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Altar of the Poor Clares, High Feast Day Opening

The altar-piece of the Poor Clares is at its most spectacular in the second transformation (i.e. when the altar-piece is opened for high feast-day celebrations). The architectural frames that are painted in the views are now three-dimensional and gilded. This creates niches on the inside of the inner wings and the centre panel. In these niches are twelve reliquary busts of female saints (lower arcade) and standing figures of the twelve apostles above (upper arcade). Some of these sculptures were added in the nineteenth century. Once again, the protruding centre shrine interrupts the two cycles of figures. This transformation, which is only visible on high feast-days, depicts the divine, not only in the form of the apostles, but also, to a certain extent, in the reliquary busts of the female saints. Each bust has an opening decorated with tracery at chest level, allowing the relics inside to be seen. The redeeming character of this most festive transformation reaches its peak in the Eucharistic function of the central shrine.

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