Episode 3 - Medieval Cathedral Mysteries
BLOWING UP HISTORY investigates Europe’s masterpiece of gothic engineering, Cologne Cathedral, pulling apart its stones, tiles and pillars to explore the secrets of the medieval architects.
With the largest façade of any church in the world and spires that tower 157 meters over the city, Cologne Cathedral is the pinnacle of gothic cathedral engineering. The cavernous structure - equivalent to the size of 500 houses - took more than 600 years to build and, on completion, it was the tallest building on Earth.
CGI animation explores the engineering anatomy of Cologne Cathedral. Pulling it apart, stone by stone, unravels the mysteries of Cologne’s medieval master masons - how it’s ceiling appears to hang in mid-air, how it supports spectacular walls made of glass, and how it’s remained standing tall against earthquakes.
We meet the 30-strong restoration team working to keep Cologne’s magnificent structure in pristine condition, revealing how these modern day master craftsmen must mimic the techniques of their medieval predecessors to preserve and replace the delicate stonework and restore the stained glass windows. Meanwhile teams of experts use laser scanning technology to map the cathedral in never seen before detail to uncover the inner workings of this extraordinary structure.
This film explores the genius of this medieval masterpiece as never before - a building at the heart of an architectural revolution that forever changed the skyline of our greatest cities.