FROM THE KOELN TRIANGLE
Colonia Claudia Ara Agripinensium was the name it received when it was elevated to a city in 50 BC in honour of Agripina La Menor, wife and niece of Emperor Claudius. He was born here in 15 BC in the ancient settlement of the Germanic tribe of Ubi, which became an important Roman military post. Agrippina was undoubtedly one of the few female protagonists in the history of Rome. The daughter of the prominent general Germanicus was the niece, sister, and wife of emperors, but we know her. Especially like Nero´s mother. one of the most famous and ominous Roman emperors. During the Middle Ages, its very powerful archbishops, princes, electors ruled with a heavy hand. Still, the civic rebellion of the 15th century removed them from direct power, being forced to "go into exile" to neighbouring Bonn. In this way and thanks to the efforts of its citizens, Cologne became a Free City of the Empire and one of the great European economic centres. After a brief period of French rule in the early 19th century, it passed to the kingdom of Prussia in 1815 and unified Germany in 1871. Each era has left its monumental testimony and whether during World War II bombs were about to do. Her disappearing from the map, she knew how to rise like a phoenix from its ashes. With these stories, we will quickly understand that when we talk about Cologne, we are talking about a city that will be anything but ordinary.
Cologne is Germany´s fourth-largest city in terms of population. The largest and most important city in Germany´s most populous federal state, Rhineland-Westphalia, does not have the capital and honour it already has. Neighbouring Dusseldorf. But Cologne was an essential economic enclave, home to numerous television networks, publishers, and record labels. In addition to being a prominent cultural centre, where, among other events, the most famous carnival in the country is celebrated, which is held every year on the 11th of the 11th month at 11:11 am, although the actual festivities take place in February.
Its privileged location is not accidental, as it is situated on the banks of the River Rhine, in the middle of the main river trade routes. It was an important Hanseatic city, enriched thanks to free trade with the rest of the cities in the league.
And it will be here on the banks of the River Rhine, where we will encourage you to climb the heights of the Koeln Triangle to enjoy panoramic views over the city, which is considered the most beautiful viewpoint in Cologne. This spectacular skyscraper was designed by Dörte Gatermann, completing its construction in 2006. The southern part of the building consists of a double glazed façade, allowing natural ventilation even on the highest floors.
The elegant Koeln Triangle building contains secretariats and offices, including the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In addition, we will find an exclusive restaurant, and the viewpoint that we suggest is 100 meters high. From this point, you can enjoy a spectacular panorama over the city, and on clear days the view perfectly distinguishes the neighbouring town of Dusseldorf.
One of the peculiarities of this viewpoint, which differentiates it from other famous observatories from the heights, is that it does not have bars or protection nets but large windows that allow a complete view without visual interference. From here, you will dominate the River Rhine, the Hohenzollern Bridge and the entire historic centre, from which the Cathedral will stand out before your eyes like a marvellous Gothic mass.
You can visit this observatory from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, paying an entrance fee of 3 euros to go up to its lookout.
Address: Ottopl. 1, 50679 Cologne, Germany
HEAVEN AND EARTH WITH A COOL ALT KOLSCH!
The gastronomy in Germany is already known for being very traditional in its sausages, which is as evident as thinking that the English only eat fish and chips, the Italians eat pasta, and the French eat cheese... But as it happens in all countries worldwide, if you dare and try the local cuisines, you will discover many typical regional dishes. And today we are going to suggest that you visit a typical Cologne brewery, where you can taste the Rhine cuisine.
We say on many occasions: wherever you go, do what you see (or put: imitate the behaviour of wherever you are.). Cologne, a cheerful and outgoing city, is reputed to have the most open character in all of Germany, perhaps because of its Roman origins and commercial aptitude as a city of the Hanseatic League. Here, its inhabitants are not boring and like to enjoy the company in a typical brewery with deafening noise while eating and drinking.
There are many and varied dishes of the Rhine cuisine, almost all made with meat and potatoes, such as Rheinischer Sauerbraten or Kartoffelkloße. But today, we are inspired, and we will propose to you a dish as earthly as it is heavenly, the Himmel und Erde, which translates as "heaven and earth".
This typical dish from North Rhine-Westphalia is found on the menu of traditional Cologne taverns or Keller. It´s made of mashed potatoes and applesauce, usually accompanied by sausage or chorizo ??(which has nothing to do with Burgos´s other than the colour).
The traditional Himmel und Erde recipe dates back to the 18th century, where potatoes symbolically represent the earth and apples hanging from trees represent heaven. There are different variants of this gastronomic delight. Depending on the region, you can add a speck which is smoked bacon, add lemon juice to the apple sauce to intensify its flavour, or add a Blutwurst, which is a smoked blood sausage.
To accompany this dish, an excellent option might be to taste one of the magnificent wines from the River Rhine or Moselle region, but don´t forget to try them! But let´s suggest you try one of Cologne´s great classics, the Alt Kolsch beer. It´s a light beer with a bright yellow hue and a prominent hop flavour without being overdone. It is very fresh and less bitter than the pils. What will attract the most attention is the way it is served. We are used to imagining Germans with vast pitchers of beer, but these are done in delicate 20cl tube glasses. Therefore, it will be impossible for you to drink just one.
PROST UND GUTEN APPETIT!
(chim chim and good appetite!)
Cologne, as Germany´s fourth-largest city, home to the country´s leading television networks, publishers, record labels and dynamic industry, you will quickly understand that this city is an exceptional economic hub where consumption flows.
And this is where we find the popular Schildergasse, considered the most visited and famous shopping street in the whole country. In the heart of the city, this pedestrian area attracts around 15,000 people during rush hour shopping at its hundreds of stores and franchises such as Zara or H&M.
Schildergasse is a consumer´s paradise. As this type of business can be found in any big city worth it is salt here in Cologne, we suggest you shop in another bohemian and original place: The Belgian Quarter.
Suppose you´re looking for exclusive souvenirs or unique fashion items, and not the designer clothes you can buy in Cologne or Barcelona. In that case, the Belgian neighbourhood is yours.
Located in the eastern part of the Old Town, the streets of this district are delimited between Aachener Straße and Friesenplatz. It is known as the Belgian Quarter, not because compatriots from the neighbouring country reside, but because all its streets are named after Belgian cities or regions in memory of the German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871.
Life in this neighbourhood revolves around Bruseler Platz. Its streets are lined with fashion stores, boutiques, second-hand clothing stores, alternative design stores, art galleries, vinyl, and live music venues. , careful cafes, cool barbershops, discos, theatres, restaurants and bars for all tastes. If what you are looking for is original and exclusive, you will find it here. After shopping, don´t miss a delicious coffee with a slice of cake in one of its cosy cafés.
This avant-garde neighbourhood became a meeting point for the city´s youth. More and more in fashion, in addition to its wide range of shopping, leisure and culture, on the walls of some of its neoclassical buildings, you will discover fantastic examples of urban art in the form of graffiti, engraving, murals or even sculptures.
The Belgian Quarter is located 2 km from the city centre. You can get there by taking a pleasant walk or taking the metro to the dynamic Rudolfplatz or Friesenplatz.
Address: Belgisches Viertel, 50674 Cologne, Germany
FROM THE COAST OF THE RIVER RINE TO DEUTZ.
Cologne can offer exciting and attractive places to take a good photo, although it was reduced to rubble during World War II. Because it is such an open, young and university city, it is common to find many places with urban and street art worthy of being photographed. You can get a lot of interesting photographs, but clearly, your Cologne photo has to be from the Rheinboulevard Avenue in the Deutz district, across the bank of the river Rhine.
Years ago, young or not, students, families and all kinds of people gathered on a sunny day. There was a grass terrace by the river, a crowd gathered around a few bottles of beer, hundreds of sudden barbecues or improvised games. The Rheinboulevard was inaugurated in 2015, a concrete work that managed to break away from the naturalness and authenticity of the place, but which, on the contrary, makes it an ideal viewpoint over the river and the city.
In this privileged city, a grand exterior staircase was built as a grandstand or a theatre platform, where thousands of people could disperse. From here, you can enjoy the spectacle of unbeatable views over Cologne´s attractive city centre.
Its exaggerated dimensions, since it covers 500 meters from the right bank of the river, allow an unbeatable viewpoint, where they can spend leisure time and be fascinated by the painting presented in front of their eyes. Across the Rhine, you´ll have that look you´ll want to photograph hundreds of times. Any time of day is an excellent time to immortalize the view of the city, but probably at sunset, the mysticism surrounding the cityscape is almost magical.
In the foreground, the profile of the Cathedral will stand out, dominating the rest of the city and next to it the colossal Hohenzollern bridge, forming among them the most characteristic image of the city. As you move your camera, other interesting photos emerge from the towers of Romanesque churches like Gross San Martin and the river or the city´s skyline.
As a meeting and meeting point for both locals and tourists, it is a fantastic place to observe, and why not photograph people´s daily lives. While we always recommend that you do this discreetly, it´s best to do the right thing, which is to ask permission from your makeshift model (whoever it is to be photographed).
If you want to say that you have already been to Cologne, you cannot miss the city´s image on the banks of the river Deutz. ENJOY!
Address: Hermann-Pünder-Straße 2, 50679 Cologne, Germany.
THE HOUSE OF FARINA, THE CREATOR OF COLOGNE WATER.
Everyone has a bottle of Cologne on their dresser or bathroom, but have you ever wondered where it came from? Where do you come from? Or even why do you call him that?
As can be deduced, the coincidence of names is not by chance and was invented in this city on the banks of the Rhine on July 13, 1709. The creator was an Italian named Giovani Maria Farina who invented an essence that, according to his words: "he remembered a spring morning in Italy when it had just rained".
All this poetry was used as the good Italian that it was served to camouflage the smells that emanated from people when they stank. Not even the rich washed then for fear of disease. There was the belief that soap and water would open your pores and viruses could enter you. In cities, garbage, urine and excrement were thrown out of the window at the cry of WATER YOOOOOO!
All these arguments described above was the fertile ground for Farina to create her Cologne. Using a revolutionary technique, he distilled the alcohol. He mixed it with bergamot, lemon and grapefruit extracts, achieving a light and subtle scent, very different from the vital essences of the moment. Their success was undeniable, making consumers of this essence aristocrats and nobles, from Frederick the Great to Goethe. It seems that Napoleon himself, who enjoyed good hygiene, would bathe in Farina´s water when he left after his bath.
However, for sure, the Cologne you know is 4711, which curiously isn´t Farina´s. And that still exists today in Glokengasse or alley of the bell. This 4711, which we often think of as the original colony water, was created 83 years after Farina´s in 1792.
Faced with the initial success of Farina water, a local merchant named Wilhelm Mülhens created his scented water. The problem arose because Mülhens used the name Farina in what could be called the first case of commercial piracy in history. A few years later, Mülhens was forced to abandon his rival´s name, changing it to 4711, which is nothing more than the numbering of his commercial point.
Both colonies continue to exist and are fierce rivals. The 4711 is much cheaper and known worldwide, while the Farina, more exclusive, has Russian tycoons or Bill Clinton himself as consumers.
Suppose you want to delve into the world of Cologne. In that case, we encourage you to visit the perfume museum located in the home of its inventor Giovani Maria Farina, opposite the city hall.
Address: Obenmarspforten 21, 50667 Cologne, Germany
PASSING A BRIDGE WITH THE OVERWEIGHT OF ETERNAL LOVE?
There is a spot in Cologne, which, besides being one of its most striking monuments, is one of the favourite places for couples to exalt their love, sealing it so firmly that it can hardly be destroyed. We are talking about the Hohenzollern bridge.
The Hohenzollern Bridge is one of the most emblematic places in the city, inaugurated in 1911 by Emperor Wilhelm II. It was an imposing engineering feat that replaced an earlier bridge known as the Dombrücke, which with its two train tracks and two car lanes, overcame the exaggerated increase in rail traffic. The new Hohenzollern bridge had four train tracks and a two-lane road on which three massive iron arches rose. Neo-Roman style portals with large towers were built on both sides of the bridge, decorated with equestrian sculptures of German emperors. We appreciate the sculptures Federico III and Guillermo II on the Cologne side, while on the Deutz side, we find Federico Guillermo IV and Guillermo I.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, the German army blew up all the bridges across the Rhine, and Hohenzollern was no exception. It was rebuilt in 1948 and remodelled in 1985, becoming a big bridge with six railways on which about 1200 trains circulate daily.
In addition to the train tracks, there are pedestrian walkways that allow animals to cross on foot on this bridge. This pedestrian area is in this pedestrian area that since 2008 some gallant young people have had the happy idea of ??putting an engraved padlock to demonstrate their love. The idea was a success, so hundreds of passionate lovers followed, eager to seal or lock away their love. We don´t know if this fashion was casual or inspired by a Serbian tale, a novel by the Italian Moccia or the movie Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen. What we do know for sure is that it has spread like a virus to this day. The mass of locks is known as "the lock wall of love". To date, more than 40,000 padlocks are hanging from the bridge, to which they added "only" 2 tons of weight to its structure. And it is already known that love weighs!
This romantic practice puts the structures of historic bridges at risk, and there are already several cities that have prohibited this exaltation of love. The Bridge of Arts in Paris, Luzhkov in Moscow or the Vecchio Bridge in Florence. Couldn´t they show their love with flowers and chocolates for life? It´s certainly not that heavy, and you don´t risk collapsing when crossing the Hohenzollern Bridge.
Address: Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer, 50667 Cologne, Germany
THE MAGIC KINGS OF THE COLOGNE CATHEDRAL
The valid symbol of the city of Cologne is, without a doubt, its Cathedral, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. According to statistics, it is considered the most visited monument in Germany, receiving around 20,000 daily visitors.
You will undoubtedly want to visit this imposing temple, considered the second tallest Gothic building in the world, as its towers reach 157 meters in height. It also had the privilege of being the tallest building in the world between 1880 and its completion until 1884, when it was surpassed in the US capital by the Washington Monument. During World War II, Cologne was seriously damaged as a result of the systematic bombing. However, even though Allied aviation uses the Cathedral´s towers as a reference, 14 bombs fell that did not destroy its robust structure.
Construction of the Cathedral began in 1248 on the foundations of Roman and Carolingian buildings. A large Gothic-style building was erected to meet the needs of many pilgrims who came to worship the sacred relics of the Three Kings that were kept there. The works lasted 400 years before being abandoned at the beginning of the 15th century, which happened in most of the great European Gothic cathedrals before a new era and the change of architectural tastes. Like other contemporaries, it was not until the revaluation of Gothic art and the consequent romantic enthusiasm of the 19th century to rediscover the Middle Ages.
Cologne was a predominantly Catholic city that had passed in 1815 to the government of Prussia, whose sovereigns were Protestants. In this way and with civic donations, a foundation was created to promote and finance the Cathedral. Together with the Prussian court´s financial support, they saw a way to consecrate themselves with their new subjects, mainly Catholics.
The costly works began in 1842 and ended 38 years later in 1880, becoming the largest Cathedral in Germany and the second tallest after Ulm Cathedral. In total, from start to finish, only 632 years. To create an architectural masterpiece where original medieval gothic and neo-gothic blend in absolute harmony.
And in addition to being a true gem of Gothic architecture, it´s the place where the remains of the characters most loved by all children rest, and it´s not about the canine patrol. It´s about the WIZARDS! In 1164, the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel, received the great treasure of relics that the Holy Roman Emperor, Federico Barbarossa, had taken in the conquest of Milan, the rebellious city of the Empire, always fighting the most famous medieval German Emperor, whose archbishop was chancellor and a great friend. These relics had immense religious value that quickly attracted pilgrims from all corners of Christendom. The arrival of these relics was the main reason it decided to build a new Cathedral in Cologne to house such a treasure.
Nicolás de Verdún built the Sanctuary of the Three Kings in 1190 in a large shrine similar to a basilica church. In its making, rich materials such as bronze and silver were used, decorated with architectural details, small sculptures, and precious stones. This sanctuary was opened only once in 1864, discovering bones and clothing inside (supposedly by Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar). Whether they´re authentic or not is just a matter of faith, but they were an excuse to make some unique works of art that we all love.
Don´t forget to see the beautiful altarpiece (stone artwork) of the Magi by Stephan Lochner from the mid-15th century, of sublime spirituality. It is located in the last chapel of the south clinic.
You can visit the Cathedral for free from 06:00 to 18:00.
Address: Domkloster 4, 50667 Cologne, Germany
The historic city of Cologne suffered intensely from the harshness of World War II, in which 72% of its historic centre was reduced to rubble. Significantly damaging was the so-called Millennium Operation, in which, throughout June 29, 1943, it was relentlessly bombed by Allied aviation. After the war ended and the historic centre rose from its ashes, it continued to respect the layout of its streets and its medieval name. However, post-war architecture is more functional than beautiful. I did a poor service to this monumental city before the conflict.
The tour we propose will cover the crucial points and the monuments that could be rebuilt in the Alstadt district.
Starting with the Cathedral´s facade, where if you look up, you can hardly see the details of the towers at 157 meters high, we don´t say try to take a picture of the entire front facade, mission impossible! Right in front of the façade, you will find next to the fountain of doves, a strange sculpture about 10 meters high with a floral shape, known as Kreuzblume, to your surprise, we will say that it is the upper end of the towers of the Cathedral, which your look is not enough to differentiate.
Bordering the Cathedral on the right-hand side, you will come to two substantial concrete buildings. The first you will find is the fantastic Roman-Germanic Museum, where you will find a wonderful collection of objects from the ancient settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agripinensium. The second building next door is the Ludwig Museum, one of the most outstanding art galleries in the city, with a fantastic collection of abstract art, German expressionism, surrealism and pop art. The last of the buildings to be highlighted in this group is the 1986 Cologne Philharmonic.
From Heinrich Boll Platz, we´ll go down to the river to visit the Rheingarten, one of the most dynamic leisure areas in the city with restaurants, terraces and hotels. After a beautiful walk along the river, we will reach Heuptmarkt, one of the most striking squares in the entire Colony, where the equestrian sculpture will welcome you by Federico Guillermo III.
Leaving the square, we will arrive at Gross San Martin. This 13th-century church is a real gem of Romanesque architecture, and it stands out especially for its 75-meter-high tower, one of the recognizable points of Cologne´s skyline, along with the Cathedral.
The last point we recommend you visit before closing the circle at the Cathedral is the nearby Rathaus or town hall. Considered the oldest city hall in Germany, it was built in its current form in the 15th century and stood out as a centre of power for its 61-meter-high Gothic tower. Taking Unter Goldschmied street, you will reach the Cathedral again in a few minutes.
BREATHE PURE AIR
With this title, the best option we can give you to take a break and relax is to visit an authentic oasis of peace and tranquillity in the city of Cologne. The ideal place to not hear the bustle of the city is the botanical garden, which is on the list of the city´s protected monuments.
Located on the left bank of the river, this paradise welcomes over a million visitors a year. Inaugurated in 1864 with great pomp, it had concerts, dances and fireworks to celebrate the event. Currently, this space is still used to celebrate social events in Cologne, shows and exhibitions.
With an area of ??11.5 hectares, this vast floral complex houses 10,000 species of plants, which will take us on a journey through the art of gardening and landscaping. As soon as we enter the garden, we will find a big flowerbed that stretches like a floral carpet for 100 meters to the main building of the complex, known as Flora.
Flora is a palace of iron and glass, fashionable materials in the 19th century as a symbol of modernity. Keep in mind that the Eiffel Tower, as the ultimate symbol of iron architecture, dates back to 1889. Flora was designed by local architects Max Nohl and Joseph Felten, inspired by other notable buildings, such as the Crystal Palace in London and the d´Hiver Garden in Paris.
You can take a tour enjoying symmetrical German-style gardens, French and Italian gardening and typical English countryside. You will discover forests with about 2,000 high mountain species in a garden known as alpine. You can also enjoy an area dedicated to exotic plants in tropical greenhouses with palm trees and other spaces with cacti. This large botanical garden features a medicinal plant garden and a vegetable garden with local plants.
In this garden, you will only breathe peace and tranquillity. Let yourself walk or sit on a bench, but don´t miss out on enjoying it.
The botanical garden has free entry and is open to the public from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. To reach this point of the city, you can achieve it by taking a pleasant 20-minute walk from the centre or, if you prefer, and with less time, take tram 16 and get off at köln kinderkrankenhaus.
Address: Alter Stammheimer Weg, 50735 Cologne, Germany
Wellcome to Europamundo Vacations, your in the international site of:
Bienvenido a Europamundo Vacaciones, está usted en el sitio internacional de: