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12a Erecting Cologne Cathedral

Görres was very interested in the way the past is expressed. Retracing history shows the path of the God who has already been perceived. The plenitude of cognition which becomes manifest in culture, leads the focus on the numinous. It gives orientation and strength for the establishment of the present. During his phase of retirement he learned old German and showed great interest in music and literature. Since 1804 he has been publishing essays about mediaeval art in the Munich paper «Aurora». Especially the German art form Gothic awakened his interest. Görres, the young husband, wrongly has been perceived as a resigned, nonpolitical man who escapes into privacy and romanticism. In fact he assumed the responsibility of a head of a family and pursued an academic career. He hoped that his function as researcher and lecturer gives an impetus for the rebirth of the spiritual, which leads to the evolution of political ideas. That is why formation of character and looking back on the Christian heritage were crucial to Görres all his life. It is not surprising that the completion of the Cologne Cathedral became a special concern to him. Görres was among others a founder of the Central Cathedral Construction Society which was accepted by the Prussian king Frederick William IV on the 30th November 1840. The society brought up 90.000 to 170.000 thalers each year. 1880, 32 years after Joseph Görres’ death, the last stone on the southern tower of the Cathedral was completed.