Back in 1999, my friend and I were on our way to Bonn for a day trip to view Beethoven's house and to try Bonch, Bonn's recently concocted version of Kölsch. That beer was quite unremarkable and served in a silly bent glass. On the way back, I noticed a beer sign on a small pub from the train window. I looked over at my friend and he knew immediately I wanted to hop off the train and try one. A good thing about German trains is if you buy a ticket between two cities you are allowed to get off and on as many times as you want as long as you continue in the same direction. So, we did. We found the Richmodis Kölsch quite tasty. One beer later we were back on the train platform and the whole thing took less than an hour. We saw a part of Germany we'd never have seen without this little stop and we talk about it sometimes and laugh at the impulsive move. I'm glad we did. It seems the Gaffel brewery has since taken over Richmodis. Who knows if the beer is the same now or if it will even exist in ten years.
Küppers is one of the breweries that was taken over by the Kölner group so while the beer is still available the small brewery is no longer independently owned. Many people would say it's not a big deal especially if the beer itself is still produced. What they do not think about is how the beer may change or disappear down the road as the big brewery is likely only concerned with sales volume. The independent brewery certainly wants to sell beer too but individual owners may not care about this as much as producing something unique or even something they personally enjoy. If the big breweries take over all of the smaller ones it will not be a good thing for Cologne's beer scene so enjoy the smaller ones while they are there. You may help save a brewery and a very unique part of this great city.
Harald Schmidt is a well-known German entertainer broadcasting a late night show twice a week. The show is produced in Studio 449 in Cologne. If you are in Germany for a longer time and have watched (and liked) his show on TV, why not get tickets and see it live?
Getting tickets is a little complicated:
- You have to be over 18 years of age.
- You have to order tickets via phone +49 1805 600 660 and then try to get a convenient date (the show is produced Wednesday and Thursday).
- You have to pay in advance (8 Euro per ticket plus 6,50 Euro fee once) and bring every piece of paper you received plus an ID to the show.
- You get the actual ticket.
- You can enjoy the show.
Note that tickets cannot be changed after having been purchased!
Despite the efforts to get the tickets, it is well worth it. The show me and my brother went to was really funny, especially as Harald Schmidt made a lot of jokes before the actual show which he referred to during the show (and which nobody watching him on TV understood...). Furthermore, it's also interesting to see how a TV show is produced and what the actual final product looks like.
The Inner Ring Road serves to define the limits of the center city. It essentially follows the 18th century defensive wall and fortifications. In the 19th century, following German unification, most of the wall was dismantled, and several parks created from the ramparts. This sylvan glade is an oasis of calm in the middle of one of the busier parts of the city.
An Alter Markt (Old Market) landmark, this puckish lad is known (in the Kolsch dialect) as "dä Kallendresser."
You have to look up - way up - to find him. He's on the house that is known as "Em Hanen." The story goes that the owner of the property wished to display his complete and utter contempt of the city fathers. Artistic licence goes a long way here!
This is a pretty little suburban village with interesting architectural mixes along the Rhine. It also has a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the river as you can see in the second picture. A great way to spend a sunny afternoon and you can also cruise here by boats from the city centre.
If you are in town, you will probaly walk through the old part (Altstadt) with its small houses along the river (Rhein). Don´t miss to cross one of the Bridges, and enjoy the view form the other side.
I suggest around sundown or ant night, wenn all the beautyful builings are lighted!
Cross the bridge at the "Lufthansa" buling (you won´t miss the sign on top). Then walk left towards the "Hohenzollernbrücke" (The Bridge, which is for the trains). You might want to walk unter it towards the "Tanzbrunnen" or "Messe". Let the old tower lead your way.
Enjoy the beautyful vieu.
On you way back, you schould not miss to cross the Bridge with the trains.
We went to the Grand Prix of Europe for my husband's birthday this year. We had a great time. We had a long walk to our seats, but we were on a great corner where we saw two (somewhat) straightaways. We had wonderful weather, but it was pretty cold in the grandstands with the wind, but as soon as we were back on the ground (sheltered by the wind) it was hot.
TIP: After learning the hard way (train ride + taxi fare) we learned that you should take the train to Koblenz then the shuttle bus from there.
The windows of Kolner Dom are magnificent, each of them being full of signification.
The Window of the Three Holy Kings is one of my favourites.
In the lowest part of the window are two rows with 16 coats of arms.
The saints above are the patron saints of the archbishop and his house: Saint Peter, presenting the archbishop, Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia and Saint Christopher.
The central part presents the Adoration of the Magi.
On the left the visit of the Queen of Sheba.
The window was donated by the Cologne Archbishop Hermann von Hessen (1480-1508).
The Portal of St. Peter is the only portal of the Cathedral which was at least partially completed during the Middle Ages.
Members of the famous Parler Family, created the work around 1375.
On both sides of the portal stand large sculptures of apostles, out of which five are still original: Peter, Andrew, Jacob, Paul and John.
Another favourite window is the Window of the Nativity.
The central picture shows the Christ Child between Mary and Joseph.
In the left panel Moses stands before the burning bush.
All of the saints in the lower half of the window have a relationship to Cologne: Agrippa is the founder of the city and Marsilius is the legendary hero of ancient Cologne.
The larger figures above are the city patrons of Cologne: Saints George, Maurice, Gereon and Albinus.
The window was donated by the City Council in 1507.
Whoever would like to get to know the city in the gay and lesbian sense should seriously consider a guided tour from the Centre of Gay History, who organises such tours in the historical homo-city of Cologne.
Whoever is more inclined for a little shopping, then Ehrenstrasse is exactly what you need. From clothes to decorations to books and sound equipment, everything is here on this street for all price levels. A little more expensive, but somewhat more exclusive is Mittelstrasse between Rudolfplatz and Neumarkt.
Whoever is afraid to take in all this luxury can be warmly rewarded with Cologne's biggest pedestrain zone on the Hohe Strasse, Schildergasse and Breitestrasse. Cologne's longest shopping street extends over many kilometres between the Cathedral and Neumarkt.
Every morning, while I was in Germany, a couple girls and I went jogging, enjoying the beautiful morning as the city prepared for another busy busy day!
One morning a girl and I took a different route, a bit longer, and got lost. Uh-oh! I, being the leader I am, pretended I knew where I was going even though i didn't, and managed to find our way back to the hostel. : - ) We enjoyed taking pictures during our adventurous jogs.
If you can find time, away from the typical schedule, and away from the group, I suggest you take it. Go out on a limb.
The city has many Romanesque churches and there is a great guidebook to them in many languages from the Tourist office. Most are open daily and you can easily walk between them. Although many were damaged in the war they were rebuilt in their original form. War damage also menat that most lost their nineteenth century glass, so there is plenty of mind blowing 20th century glass. It`s a rather different form of church-crawling but kept me occupied for hours.
I am known as the lover of the early high-rise buildings so Maybachstrasse 115 was a must address for me. The Hansahochhaus skyscraper was built in 1925, designed by Jakob Koerfer. At the time of construction, the 17-storey clinker building reaching 65 metres height was Cologne's first high-rise building, and simultaneously the highest skyscraper in Europe.
Today, it is a business and administration building. There is large Saturn CD shop occupying several lower levels of the building.
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