Saturday, 10 March 2012

Cologne Cathedral - Kölner Dom

When I drew Cologne Cathedral, for the very first time, it was the Fifth highest building in the world. 
    The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, has the second-tallest spires and the largest façade of any church in the world.

In German it is known as, Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria.
In English: High Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary

We'd only been married a little over a year when the Royal Air Force posted me to the RAF Station at Butzweilerhof. Being such a new and junior member of the RAF, there was no way I qualified for Married Accommodation and therefore I had to find a private apartment. After a few months of saving for a deposit and an agent's fee, I secured a top floor apartment in Pius Straße which was situated in the wonderful area of Cologne known as Ehrenfeld. 
    Pat had never been far outside our home town by the time she arrived in Cologne. She spoke no German at all - which was slightly better than me - and the locals in Ehrenfeld spoke no English. But she took all that in her stride and before long was on 'speaking' terms with the neighbours, shopkeepers and market stall-holders.
     When she went into hospital to have Steven - the market stall keepers gave me bunches of flowers and baskets of fruit for her and wouldn't take a pfennig for them. Wonderful people, the folk of Cologne.
      The first time she saw Cologne Cathedral, it took her breath away. We had approached it through streets flanked by high buildings and therefore she had no idea what to expect as we emerged into the open. "Hell's Bells!" she gasped - highly inappropriate, but her favourite phrase.
    For Pat to get out to Butzweilerhof, she had to catch a bus from Pius Straße to the Dom (cathedral). From here, a tram around the Kaiser Wilhelm Ring to Aachen Straße and a bus out to Butz. Therefore the Dom became a regular feature of her week. 
     It was over twenty years later that I drew the picture above. It's quite a big picture (17 inches 435mm high and 11 inches 285mm wide). Lots of framed prints were sold in the 1980s, but the problem was the glass, it made it difficult to send the pictures through the mail system. I therefore had the picture reproduced on copper as a sort of etching and they proved very popular.
     I have only resurrected the picture now by popular demand and sell signed and mounted copies for £20 (US$35) (24 Euro) plus package and postage.

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