Photographing Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral is Germany’s most visited landmark with an average of 20,000 visitors a day. This famous monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture survived World War II bombings when nearly everything else in the city of Cologne was completely destroyed because allied forces chose to avoid hitting this amazing Cathedral.

With an average of 20,000 visitors per day, photographs are often full of these visitors. There are very few ways to “remove tourists” from a location like this. Knowing this, here are a few locations from where to photograph the Cathedral.

Iconic Photo Locations

Arguably the icon of the city is Cologne Cathedral. It stands high and proud in a relatively low-level city and can be photographed from numerous locations.

1. Domplatte
Pedestrian square & popular meeting place overlooked by the Gothic spires of Cologne Cathedral.
2. Roncalliplatz
The plaza to the south of the structure. This modern plaza contrasts sympathetically with the gothic spires of the cathedral. The entire cathedral is surrounded by a modern plaza and also numerous artworks which can be used as a juxtaposition to the building.
3. Rhine walkway
Pedestrian path beside the river near the Equestrian Statue of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Shooting from this location gives a great contrast between the ultra modern and the ancient. From the riverbank, on both sides of the Rhein, you can shoot another of Cologne’s icons, the Hohenzollernbrucke. This is a multi-arch, multi-tracked railway bridge that spans the Rhein in front of the Cathedral.
4. Heinrich-Böll-Platz
Located to the east of the Cathedral, this plaza was created in connection with the new building of the Museum Ludwig and the Cologne Philharmonic. It is located between the museum and the cathedral to the west.
5. Hohenzollernbrücke Viewing Platform
Perhaps the most famous shots of Cologne are taken from the East bank of the Rhein beside the Hohenzollernbrucke and incorporating the Cathedral on the opposite bank. The bridge itself has a wide pedestrian walkway with hundreds of thousands of love locks adorning the frame. On summer’s evening, this is a great location for shooting people and silhouettes looking back towards the cathedral.
6. Rheingarten
From this location you can fit the entire Cologne Cathedral into the shot. If you have ever seen the Cologne Cathedral in person, you know this is quite the challenge due to its size.
7. Burgmauer Street
If you want to get a few shots with the entire facade of Cologne Cathedral in the shot, you’re going to need to head down Burgmauer Street. Burgmauer street is directly in from of the entrance to the Cologne Cathedral, facing West, so you won’t miss it.
Bullet numbers correspond to the map.


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