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Published: March 14th 2005
City Of Cologne
Taken from across the Rhine
I just spent 2 days in Cologne. It is another fabulous German city. It’s most famous as being the home of the Cologne Cathedral (a UNESCO world heritage site). After having visited I can appreciate why. Construction on the gothic style cathedral began in 1248 and was completed in 1880. It didn’t actually take 632 years to build; the construction took place in stages. Inside the cathedral you’ll find the shrine containing relics of the 3 Magi. This is why the Cologne Cathedral has been a pilgrimage church. If you ever visit I highly recommend the guided tour.
Another thing you can do at the cathedral is climb the 509 steps to the observation platform within one of the cathedrals towers. Yes, I said 509.
It’s a long way up a spiraling staircase. I’m not afraid of heights but I found myself a little woozy at moments along the way when I’d pass an opening in the wall and the wind would come howling in. The view at the top is worth the effort.
I also visited Museum Ludwig where you’ll find modern and contemporary art (Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol). Unfortunately, you can not take pictures inside this museum.
However, pictures are allowed at the Imhoff-Stollwerck-Museum (Chocolate Museum)! This museum is worth the visit just for the smell. There’s information about how chocolate is made as well as a working chocolate factory where you can walk around and watch various chocolates being made. There’s a little train that will take you from the square outside the cathedral to this museum…so how could one say no.
Lastly, I recommend a stroll along the Rhine. There is a boardwalk that follows the river where you’ll find boats tours, artwork, restaurants, hotels and good people watching.
PS - In case you are wondering, eau de cologne was in fact invented in Cologne, by an Italian!
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