Sunday, January 6, 2008
Not being in Köln for Christmas, we missed the ringing of the cathedral bells. There certainly is no shortage of church bells in this city (from about 8 am on we hear them at least twice an hour, if not more), however the Dom bell is a little something special. At 24 tons, it is the largest free-swinging bell in the world and is rung only on major holidays. Epiphany, as you might guess, certainly qualifies as a major feast here, and the bells actually ring twice. (Epiphany celebrates the Three Kings coming to visit the baby Jesus and the Kölner Dom boasts that they have the remains of not one but all three Kings, so go figure.) We attended our first Heilige Messe (high mass) there on Saturday night, and then got to experience the fantastic sound of der Dicke Pitter (Bell of St. Peter). The bell was also rang this Sunday morning at 9:30 am, but that is a little too early for us to be out and about. For those who like to sleep in, this Sunday evening at the Heilege Messe there are no bells, but instead a procession to the shrine of the three kings (where CBS will be filming a very special CSI in which the remains are positively identified as the beloved Three Kings).