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Johannes Klein Windows, 1884

Photo: © Dombauhütte Köln, Matz und Schenk

In 1884, a comprehensive cycle of images showing the history of salvation from the Creation of the World to the Last Judgment were designed for the eight windows on the ground floor of the two towers. The theological programme for the pictorial cycle was determined by the Cathedral Chapter. The sketches for the scenes, of which there were almost 200, were provided by the Viennese artist Johannes Klein (1823–83). In terms of composition, Klein drew heavily on the tradition of the medieval medallion windows (e.g. the earlier and later Bible windows in Cologne Cathedral). The eight tower windows were made in the Tyrolean Stained Glass Manufactory in Innsbruck.

The cycle was almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War; only two windows in the north tower were not damaged. Since 1993, the window department of the cathedral workshop has been reconstructing the lost windows on the basis of sketches in the cathedral archives. By September 2008, only half of the window above the St Peter portal remained to be reconstructed. The reconstruction of the tower windows is expected to be completed by 2010.

Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4