Fun things to do in Cologne

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    Hahnentor
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Cologne

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    Mikwe

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    It seems Jews weren't popular in Cologne not even in the Middle Ages. In 1424 the city of Cologne turned the synagogue into a chapel for the City Hall, while the ceremonial baths were filled in. Nothing remains of the synagogue which was most likely the oldest in Europe!
    The ceremonial baths or Mikwe were built in 1170 but then, as already said, filled in while at the same time the Jewish inhabitants of Cologne drove out. There is a small glass pyramid in the Rathausplatz which leads into the antechamber of Mikwe. The spiral stairway leading down into the shaft in which ritual cleansing with ground water was once carried out.

    Mikwe

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    Guerzenich

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    Guerzenich is historical festival hall, which the locals usually call "gute Stube" (something like place for good times). It was designed in 1444 to be a city dance and festival hall and place for ceremonial dinners for the city authorities. Guerzenich is named sfter local aristocratic family who built and owned this property. It was used to recieve the most important guests and visitors of Cologne, likewise kings and their queens. Nowadays it hosts the most important events in the city like the famous Colognese carnival.

    Guerzenich

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    The Dropped Cone

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    For a city of steeples the Dropped Cone is a brilliantly cheeky addition to the Cologne skyline. It sits on the Neumarkt Galerie tilting over the Roncalli Circus in the square below and is rapidly becoming an icon of the city since its installation in 2001. The Neumarkt Galerie itself is one of Cologne best shopping centres, so it's worth dropping by just for that.

    The Dropped Cone, Cologne

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    Antoniter Church

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    The Antoniter church is a small, elegant and unassuming building set in the main shopping street of Schildergasse. Its unassuming nature is fitting, being the first Protestant church in Cologne. But it doesn't make it any less delightful. Its sharp but slender lines are offset perfectly by the curved glass mirror walls of the Peek&Cloppenburghaus that looms over it from next door.

    Antoniter Church, Cologne Antoniter Church, Cologne Antoniter Church, Cologne

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    Alt St. Alban

    by antistar Updated Oct 22, 2011

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    One of the most interesting of Cologne's many churches is Alt St. Alban. It's no longer a church in the normal sense of the word, but a memorial. It was destroyed during World War 2 and its burned out frame has been left as a reminder to the dead, much like Coventry Cathedral in the UK. A poignant sculpture draws your attention, a pair of almost ghost like stone statues called "the Grieving Parents".

    Grieving Parents, Alt St. Alban, Cologne Alt St. Alban, Cologne

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    Gay Bars

    by Maidstoneman Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Cologne has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and this has given rise to a profusion of gay bars, saunas and clubs. In fact its a bit like a less-tacky Amsterdam. There is a great gay map which shows them all and you can walk to most of the central ones.
    My favourite sauna - one of the most luxurious in the world - is Badehaus am Römerturm, just outside the centre. You can spend all day and evening there as they serve very good food.

    http://www.gaymap.info/cologne/index.html

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    Section of the Roman sewage system

    by Pijlmans Written Mar 1, 2011

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    According to a sign:

    "Removed and raised section of the main northern sewer of the Roman city.

    Runs from west to east at a depth of 9 meters underneath Kleine Budengasse.

    Accessible from the Preatorium below the Town Hall."

    Roman sewage system Roman sewage system
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    • Archeology

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    Altstadt

    by antistar Updated Jan 27, 2011

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    Starting at the banks of the river Rhine, the Altstadt is the compact core of Cologne. It's marked by the large number of bars and restaurants, and distinguished by a concentration of slender altbaus dating back to the 14th century. The walk along the Rhine from the Cathedral before darting into some of the narrow alleyways behind the altbaus is probably as atmospheric as it gets in Cologne. It won't take long to wander every street so stretch time out by stopping off in a restaurant or bar.

    Altstadt, Cologne Altstadt, Cologne Statues outside Restaurant in Cologne Altstadt

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    Hahnentor

    by christine.j Written Dec 18, 2010

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    The Hahnentor - cock's gate - was one of the main gateways into Cologne. It's part of the medieval city wall and was built in 12th century. The name has nothing to do with poultry, but probably comes from the word "Hain" - a small forest, because there used to be forests just outside the gate.

    Today it houses a very important society of Cologne, the honourable guard for carnival.

    I like to see the difference between the small stalls of the Christmas market and the huge, solid gate close-by.

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    Philharmonic Hall

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 30, 2010

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    Photos:
    1. Roof of the Philharmonic Hall
    2. Sign in English

    Speaking of Wurstigkeit, have a look at this public square near the station.

    People like to walk across this square to get from the station to the river, but often they are not allowed to, and there are guards ("City-Service") to keep them off.

    The reason for this, as you can see from the second photo, is that the Cologne Philharmonic Hall is situated right below this square. If people walk or skate on the square the noise can be heard in the hall below, which disturbs performances and rehearsals.

    You'd think that an architect commissioned to design a concert hall should have been able to foresee this problem and build it some other way, but no. This is Cologne, after all.

    As if that weren't enough, the new North-South subway line (the one that did or did not cause the city archive building to collapse) is being built two meters below the concert hall. Soundproof walls are supposed to prevent any noise or rattling from being noticeable in the concert hall, but tests so far have apparently been unconvincing. We shall see. (Or hear.)

    1. Roof of the Philharmonic Hall 2. Sign in English
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    People Watching While Waiting For Your Train

    by johngayton Written Sep 20, 2010

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    Pretty much opposite the main entrance to the Hauptbahnhof is this little cafe with its terrace on the square. This is a little piece of Italy transported to central Cologne with Italian staff and good, not too expensive, coffee.

    Ideal spot for watching the world go by.

    Galestro Terrace Catching The Afternoon Sun
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    Cologne Commercial Art Galleries

    by johngayton Written Sep 20, 2010

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    Whilst the city has several municipal art galleries, the best known being the Museum Ludwig, I didn't have time to visit any - too busy sausage munching and beer tasting!

    I did though notice this pair of private galleries, Galeries Boisserie and Karsten Greve, whose doors I poked my head through. Both of these are seriously upmarket and have some interesting works by mostly local (ish) artists. Everything is of course for sale and it's free to browse but you wont see any price tags attached!

    Websites have pics of their current and previous exhibitions to give you an idea what they're all about.

    Boisseree Location Boisseree Exhibition Karsten Greve Frontage
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    • Arts and Culture

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    City Tour Bus

    by alectrevor Updated May 2, 2010

    A good way to see Cologne is to use the City Tour Bus. When the weather is fine the roof is open. The main start point is near the railway station and cathedral . The fare is 12 euro [ April 2010 ] you can hop on and off, but if you stay on the tour takes one and a half hours.

    Start below Cathedral near main station.

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    Billy goats in Cologne

    by christine.j Written Jan 5, 2010

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    Don't be surprised whan you see billy goats in Cologne, mostly just statues, but occasionally also live ones, especially Saturday afternoons.The one on the picture was on the roof of a stall at the Christmas Market.

    A billy goat called Hennes is the mascot of the local football club, 1.FC Köln. They have a very large fan club in Cologne, much larger than the other team, Fortuna Köln. I once got in the way of the fans rushing to the stadium when I was trying to walk in the opposite direction - it's best to wait until they all have passed.

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    Day Cruises on the Rhine

    by Tom_Fields Written Mar 15, 2009

    On the banks of the Rhine in Cologne, boat operators offer day cruises on the river, which offer fine views of the city. There are day and overnight cruises. The standard day cruise departs at 9:30 am. This is a great way to tour the Rhine valley.

    Cruising on the Rhine Looking downriver
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