Cologne is a special city in Germany in absolutely everything! Even the famous Kolsch beer, light amber with a bitter aftertaste, is bottled exclusively in small 0.2-liter Stangen glass cups. (Feel the difference with the “beer” Munich, where there are at least liter mugs!). This third largest city in Germany was completely destroyed during the Second World War, only the magnificent Cologne Cathedral of the 13th century, a real symbol of the city, has survived, but like the Phoenix from the ashes, it has revived, and now in the Old Town you can see the magnificent Town Hall Square, St. Martin's Church in the Romanesque style, Church of the Holy Apostles with magnificent stained glass windows, Church of St. Heron. And what wonderful museums there are! One Museum of Spirits in the homeland of "Cologne water" or the cologne is worth it! Not to mention the Chocolate Museum, the Ludwig Art Museum with a rich collection, the Rautenstrauch-Jost Ethnological Museum and the sinister Nazi Documentation Center. Cologne is a beautiful city!
1. Cologne Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Mary in Cologne is a world-famous attraction, the concept of this city is so merged with the image of the cathedral that today, saying "Cologne" we imagine this particular cathedral, which began to be built in the 13th century, and has become a real anthem of magnificent Gothic !
The construction process of the cathedral took six centuries, it was completed only in 1880, but how magnificent this architectural miracle turned out to be! A wide facade, towers extending to the clouds, glimmers of the sun on a dark stone, magnificent stained glass windows - all this will remain in human memory for a long time, who at least once saw this magnificent building.
In addition, having overcome 509 steps, you can climb into one of its 157-meter towers and see an unforgettable panorama of the city and take a closer look at the roof of the cathedral. The main hall of the cathedral is surrounded by small chapels, chapels, galleries. Everything here is decorated with stucco molding, graceful sculptures, carved columns and arches, the floor and external walls are paved with a special gray Rhine stone, and inside the walls are decorated with ancient mosaics and gilding. The cathedral bell "Peter" weighs twenty-four tons, it is poured from the cannons of the French army, and it has no equal in the whole world.
2. Town Hall Square and Cologne Town Hall
The oldest surviving part of the Town Hall, architecturally dominant on the Town Hall Square in Cologne, dates back to 1330. The tower, which became a symbol of the city’s power, belonged to the late Gothic style and was built during 1407-1414. The height of this building is 61 meters, and it was richly decorated with 124 sculptural figures, alas, completely destroyed during the Second World War and restored at the end of the twentieth century. Among the premises of the Town Hall there is a huge, very beautiful hall where city balls have long been held, decorated with sculptural images of the townspeople who glorified Cologne, and the author of Capital Karl Marx is present there.
3. Church of St. Martin
St. Martin's Church belongs to the Romanesque buildings of the 10-11th centuries and is the most beautiful in Cologne of those related to this architecture. This building is in the Byzantine style with unusual arches and stained glass windows, and from the ancient foundation to the present day, a fragment of one of the ancient columns has been preserved. Alas, the Second World War barbarously destroyed the most beautiful church, and although at first they wanted to preserve its ruins, but then they nevertheless completely restored this creation of human architectural genius.
The main shrine of the temple is a fragment of an ancient Roman column. According to legend, he does not let people with unclean thoughts into the church and can even kill them. St. Martin's Church is simply enchantingly beautiful from the outside, especially with evening lighting, and it is best to see this miracle from Fishmarkt Square.
4. Church of the Holy Apostles
The British bombing during World War II almost completely destroyed the beautiful Church of the Holy Apostles, built in the 12th century, but it was rebuilt again, and its 67-meter high west tower and unique in its beauty stained glass depicting the twelve apostles again silently look at the praying Catholics and numerous tourists. The grace and luxury of the Romanesque style was fully manifested in this church, and now it is the main parish church of the city and the center of the Apostolic Catholic community of Cologne.
5. Old quarter
The old quarter of Cologne (in German - Altstadt) includes the largest number of sights of the third largest city in Germany, here Cologne Cathedral is located, and the Heimarkt and Altermarkt squares, and the Town Hall, and picturesque houses of the 14-17th centuries. on Fishmarkt under the canopy of the Great Church of St. Martin, and cobblestone pavements, which are so nice to wander around, stopping for a while in some beer house to drink a small glass of Kelsh beer. And then another walk through the Old Town, from the Altermarkt Square to the river and on the road or railway bridge, admire the magnificent views of Alstadt and the mighty gray Rhine.
6. Rhine Park
The Rhine Park is one of the most popular vacation spots for citizens, and it was broken back in 1913. The Reinpark stretches along the right bank of the Rhine for more than a kilometer, its width averages about 400 meters, its territory is a large spacious lawn with walking paths, various buildings and many different sculptures.
A mini train runs along the alleys, in the southern part of the Reinpark there is an open-air cultural and entertainment center, the main element of which is the “dancing fountain”. Around it are cafes, pavilions and a stage, also on the territory of the Reinpark there is a cable car station leading to the opposite shore, where there are: Cologne Zoo, Flora Botanical Garden and Sculpture Park.
7. Perfume Museum
It was in Cologne that the Italian alchemist Giovanni Maria Farina in the course of her experiments received a fragrance that immortalized his name with its persistence and unforgettable smell. As you know, it was a cologne or "Cologne water." In 1709, the industrial production of this fragrant water was established, and the whole European nobility used it once, it is famous now. Of course, such a museum in the homeland of the cologne in Cologne could not have appeared, and it displays distillation apparatus, photographs and paintings depicting the process of production of perfumes, as well as a large collection of bottles made for Eau de Cologne. The museum is located in the building of the oldest perfumery factory existing in the world.
8. Chocolate Museum
The Chocolate Museum is one of the most interesting in Cologne, starting from a building that looks like a ship, some kind of unknown wave thrown ashore, and ending with the most curious exposition telling about the technological processes of making different types of chocolate and chocolate products. Here you can taste these very products, learn about the basic principles of the chocolate trade, and consider the most diverse products that advertise chocolate. And these products are sometimes a work of real chocolate art.
9. Ludwig Museum
Peter Ludwig was a major businessman selling chocolate, he collected art objects all his life, and after his death he bequeathed them to the city of Cologne. As a result, his unique collection, including more than 90 works by Pablo Picasso, works by surrealists, Russian avant-garde, including Kandinsky, Malevich, Lissitzky, Goncharov, German expressionism and pop art, today delights many visitors to this extraordinary museum.
10. Ethnological Museum of Rautenstrauch-Jost
Ethnological Museum of Rautenstrauch-Jost - this is extremely curious! Not only is this one of the largest museums of this kind in Germany, and its collection includes more than 65,000 objects, 100,000 photographs and a scientific library with more than 40,000 volumes, it is also a very interesting story about understanding the world and constructing it. The main sections of the exposition: North American Indians and Inuit, Ancient Egypt, the art of Thailand, Cambodia, India, Indonesia. Visitors are told about what drives people, about the role of religion, about the rituals of farewell to the dead, about the treatment of guests or how women and men get along with each other. There is also a curious children's section.
11. Center for Nazi Documentation
The ominous halo of the house EL-DE, so named on the initials of its first owner, the Catholic merchant Leopold Damen, acquired from 1935 to 1945, when there was the headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo. And now there is a very expressive museum dedicated to the victims of the Nazi regime, located in a place where several hundred people were executed. Everything breathes genuine suffering here, because in the ten chambers about 1800 individual inscriptions and drawings of the prisoners survived. Since June 1997, the permanent exhibition "Cologne during the years of National Socialism" has been working at the EL-DE House, dedicated to the political, social and social life of Cologne during the years of National Socialism. And this is truly a terrible exhibition!
12. Amusement park "Fantasyland"
If you have a day of free time, and you still spend time in Cologne with the kids, then it’s very worth it to take a train to the very good Fantaziland amusement park, especially since the journey does not take more than 15 minutes. It has been popular for over 40 years and offers a journey along the Milky Way with impressive effects and dynamic imitation of space flight, to go on a cruise on a stormy river or to visit the Viking Ship. Unlike Disneyland, the lines are not so long, and the pleasure is no less.
2. Church of St. Martin
This church is located near Cologne Cathedral, but unlike it, it was completely destroyed during the war. Engineers even wanted to leave the ruins as a memorial, but still decided to rebuild the church. And they did it so skillfully that the building fit perfectly into the modern look of the city. Now the church has become part of the Benedictine monastery.
3. Augustusburg Palace
The Rhine Versailles, as historians call the palace of Augustusburg, appeared at the request of Archbishop C. Augustine. Baroque style elements are clearly visible in the architecture of the building: the U-shaped form of the palace, bas-reliefs, sculptures, murals, interior decoration - all remind of the luxurious palaces of France since Louis XIV.
Interesting: Napoleon, seeing the palace of Augustusburg, was very upset that he could not take him home with him.
Equally beautiful and the surrounding landscape with its complex of green spaces. Currently, various concerts are held in the park area of the castle.
4. Cologne Zoo
Over 20,000 animals live on 20 hectares. Animals and birds are in conditions as close as possible to their natural habitat. The zoo annually receives up to two million visitors; in terms of popularity among Germans, it firmly takes fifth place.
Another of its features is that the animals here are not kept in cages. Rather, these are territories separated by green hedges or ditches with water. Visitors have the opportunity to watch animals at any time of the year.
5. Wallraf-Richartz Museum
At the end of the 18th century, the rector of the University of Cologne, Franz Wallraf, spent a lot of energy to save paintings from ruined churches and monasteries after the French captured Westphalia. And already in the middle of the XIX century, the local bourgeois Johann Richartz gave money for the construction of the museum, where the saved canvases were stored.
By exhibits, you can trace the seven-century history of painting. The collection includes paintings not only by masters of the Celtic school, but also many masterpieces by other brilliant artists from Rubens to Munch.