Privacy Policy

Data privacy

Cologne Cathedral is delighted that you have decided to visit our website and are interested in our institutions and services. We take protecting your personal data seriously and want you to feel secure when visiting our website. Cologne Cathedral, its institutions and organisations are subject to the provisions of the German Data Privacy Act. It is ensured that we and external service providers comply with the regulations on data privacy.

Collecting and processing personal data

If the website provides the option of entering personal or business data (e.g. in a personal message), the visitor explicitly provides this data on a voluntary basis. Here too your data is treated in confidence and not passed on to third parties.
The visitor has the right to receive on request information on the personal data saved about them free of charge. In line with statutory provisions, they also have the right to correct, block or delete this personal data. Personal data is only collected by information providers if you provide it, for example during registration or using an email form.

Visitor statistics and web analysis
Each visit to our website and each opening of a file stored on the website is logged. The records are used exclusively for system-related and statistical purposes. The following information is logged:

•    name of the requested page,
•    date and time of your access connection,
•    data quantity transferred,
•    duration of visit,
•    notification of successful call-up,
•    Links used,
•    requesting domain,
•    IP address,
•    browser used and
•    operating system used

For web analysis, we use Piwik and Google Analytics with the anonymisation functions switched on and whilst complying with the provisions on data privacy. Piwik and Google Analytics use "cookies”, text files that are stored and read on your device and provide information on your internet usage behaviour. The information created by the cookie (including the shortened IP address) is stored in a protected area. The IP address is made anonymous by this process. You can block cookies using an appropriate setting in your browser software. But it may be the case that you cannot then use the full functions of this website.
You can visit the Cologne Cathedral website without needing to provide personal data. Visitor behaviour is analysed on the server for statistical purposes. Individual users remain anonymous in these visitor statistics.

Information on using Piwik
If the Piwik web analysis program is used on our website, you can oppose the storage and analysis of data about your visit at any time. When using Piwik, you can find the function on deactivating the web analysis on this page below.

Information on using Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a web analysis service by Google Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses so-called “cookies”, text files that are saved on your computer and enable the use of the website to be analysed. The information created by the cookie on your use of this website (including your IP address) is transferred to and stored on a Google server in the US. Google will use this information to analyse your use of the website, create reports on website activities for operators and to provide services associated with using the website and internet.

This analysed information is available to information providers on this server. It is not transferred to third parties for commercial purposes.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties if this is required by law and if third parties process this data on behalf of Google. The IP address provided using Google Analytics is not combined with other Google data. You can prevent the installation of cookies by adjusting the relevant setting in your browser software; but in this case, we expressly point out that you may not be able to use the full functions of this website. Through the use of this website you declare agreement with the processing of the data collected about you by Google in the manner described and for the purpose stated above.

However, since Cologne Cathedral has activated IP anonymisation on this website, Google will first shorten your IP address within European Union Member States or in other signatory states of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases, e.g. if there are technical failures in Europe, it may be necessary to transfer the full IP address to a Google server in the USA where it is also shortened.

If you do not want your visit to the site to be analysed by Google Analytics, you can also prevent the recording of the data created by the cookie related to your use of our website (incl. your IP address) by Google and the processing of this data by Google by downloading and installing a “browser add-on to deactivate Google Analytics” which is available from the following link:

Use of social plugins

We give the users of this site the option of recommending and discussing the content. For this purpose, we include the relevant buttons for Facebook, twitter and Google+. We have set up a two-stage solution for likes (Facebook), tweets (twitter) and +1s (Google) that you will find on many pages: So that you can “like”, “tweet” or “+1”, you must first click on the button and activate it; only then is a connection made to the Facebook, Twitter or Google servers and you can then share the entry with your friends using a second click. See also: c´t article: 2 clicks for more data privacy. If you do not want the relevant social media provider to collect your data about our website, you must log out of the provider's website before visiting it. 

Please note the relevant current data privacy provisions for the relevant social media.


Special note on Facebook

This website uses so-called Social Plugins ("Plugins") from the social network and these are operated by Facebook Inc., 1601 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA ("Facebook"). The plugins are indicated by a Facebook logo or the “Facebook social plugin supplement.
As a result of the plug-in integration, Facebook receives notification that you opened up the relevant page on our website. If you are logged into Facebook, Facebook can assign the visit to your Facebook account. If the user interacts with the plugin, e.g. presses the "Like" button or makes a comment, the relevant information is transferred directly from their browser to Facebook and is saved there.
The purpose and scope of the data collection and the ongoing processing and use of the data by Facebook as well as your rights and setting options related to this to protect your private sphere are shown in the Facebook data privacy information.
It is possible to block Facebook social plugins with add-ons for your browser, for example with the Facebook Blocker.  Please note the relevant current provisions on data privacy for Facebook.


Special note on Instagram

The functions of the Instagram service are integrated into our website. These functions are offered by Instagram Inc., 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA. If you are logged into your Instagram account, you can link the content of our site with your Instagram profile by clicking the Instagram button. This enables Instagram to assign your visit to our site to your user account. We point out that as the provider of the site we have no knowledge of the content of the transferred data and its use by Instagram.
Further information can be found in the Instagram data privacy declaration:


Special note on YouTube

Our website uses plugins from YouTube, which is operated by Google. The operator is YouTube, LLC, 901 Cherry Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066, USA. If you visit a page with a YouTube plugin, a connection is made to the YouTube servers. The YouTube server is informed about which of our pages you have visited.

If you are logged into your YouTube account, you enable YouTube to directly assign your browsing behaviour to your personal profile. You can prevent this from occurring by logging out of your YouTube account.

You can find additional information on handling user data in the YouTube data privacy declaration.



Our website uses session cookies. Session cookies store information that is used when visiting the current site. These cookies are deleted automatically when you leave our site. With the aid of these cookies, we ensure for example that you can order products or services by placing them into the shopping basket and can leave the basket to visit other pages on our website without losing the orders you have made. This also applies if you register for events or complete email forms. We do not use the cookies to provide visitors to our site with targeted advertising. You have the option to prevent the use of cookies at any time. To do so you must modify the relevant settings in your internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera or Safari).


Email message notification

Sending confidential data by email over the internet without protection is associated with risks. Please understand that for your own security we cannot accept any legally binding orders or declarations by email. Therefore, please use the usual transmission methods for such matters in your own interest, in particular if the notification is associated with a deadline as this is not possible via email. You will find the address and fax number for this in the legal notes section of the relevant information provider.



Cologne Cathedral uses technical and organisational security measures to protect the data that you provide from random or deliberate manipulation, loss, destruction or access by unauthorised people. Our security measures are improved on an ongoing basis in line with technological developments.




Right of access

Upon receipt of a written enquiry, we will be glad to inform you about the data held on you. Requests for information on, correction, deletion or blocking your personal data are processed on the basis of the applicable legal provisions. Please contact the responsible department:
On behalf of the metropolitan chapter:
Archdiocese of Cologne
General Vicariate
Officer for Data Privacy
50606 Cologne

For questions on the technical handling of your personal data, please contact our internet administrator directly:

Archdiocese of Cologne
General Vicariate
IT Service Department
Internet Administration
50606 Cologne