Photo: Lothar Schnepf. © Kolumba, Köln (Cologne).

Art museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne
Kolumbastraße 4
50667 Cologne
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–8pm,
Friday 11am–11pm
T +49 221 9331930
F +49 221 93319333

Kolumba is the art museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne, originally founded in 1853. It allows the visitor to experience two millennia of western culture in a single building. Comprising art from late antiquity to the very present, the whole ensemble is imbued with a still reverberating sense of history—visibly intensified through its distinctive architecture. The modern building is a harmonious combination designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor (2007) to merge both the Gothic ruins of St Kolumba and Böhms chapel “Madonna in the Ruins” (1950) with the unique archaeological excavation site (1973–76).

As a reflective museum Kolumba offers the chance to come to grips with life transformed into art.

The “living museum” makes no distinction between permanent collection and temporary exhibition. By altering the exhibition several times over the course of the year, Kolumba largely displays its own collection in changing contexts. Apart from a very few major works, which were created as site-specific pieces or those which are always in place as signature pieces of the museum, each year a new selection of works is introduced on September 15. Characteristic of the almost private ambience are the absence of object labels as well as the interconnection of the works in a manner that is independent of their chronological, stylistic, or media relationships. The way the works are displayed always strives to achieve presence for the works of art.

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