For the last 15 years, Cesare Della Santina has overseen import and export operations as president of produce company CDS Foods, Inc. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Cesare Della Santina enjoys traveling around the globe, particularly to churches in various countries such as Germany.
Towering above the city skyline, the Cologne Cathedral (also known as the Kolner Dom) stands at 157.38 meters tall. Its 8,000-square-meter interior can accommodate over 20,000 people and houses several religious relics and works of art, including the Gero Cross, Jeweled Madonna, and the Chapel of the Virgin.
The Gothic-style cathedral has served as a gathering place for Christian worshipers for more than 2,000 years. Located on the site of an ancient Roman temple, the Old Cathedral was built in 818 and contained altars for St. Peter and Maria. The cathedral later became a well-known destination for religious pilgrimages in 1164 when Archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought the remains of the Three Magi to the site.
After burning down in the 13th century, the Cologne Cathedral was rebuilt across the span of over 600 years. Until the early 1800s, the cathedral featured only one section, which included the consecrated choir. Germany’s Romantic Era inspired the Prussian Court and Cologne citizens to resume heavy construction following the original medieval building plans. In 1880, builders completed the Cologne Cathedral in its entirety.
The founder and president of Montreal-based CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina has over 25 years of experience in the importing industry. When he isn’t traveling for business, Cesare Della Santina enjoys traveling to experience different cultures and pursues activities such as visiting historic churches.
Europe is home to some of the world’s most famous and revered churches. Located in Barcelona, Spain, the Sagrada Familia cathedral is a Roman Catholic church designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. The cathedral has been under construction since 1882, and has yet to be finished. Its current completion date is expected in 2026. To the east of Spain, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a relic of French Gothic architecture, with intricate stained glass windows, high ceilings, and gargoyle sculptures.
Also built in the Gothic style, London’s Westminster Abbey is famous for not only its architecture, but also for the historic figures buried there. Many English monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I, rest in Westminster Abbey, along with famous writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Located southeast of the British Isles within the boundaries of Italy, Vatican City is home to both St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Architect and artist Michelangelo designed the dome for St. Peter’s Basilica, and his paintings depicting the book of Genesis adorn the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
The founder of CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina originally launched the company as a brokerage, then expanded into importing produce, beginning with garlic and expanding to other foods, including dragon fruit and Asian pears. In his free time, Cesare Della Santina likes to travel and enjoys visiting churches and monuments. Travelers interested in visiting historic and beautiful churches have many options, among them:
1. Las Lajas Sanctuary: This Neo-Gothic cathedral is perched precariously above a deep river gorge in southern Colombia. Built between 1916 and 1949, the church was designated a minor basilica by the Catholic Church.
2. La Sagrada Familia: Created by Antonio Gaudi, this surrealist cathedral is one of Barcelona’s most recognizable architectural works. It is still under construction after more than 130 years.
3. Duomo: The fourth-largest church in the world, Milan’s Gothic cathedral took more than five centuries to complete. The construction includes 135 marble spires and more than 3,000 statues on the exterior alone.