Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cologne (Koln) Germany

How can I summarize my two week trip to Germany in one post?  I can't, so today I will share with you our stop in Cologne (Koln) Germany...

I asked a friend if I could bring her anything back from my trip and she asked for one thing, a post card of the Cologne Cathedral.  The what??? I Googled Cologne and quickly decided we definitely would visit the country's 4th largest city and tour Germany's largest cathedral. 

On December 8th we hopped into the rental car and headed 2 hours north from Mainz to Cologne.

Here is just a bit of what we saw...

Yes, that's me with the Cathedral in the background

Wow, it is HUGE

The Cologne Cathedral is the greatest Gothic cathedral in Germany and it is the most famous landmark in Cologne. Construction began in the 13th century (1248) and was done in stages. It was completed in 1800, more than 600 years later! 

We entered the 8000 square foot Cathedral and witnessed this...

And this, the most celebrated work of art and the main treasure of the Cathedral...   

The Shrine of the Three Kings is thought to contain the remains of the Three Wise Men.

I was thankful for the sunshine on this day because without it we would not have witnessed the kaleidoscope of glowing multi-colored light from the most beautiful stained glass windows...

In 2007 this window, designed by 75 year old Gerhard Richter, was unveiled...

Designer: Gerhard Richter
Cost of material & mounting:  $506,000
11,500 squares of glass
Height 65' 7"
72 colors

Would you believe that the Cathedral can hold 20,000 people? 

Just outside the Cathedral is my second favorite Cologne tourist attraction: the Hohenzollern bridge...

Yes, that's me again on the other side of the 
Rhine with the Cathedral in the background

A bridge??? Yes, but this is a very special bridge. Here is where you will find thousands of locked padlocks attached to the fence that spans across the Rhine River; the Love Lock Bridge...

Love Locks got their start in Italy, on the Milvlian bridge over the Tiber, and in 2008 this trend spread to Cologne Germany.  

Like millions of others before us, my DH and I immortalized our love with an engraved padlock...

Inside the white outline


We then proceeded to toss the key into the Rhine River below....

Can you believe I was able to capture the key as it dropped to the cold water?...

When I return to Germany, possible in the summer, I would like to return to Cologne and affix another lock engraved with 08/10/87 and 06/01//89, two of the VERY best days of my life...G&D's birthday.

Next stop...

 Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum
(The Chocolate Museum)

Ohhhh, the smell of chocolate...need I say more? 

And of course we shopped at 4 of the 6 Christmas Markets in Cologne. Yes, some locations have multiple markets.

Cologne Christmas Market

 Passing through one of these markets I saw (and loved) this...


Can you see all the hanging hearts?

There you have it, a quick tour of one of my favorite tourist destinations: 

Cologne, Germany

Next stop...Heidelberg.

Be sure to stop by Nicola's blog for info on her generous giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time...