I was going through some of my pictures from my tour of Europe last year, and thought I would do a quick review on Cologne, which was easily one of my favourite cities on the trip.
The most famous thing about Cologne is the cathedral and rightly so. Not being any great shakes are architecture I didn’t think I would particularly like it, but by golly!! It is MASSIVE!!
Not only is it really really tall (the spires are over 500ft in height), it is also decorated beautifully on the inside and the outside. (And such gorgeous stained glass windows!!!)
Being the perfume fanatic that I am, my first thought when I heard Cologne was Eau de Cologne! Thus naturally one of the stops we made was at the 4711 perfume house:birthplace of the original eau de cologne. (Fun fact: did you know that this was actually started as a miracle water to be used for healing for both internal and external uses??)
The 4711 perfume house has an actual fountain of the cologne that you can wash your hands/splash your face in. The cologne was(and is) popular with a number of notable names, and the shop has the seal of approval from Napoleon, the Tsar of Russia, and the Royal family of England.
We also visited the lesser known Romano-Germanic Museum, which holds a collection of artefacts from the ancient roman settlement that modern Cologne is built upon. Along with the usual collection of glass and pottery, the museum also has some surprisingly well preserved mosaics.
If the next part doesn’t have you planning your next trip to cologne, I don’t know what will. It was a visit to the schokoladenmuseum. (or chocolate museum to us non German speaking people) While the museum part makes it sound like an old musty room where some antique chocolate wrappers are preserved, it is actually a place you can learn everything you wanted to know about chocolate.
You are given free chocolate when you buy a ticket (delicious ones too!!) and you then proceed to learn about the cocoa plant itself, it’s cultivation, production etc. and some Mayan mythology about it thrown in for good measure.
There are also some great exhibits on its packaging through the ages and you get to see the chocolate production mechanism in live action.(no oompa loompas though ) Then onto the grand finale…..
A Lindt chocolate fountain!! Those nice ladies you see in the picture dip wafers in the chocolate and hand it to you as you walk past. You get to enjoy the chocolate AND the panoramic view of the city!
Once we dragged ourselves out of the gift shop, we
waddled walked to the Hohenzollern Bridge (the big one you see in all the pictures of Cologne) The couples who visit the bridge often put a padlock on the bridge and toss the key into the river to guarantee everlasting love.
Bottom line: Gorgeous buildings, perfumes and chocolates, what’s not to love? It’s a great place to look around, even if you only have a day. But again, like all cities, the longer you stay, the more you discover. Don’t forget to try to the local beer(Kölsch) which is served in tall thin glasses and refilled until you place the coaster on top. Else you will chase a pigeon that then flies into a man on a bicycle who will almost fall off and glare at you. True story.
Until next time, Love, Me 🙂