Monday, May 8, 2017

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, or Köln in German, sits on both sides of the Rhine River.  It is about 45 km (28 miles) from Düsseldorf and 25 km (16 miles) from Bonn.  Köln is the 4th largest city in Germany with over 1 million residents.  There are over 3,57 million people in the greater metro area.

The area was first founded in 38 BC until the Romans made it Colonia in 50 AD.

Rebuilt in 1971, here's the side portal of the north gate when the city was Colonia Claudia Are Agrippinensium, around 50 AD.

There were once 12 medieval city gates that protected the city.  The restored 13th-century Hahnentor at Rudolfplatz is one of the three still standing.

The original Eau de Cologne is 4711 was created in the early 18th century by an Italian living in Cologne.  It has been produced in the city since at least 1799.

The Köln City Museum documents the life in the city from the Middle Ages up until today.  It is housed in a former weapons armoury which was built around 1600.

There's a charming old town with lots of breweries, pubs, and restaurants.

The Roman Catholic cathedral is the most visited landmark in Germany.  It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe.

Construction began in 1248 and was left unfinished in 1473.  It was finally completed in 1880.  It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The city hall is over 900 years old which makes it the oldest city hall in Germany.

The Roman-Germanic Museum was established in 1946.  It's an archaeological museum and moved to its current building in 1974.

The National Socialism Documentation Centre was founded in 1979.  It is the country's largest regional memorial site for victims of the Nazi regime.  The building is a former Gestapo prison.

The Great Saint Martin Church dates back to around 960 AD.  The tower was built between 1150 - 1250.  Restoration work was completed in 1985.

The Deutz Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 1003.  It became a parish church in 1804.  It was restored in the the 1970s and today it functions as an old people's home.

Along the promenade on the west bank of the Rhine are the crane tower buildings.  They are shaped to look like hosting cranes.

The Ludwig Museum opened in 1976.  It's a modern art museum featuring many works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  It is also home to one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe.

On my day trip here on Saturday from Düsseldorf I joined in on one of the city's free walking tours which was quite well done.

One thing's for sure and that's that one day here isn't near enough time to see everything.  Köln and Paris are currently co-hosting the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championships so the city was incredibly packed with people cheering for their favourite teams.

Here's a short DW video I found out on YouTube sharing some of the city's highlights.

©DW English

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