The full name of the Cologne Cathedral is "Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria." At 157 meters, it is the third tallest church in the world and the only taller building in Cologne is the television tower "Colonius." Construction of the gothic cathedral began in 1248, but its completion could not be celebrated until 1880. Actually the cathedral is permanently under construction, because the facade, which is largely made of sandstone, is in constant need of renovation due to erosion. As can be seen where pieces have been replaced, the building material of the cathedral is lighter at first, but darkens over time. The Cologne Cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996. As one of Germany's most popular landmarks, it attracts many tourists, who can find plenty of information and souvenirs in the vicinity of the cathedral. A customary meeting point is the almost 10 meters tall concrete finial, a 1:1 model of the stone finials on top of the two cathedral towers.
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