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Photo of Cologne Cathedral

Shrine of the Magi (1200)

Dating from about 1200, the beautiful Shrine of the Magi is the largest reliquary in the western world. The exterior is covered in a total of seven feet of gilded silver and jewels pillaged from Constantinople during the Crusades. Images of Old Testament prophets line the bottom and the 12 apostles decorate the top. Inside are the sacred relics: three golden-crowned skulls believed to belong to the Magi. These relics were taken from Milan by Fredrick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Cologne in 1164.

Photo © Holly Hayes.