Every place we visit memorable is by something that is deeply etched in our memory. Some words autimatically invoke the memory of the city that we wisited, so the channel link with Venice, light with Paris, October with Munich,...etc. So far I've seen a lot of beautiful cathedrals, all over Europe, and Cologne Cathedral certainly belongs among the top three, but I will remember Cologne by something completely different.
1. By the wonderful friends I've met through VT and live meeting with some of them, organized by Sabsi. Some of these friends I've met already before, in several ocassions (Sabsi, Horsecheck), the others I met for the first time. It was so good to meet them all and we spent a very pleasant evening in Cologne. I was very touched and very honored that so many people gathered on the ocassion of my visit to Cologne. Thank you guys, so much - SABSI, BIGS, TINY TUCK, HORSCHEK, SAPPONEN, RHINEROLL, DOCU2001!
Fondest memory: 2. I will remember Cologne for its nice breweries which are spread all over the old core of the town. Most of them looking great and each one is offering good times in a nice and relaxing atmosphere.
As you wander along the west bank of the river you'll notice the blue-painted pipes leading into the water. You'll also come across the little tower pictured that I first mistook for a clock before I realised that it only has 10 "hours" to its day.
This is part of the local flood defences as the river here is prone to flooding. The thing that looks like a clock is in fact the Köln Pegel which measures the river's water level. The short hand indicates metres whilst the long hand centimetres in increments of 10.
The blue pipes are part of the pumping system which drain the rising water to an out of city flood plain. The last major flood was in 1995 when the water level reached over 10 metres and many of the old city buildings were inundated.
Cologne is an excellent city for wandering. The old centre is pretty much given over to pedestrians and cyclists and both banks of the river have foot and cycle paths. You'll also find plenty of tourist-friendly signage and street maps at strategic locations.
So unless you have a few too many Kölsch's you should never get lost!
The suburb of Deutz, once a separate town, is situated on the opposite bank of the Rhine. Cologners call Deutz the “schäl Sick”, the “crooked side”, with an undertone of contempt. Deutz has always been a poor quarter, compared to the rich imperial city of Cologne.
Deutz has its own train station which is 2 minutes by S-Bahn from the central station – so if you have a train connection for example Frankfurt that only goes to Deutz, no worries.
Deutz is also the location of the fairgrounds where several big fairs take place, for example the Art Cologne. The fairground tower (Messeturm), built in 1927 and rebuilt after the war, is a landmark on the Deutz river bank.
Fondest memory: The promenade along the Deutz river bank offers the best panoramic view of cathedral and old town. From Dom and train station, cross the Rhine via Hohenzollernbrücke; there is a separate foot and bike lane along the train bridge.
Here is the link to a very thorough guide to the pubs, beer halls, and beer gardens of Cologne. I don't claim any credit for the guide, but I am including it as a tip because it was helpful to me in planning my trip. Enjoy the Kölsch!
Favorite thing: Cologne is an ancient city dating back perhaps as early as 38 BC when the Roman Empire established a colony here and it came to be known as Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippensium in the year 50 AD, from which name the modern name of Cologne is derieved. It was a prosperous independent town with about 20,000 residents surrounded by 3.9 kilometer long city walls.
Edith Stein, canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1998, was a German nun who was killed at Auschwitz. She was born into an Orthodox Jewish family, renounced her faith when she was a student of linguistic philosophy (under Husserl), and later converted to Catholicism. She entered a convent here in Cologne. But eventually her Jewish "racial" ancestry caused her to be deported by the Nazis.
The memorial, designed by Burt Gerresheim, represents three distinct periods in Stein's life.
Favorite thing: Pop up ages well, I think, at least it does when it's executed by a master like Oldenburg. Here in Cologne he's dropped one of his trademark oversized objects - a large ice cream cone - on the corner entrance of the Neumarkt Galerie shopping center.
The camping area is really crowded, so I would recomend to go there at least a pair of days before the festival starts, on wednesday.
We arrived on thursday night and we had many dificulties to put our tent!!
You have two options if you have to go to the toilet:
1-. Chemical Toilets: There are located everywhere all around the lake. The problem is that they aren´t too clean. they could be OK for a pee, but not for anything else. :-$
2-. Toilets: They are located in front of the place where the tickets are sold.
They cost 0.50€ and they are claen. The only problem is that they are always crowded so GO WITH TIME ENOUGH, at least half an hour!!
Cologne is one of the oldest towns in Germany, founded by Romans to marked the border between the Roman Empire and the lands of hostile Germanic tribes. The Romans named it Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensis, which later had been shortened to Colonia or Cologne. In 50 A.D., the Roman Empress Agrippina, a native of Cologne, raised the settlement status to that of Roman town.
Fondest memory: First that I have noticed in Cologne is great number of bell towers all over the town. Cologne has always been a major religious centre, therefore it was also called the Rome of the North. One can hardly get lost when strolling around because the high towers of the magnificent cathedral, aswell as the Grosse St. Martin, gives you an excellent orientation. Not many towns, I've visited so far, enables such an easy way of strolling around.
Favorite thing: Mainstation of Cologne has a very modern locker system. You can put your luggage into one of the terminals, pay EUR 3 and pick it up at any terminal you want. The Luggage is stored in the basement and that's why it can be delivered to any terminal.
This fountain illustrates one of the most famous stories/ poems in Köln. Long time ago there were the craftsmen of Köln. In their houses there lived elves who did alll the housework at night and the families didn't have to do anything. They didn't know however who was doing all the work at night... So one day the tailor's wife set a trap, discovered the elves - and they were gone!
You find the fountain not far from the cathedral, Am Hof, next to the Früh Kölsch brewery
If you plan to stay a day or longer in Cologne I hardly recommend to buy a K?ln - WelcomeCard, which is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
24h: Single 9 EUR / Group 18 EUR
48h: Single 14 EUR / Group 28 EUR
72h: Single 19 EUR / Group 38 EUR
Available at the Airport, K?ln Tourismus and many hotels.
Fondest memory: Included are all public transportation, Airport-Transfer with Bus 170, Discount in Museums and Sights, Free K?lsch at some restaurants and much more.
Check it out. It's worth!
This is the side-wall of one of the expo-halls. Look at the people, then you can imagine the height of the building and also of the EYE-PICTURE.
This picture is build up by 460.000 small pictures.
Look at the next picture: it is a small detail of the big one on the wall. ENLARGE this picture
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