78E. Sumptuous Monstrance


We toured the Treasury of the Koln Cathedral and they had English translations but they were very brief – the item and construction materials. It is unclear what the holy purpose of a bejeweled monstrance could be in enhancing the worship of our Lord, but Koln Cathedral has a few of them.  For this tour, even though it was in the basement levels, we needed sunglasses. There was so much polished gold and shiny precious stones it seemed never ending. I get the purpose of a plate, chalice – I’ll even give them the incense burner but today was the straw that broke the camels back – the Holy Umbrella.


The amount of money we have seen in treasuries which belong to churches is astronomical. It is questionable how an institution with a tenant like piety can justify having so much. There is an extraordinary amount of money sitting behind glass pieces serving absolutely no purpose.

In the relic section the church had the chains of Peter. This was familiar to us because a cathedral in Rome has them as well. Comparing the chains, they are different – reason leads one to conclude that one of these is a fake. Why continue the ruse? Behind the alter of Koln is a reliquary of gold and more jewels. It claims to hold the skulls and crowns of the three wise men. Using critical thinking skills, this surely cannot be. Why continue the lie instead of converting the value of the gold to do some impactful ministering in the Koln area. There are more than a dozen beggars right outside the church. They shake their cups as tourists in the shadow of this giant church.

Knowing my thoughts, the church exacted it’s own revenge  when we climbed the bell tower. All 506 steps or stufens. It was the longest, narrowest, crowdest spiral staircase in existence. The church could make more money if they rented out cots in the belfry. We did get to admire the largest swinging bell in the world. It is fun how every place we visits manages to get in some sort of superlative about their goods – oldest, biggest, tallest, widest – you name it we have seen it.

We hit a couple more museums and then called it a day. The picture below is from a series of paintings depicting Saint Ursala, the patron saint of Koln. She travelled around with a large group of virgins who landed there ship at the wrong port and were all slaughtered. The picture below was part of the trip before things went poorly for them. Obviously they are being baptized but it struck me as so funny. It looks like a bunch of renaissance spring breakers in a jacuzzi.


The other museums we visited were a medieval art museum (Schnutgen) and an anthropology museum (Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum ).

BONUS MATERIAL: Girls Vlog for Cologne (click here)

5 responses to “78E. Sumptuous Monstrance

  1. If you had been on the ball in Bruges and visited St John’s Hospital you would have beheld the Reliquary of Ursula which explains clearly and fully in the most beautifulest panels ever the full and complete story of Saint Ursula and her roving band virgins.

    • Oh yes – after our first encounter with St. Ursula (Notre Dame in Brussels), we did a study on her. Her statue was pierced by an arrow to the chest. So we learned all about her and her boat trip that ended badly.

  2. I too have climbed the spiral staircase, and it was in no way a comfortable climb. Going up used the inside of the spiral, where the steps are narrower, and the noses of the steps are all worn down so I felt like my foot was always going to slip off!

  3. Pingback: Where Did We Go? | Friend Family Adventure·

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