Magi Portal

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Drei-Königs-Portal - Overview
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Tympan
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Gable

The portal is the Magi portal, which illustrates the Appearance of the Son of God to the peoples of the world. The figural decoration of the Magi portal was sculpted by Peter Fuchs. Sadly, the portal was damaged during the Second World War.

Jamb Statues

The heads of most of the large figures in this portal were lost during the Second World War, and statues 1-4 were completely destroyed. Replacements of the four figures and the heads were sculpted by Elisabeth Baumeister-Bühler between 1958 and 1960.The head of the figure of Melchisedek is the only remaining Peter Fuchs original in the series (but this figure was not present in May 2016).

Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Left column
1
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Left column
2
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Statues 3-7 on the left side of the Magi Portal


    Left of the portal
  1. Abel, according to the creation, the first man (Wikipedia).
  2. Jafet / Japheth, one of the sons of Noah (Wikipedia).
    North side jambs
  3. Ijob / Job, central character of the Book of Job in the Bible (staff) (Wikipedia).
  4. Königin von Saba / Queen of Sheba, came to Jerusalem "with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones" (I Kings 10:2) (Wikipedia).
  5. Hiskija (Ezechias) / Hezekiah, the 13th king of Judah (Wikipedia).
  6. Balthasar / Balthazar, one of the Magi (Wikipedia).
  7. Caspar, one of the Magi (Wikipedia).

    Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
    Statues 8-12 on the right side of the Magi Portal


    South side jambs
  8. Melchior, one of the Magi (Wikipedia).
  9. Joschija / Josiah, king of Judah (641-609 BCE) (Wikipedia).
  10. David, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, reigning c.1010-970 BCE (Wikipedia).
  11. Die Witwe von Sarepta / The widow of Zarephath, The raising of the widow of Zarephath's son is a miracle of the prophet Elijah recorded in the Hebrew Bible, 1 Kings 17 (Wikipedia).
  12. Melchisedek / Melchizedek (wanting), king and priest mentioned during the Abram narrative in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis (Wikipedia).

Tympan and Gable

The tympan shows two scenes: at the top: The Adoration of the Magi; and at the bottom: the Magi before Herod.

The gable is adorned with six angels.

Hauptportal - Main portal

The centre portal (Hauptportal - main portal) is 9.3 metres wide and, including its gable, more than 28 metres high. The theme of the centre portal is the age before redemption.

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Hauptportal - Overview
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Trumeau (22)
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Tympan

Jamb statues

The jamb figures in the main portal depict the great biblical figures in the era before Christ's crucifixion redeemed humankind.

Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Statues 15-21 on the left side of the main portal


    Left side jambs
  1. Adam , according to the creation, the first man (Wikipedia).
  2. Noach / Noah, the tenth and last of the pre-flood Patriarchs (ark and olive branch) (Wikipedia).
  3. Moses (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה‎), Biblical figure, religious leader, lawgiver, and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed (Wikipedia).
  4. David, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, reigning c.1010-970 BCE (Wikipedia).
  5. Elijah, prophet (Wikipedia).
  6. Joachim, the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus (Wikipedia).
  7. St. John the Baptist (c. 6 BC- c. 36 AD), itinerant preacher and a major religious figure who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River. He baptized Jesus at "Bethany beyond the Jordan." (Wikipedia).

  8. (trumeau) St. Mary with Child.

    Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
    Statues 23-29 on the right side of the main portal


    Right side jambs
  9. St. Joseph (Hebrew יוֹסֵף, "Yosef"; Greek: Ἰωσήφ), the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ (in distinction to God, his "heavenly father") (Wikipedia).
  10. St. Anna mother of the Virgin Mary. She is often depicted with Mary as a child or a young girl (Wikipedia).
  11. Eliseus / Elisha, prophet and a wonder-worker (Wikipedia).
  12. Salomo / Solomon, fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel and son of David (Wikipedia).
  13. Samuel, leader of ancient Israel and prophet (Wikipedia).
  14. Abraham, first of the three biblical patriarchs of Israel (Wikipedia).
  15. Eva / Eve, according to the creation, the first woman, and wife of Adam (no. 23) (distaff) (Wikipedia).
Two statues on the right column, Enos and Seth, are no longer present.

Emperor statues flanking the main portal

Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
13-14
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
30-31

Left of the portal:

  1. Konstantin der Große / Constantin the Great (c. 285-337), Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 (Wikipedia).
  2. Karl der Große / Charlemagne (unknown place 742 - Aachen 814), King of the Franks (since 768) and Emperor (since 800) (Wikipedia).
Right of the portal:
  1. Kaiser Heinrich II. / Henry II (972-1024), Holy Roman Emperor, canonized in July 1147 by Pope Bl. Eugenius III (Wikipedia).
  2. Stephan von Ungarn / St. Stephen of Hungary (Esztergom 967-75 - Esztergom or Székesfehérvár 1038), Grand Prince of the Hungarians (997-1000) and the first King of Hungary (1000-1038) (Wikipedia).

Tympan

The four rows show scenes from the Old and New Testaments (from the top down):

Gable

(click on the photo.)
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Gable
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms

In the center of the gable is a sitting figure of Christ, holding a book with the letters Α and Ω and making a blessing gesture with his right hand. At his sides are statues of the four great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel

On the outer edge of the gable stand eight angels with various objects.

Peters-Portal - St. Peter portal

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Peters-Portal - Overview
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Tympan
Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Gable

To the right is the St Peter portal, which highlights the spreading of Christ's teachings by his chosen apostles.
The St Peter portal is the only one of the cathedral's twelve portals to have been at least partially completed during the Middle Ages. It was used as a template for the design of the other portals in the nineteenth century. Members of the Parler family, a family of famous sculptors and masters, carved the figures that decorate the portal between 1370 and 1380. On either side of the bronze doors stand large jamb figures, five of which are originals: (starting on the inside and moving out) Peter, Andrew, and James in the northern (left-hand) jamb; Paul and John in the southern (right-hand) jamb. Because the original statues were in such poor condition, they were removed and replaced by cast stone replicas between 1972 and 1980.

Jamb Statues

Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
Statues 32-38 on the left side of St. Peter's portal

The twelve apostles with Matthias and Barnabas (the identification of the individual apostles is not sure)

  1. St. Simon the Zealot or Simon Zelotes, one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. He is depicted with a saw (Wikipedia).
  2. St. Philippus / St. Philip one of the Twelve Apostles. He is protector of trinket merchants. He is depicted holding a cross in his left hand as a symbol of the way in which he died, and a book in his right hand as an emblem of dying for the Word of God (Wikipedia).
  3. St. Matthew one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and one of the four Evangelists. His attribute is an angel. As patron saint of book-keepers, tax collectors and security forces, he is also depicted with writing utensils (Wikipedia).
  4. St. Mathias the apostle chosen by the remaining eleven apostles to replace Judas Iscariot. Protector of carpenters, butchers and smiths. His attribute is a halberd, signifying the way in which he died (Wikipedia).
  5. St. James the Greater (d. 44), one of the Twelve Apostles. Patron saint of pilgrims, soldiers and cavalrymen. Depicted holding a pilgrim's staff decorated with a scallop shell. His remains are in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain) (Wikipedia).
  6. St. Andrew apostle and the brother of Saint Peter; founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium. Protector of fishermen, in particular. He is shown with a saltire cross, in accordance with the way in which he died (Wikipedia).
  7. St. Peter (possibly died AD 67), apostle, featured prominently in the New Testament and the Acts of the Apostles. Patron saint of locksmiths and confessors. Usually depicted holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in his hand. Peter is the first Pope (Wikipedia)

    Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
    Statues 39-43 on the left side of St. Peter's portal

    Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
    Right column
    44
    Köln - Statuen am Westfassade des Kölner Doms
    Right column
    45

  8. St. Paul the Apostle, (c. 5 - c. 67 ), persecuted the early followers of Jesus before switching sides and seeking to join them. He was instrumental in creating the Christian Church. He is the protector of tent-makers, theologians and the ecclesiastical press and is depicted with a sword. (Wikipedia).
  9. St. John the Apostle one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. The patron saint of book engravers, booksellers and authors, John, is holding a book and a chalice, and he, according to legend, prayed for it to become non-poisonous - considered to be the same person as John the Evangelist (Wikipedia).
  10. St. Thomas one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Patron saint of architects, builders and land surveyors, usually holding a right-angle (Wikipedia).
  11. St. Bartholomew the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Protector of shepherds and winegrowers. His attribute is a knife, which signifies the way in which he died (Wikipedia).
  12. St. James the Lesser one of the Twelve Apostles. Depicted with a club, since he is said to have been clubbed to death (Wikipedia).
  13. St. Jude the Apostle one of the Twelve Apostles (clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus) (Wikipedia).
  14. Barnabas, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem (Wikipedia).

Tympan

Scenes from the lives of the apostles Peter and Paul.

Gable

Six statues on the edge.

NB Because of restoration and lack of time we did not photograph the north and south portals.

Signature

A few statues are signed 'P. Fuchs fec.' or 'P.F. Fec.', sometimes with a year (1877, 1880).

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Charlemagne
  • Christ
  • Constantine the Great
  • Daniel
  • David (king)
  • Elijah
  • Elisha (Prophet)
  • Eva
  • Ezekiel
  • Façade with statues (church)
  • Fuchs, Peter
  • Henry II (emperor)
  • Hezekiah
  • Isaiah
  • James the Greater, St.
  • James the Minor, St.
  • Japheth
  • Jeremiah
  • Joachim, St.
  • Job
  • John the Apostle, St.
  • John the Baptist, St.
  • Joseph, St.
  • Josiah
  • Jude the Apostle, St.
  • Kaspar (one of the Magi)
  • Mary with Child
  • Matthew, St.
  • Matthias, St.
  • Melchior (one of the Magi)
  • Melchizedek
  • Mohr, Christian
  • Monarch
  • Moses
  • Nativity
  • Noah
  • Paul, St.
  • Peter, St.
  • Philip, St.
  • Prophet
  • Samuel
  • Sheba, Queen of
  • Simon the Zealot, St.
  • Solomon
  • Stephen I of Hungary, St.
  • Thomas, St.
  • Tympan
  • Zarephath, widow of
  • Location (N 50°56'28" - E 6°57'25")

    eXTReMe Tracker
    Item Code: denw503; Photograph: 14 May 2016
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt