Monday, January 28, 2013

Cologne, Germany

First sight off the train, the Cologne Cathedral.

the North gate of the city. Built in the 1300s.

A statue on the outside of the bridge, Hohenzollernbridge. There is one statue on each of the four corners and this is either Friedrich III or Wilhelm II.

Hohenzollernbridge rebuilt after WWII when it was destroyed. 

A pano of the massive cathedral

Fence along the bridge. Couples carve their names on a lock and lock it to the fence.

Lengend has it that once upon a time the people of Cologne never had to work. All work was done at night by little elves. Until one tailor's wife got so curious she laid out peas on her staircase to trip some of them and they never came back again so the people of the city had to work for themselves.

thought this was hilarious. Compare it to the states store, Forever 21.

The German Chocolate museum. Supposed to be shaped like a ferry boat.

Randall enjoying a cup of Hot Chocolate in the cafe at the museum.

I got a cappuccino, but they gave me a piece of chocolate with it!

The south city gate leading to Rome. This is the start of major parades in the city. One of 3 gates still standing.

The backside of the south gate.

Archway built by the Romans right next to the Cathedral. Built in 50 AD!

Another shot of the cathedral! SO HUGE!

Also built in 50 AD by the Romans as part of the city wall. Crazy how small it is compared to the Colosseum. It is in such good shape because it was used as a lavatory by an old convent next to it. 

St. Gereon Cathedral

Looking back into the city from the opposite end of the bridge. You can see the two towers of the Dom directly next to the end of the bridge. In WWII when the city of Cologne was first bombed it was by over 1,000 bombers at one single time! Can you imagine? The only thing not leveled was the cathedral. Some argue that it was done on purpose because the pilots used the two towers as landmarks to guide them in the right direction on bombing raids all throughout the war. 

I personally did not sleep but two hours last night due to a terribly rude Russian boy who talked and drank in the room all freaking night long. He speaks no english as far as we know so even the Kiwi's, who he also woke up in the middle of the night, yelling at him didn't shut him up. Despite that setback, we woke up bright and early and cooked ourselves some scrambled eggs and toast and an orange for breakfast and headed out to explore the town! Our first stop we saw for a brief moment when we got off the train. The Cologne Dom is freaking HUGE and towers over everything else in the city. It's not the prettiest Cathedral we have seen, but most definitely the largest. Then we walked to the North city gate and then to the bridge. We walked the length of the bridge and saw all the names carved into locks. We walked back and thought about going into the Ludwig Museum, but there were way too many people in there on a weekday. We wandered around the entire city just looking at all the sights. We didn't actually do all that much. It's such a strange city. Everything is very modern and built up, but if you know where to look there is hidden ancient history everywhere. Randall and I went to a place called the El De House. In WWII the Gestapo actually rented a building and turned it into a prison/interrogation space/office. We walked around inside for nearly two hours. They let you walk down into the basement where they held their prisoners and you can still see hundreds and hundreds of scratches and engravings in the walls where people were trying to write out their last words or thoughts or even trying to give hope to the prisoners that came in after them. It was an extremely heavy experience. There are photos of the city of Cologne in the old offices though and the city is nearly entirely leveled. It's crazy to see stuff like that. But I'm glad I got to do my WWII thing in Germany finally! After walking around town all day long we just went back to the hostel and cooked up some dinner. Randall had some beers with some other kids but I started getting pretty sick pretty fast so I just went to bed. That was our exciting time in Cologne!

1 comment:

  1. Germany looks really cool, I had no idea there was suich awesome structures. Keep safe! Love you both. Mom (Angie)