The harmonious Cologne on the banks of the Rhine
first picture that comes to my mind when I remember the city of Cologne is the
beautiful view of its imposing cathedral at night. As soon as I left the train
station, I found that huge Gothic church with all lights on. Gorgeous!
Cologne is an old city. It dates back to 2000 years
ago, still in the years of the Roman Empire. It is one of the largest cities in
the administrative region of North Rhine-Westphalia, in western Germany. The
imposing cathedral is the city's landmark. Close to it, one can see the Rhine
River, with a pedestrian precinct and gardens on its banks. Sunbathing or just
walking around the place is a good weekend activity.
The cathedral, known as Dom, is the city's "trademark"
and one of the most famous churches in Europe, with about 1000 years. It has a
dark, almost black colour, because it was set fire into during World War II. It
is currently under restoration to recover its original colour.
Literally, the Dom can take your breath away. When I
decided to climb up its tower to check out the view of Köln (Cologne in German)
from a high place, I thought I would be able to take the lift. What a mistake! A
144-metre winding stairway, in a narrow and crowded space. I arrived at the top
almost breathless, but the scenery (and the exercise) was worth the while. The
highest building in Cologne, the tower provides a beautiful view of the city,
and it allows one to see how big it is. The city has 1 million inhabitants and
it was built on the banks of the Rhine, which makes the view even greater.
Weekends in Cologne are very lively. Downtown streets
are crowded. When I was there, a theatre festival was taking place. Several
artists set up street stands advertising their plays. The city centre, also
close to Dom, is a good trade point, with many shops, restaurants and souvenir
In addition, there are options for whoever wants to
have fun at night. Streets get crowded, full of cars and people. Cologne is a
young city, for it receives a good number of students. I stayed at dormitories
along with many other foreigners. Besides my Brazilian friend (we are everywhere),
there were Indians, Dutchmen, Poles, Americans, and Spaniards, revealing that
Cologne is also a cosmopolitan city.
In the outskirts of Cologne, towards South-West Germany,
the train journey is one more attraction. Along the Rhine banks, the train
passes by old beautiful small towns. At the top of the hills, many stone castles
recall a little of this feudal Germany. You just can't miss it!
- Cologne's Cathedral: 1
- View of Cologne from the top of the Cathedral: 1
Translated by Traduzca