Kölner Dom On Sunday?

My husband and I will be traveling between Mainz Germany and Amsterdam with a stop in Köln (we'll be there for just over 3 hours) on a Sunday. We scheduled the rest of our trip keeping days of week in mind but with this I think we lost sight of the fact that it would be a Sunday. We are stopping in Köln specifically to see the cathedral.. I've looked at the website and they have service at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 12:00. Our train arrives in Köln at 11:05 and leave at 14:46. We do not want to attend service and we want to be respectful of those who are attending. We would love to see both the inside and outside of it. My questions are... Does anyone know how long the services are? Should we try to see the inside immediately when we arrive at 11? Should we wait until after the noon service? Is it respectful/ok to walk around the outside while service is happening? What should we wear? Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated! Thanks,
Amy (Thrilled to be leaving two weeks from today!!!)

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

We were there two years ago when a service was in progress. There are monks, or people dressed like monks, who separate the tourists from the church-goers. We thought "What the heck" and indicated we wanted to attend the service. They let us by. There was a large group of tourists being kept at the rear of the church. I would say go ahead and visit. The Dom is just five minutes across the square from the train station door. Oh, the services are just like here in duration. You can walk around outside. Wear what you want, everybody else does. We wear pants, shirts, socks, shoes, travel jackets, etc. If you go inside during a service one of the benefits is hearing the music, the organ and the voices.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9085 posts

Roman Catholic church services in Germany usually last about an hour, although if the main service (likely the 10.00) has the full musical accompaniment, it may last a little longer. I think you should be OK to walk over from the rail station as soon as you arrive (and presumbably, store you luggage... BTW, Köln's rail station has a very interesting system for left luggage). "Is it respectful/ok to walk around the outside while service is happening?" The Dom sits right in the heart of one of Germany's biggest cities. You'll be one of dozens of people lurking on the outside. And nobody attending mass on the inside will notice anything whatsoever. "What should we wear?" Whatever you find appropriate for the weather.

Posted by Amy
Farmland, Indiana, USA
22 posts

Thank you Tom & Monte! Tom - what do you mean by "BTW, Köln's rail station has a very interesting system for left luggage". We will be leaving our luggage at the station. 2 medium/large and 2 small bags. What do I need to know?? Have either of you heard if there has been any change in the issues at Mainz Hbf? Thanks again!
Amy

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I can't help with the main train station in Mainz. We got off at the other one which was just a short walk to the Ibis hotel. We were in Mainz to visit the Johan Gutenburg/Printing Museum and to see the holiest of books, the Gutenburg forty-two line Bible.

Posted by Val
Long Beach, USA
92 posts

Hi Amy, If you have the time...go all the way up the stairs (509 steps or so...think that is what I read somewhere)...I took very good pictures from up there. And wear whatever is appropriate for the weather. Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1963 posts

The ushers, those men dressed in robes, start restricting access almost an hour before the service starts. However, as Valerie suggested, you can climb the tower during that time, as well as visit the Cathedral Treasury, buy some eau de Cologne at the shop near the tower, and have a pastry across the square at Cafe Reichard.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9085 posts

Köln's luggage storage system. No need for alarm, it's just a neat system. Sort of a fully automated dumbwaiter. You pay the fee, and you get a card. You place your luggage in the dumbwaiter, and it takes it underground to a storage area. When you return to retrieve your luggage, you insert your card and it automatically retrieves your belongings.