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Mon, 05/20/2013 - 21:53
Cologne, or the German spelled Köln, might be the fourth largest city in Germany—but, it is also one of the oldest. Cologne does have a medieval flavor, but it was actually founded way back around 38 B.C. That’s not even the half of it!
Some thirty thousand people a day flock to the Cathedral alone! Besides having the second largest Gothic spires in the world, the church is the largest of its kind in all of Germany; and was built over the site of a Roman Temple.
The Roman Germanic Museum is the best for learning more of the history of the early time.
As much as you could spend an entire day at the Cathedral admiring all the medieval architecture and art, there’s a lot more of that to go around. Cologne’s City Hall (called a Rathaus) was built in the 12th century and the oldest one still used today.
Medieval life comes right out onto the city streets, even. Look around town for a few remaining city gates with funny sounding names like the Hantor (tor is German for gate), Severintor, and Eigelsteintor.
Cologne isn’t stuck in the Middle Ages, though. It’s a modern city in the North Rhine Westphalia region of Germany and where the Köln Haie (sharks) play ice-hockey at the Lanxess Arena. You can also shop til you drop along Hohestrasse (High Street) with lots of cafes, souvenir shops, and clothing stores.
Come to the Museum Ludwig for great Modern Art, including a Picasso and the Botanical Gardens for tranquil reflection. See, not all of Cologne is medieval!
However, when you’ve got the urge for something funny or just want to party, come during the annual Comedy Festival, the biggest of its kind in Mainland Europe. Or, the Carnival Season which starts at 11:11am on November 11th every year. The biggest celebration of the season doesn’t happen until the Thursday before Ash Wednesday in February.
One thing about German Festivals, great beer. Oh wait, that’s all the time.