Cycle Tour Europatour
Travel report: Rhein, Loire, Mayenne, Normandie und Zeeland
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Added on 01 Jan 2023,
on 01 Jan 2023
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Köln, NW, DE (46 m NHN)
Köln, NW, DE (45 m NHN)
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Cologne (German: Köln, Ripuarian: Kölle) is situated on the river Rhein in North Rhine-Westphalia and is the fourth largest city in Germany with around one million residents. It is one of the nation's media, tourism and business hotspots, and is considered one of the most liberal cities in Germany.
Cologne has a rich history reaching as far back as the times of the ancient Roman Empire, when it was founded and remained a constantly inhabited important regional centre since then. Compared to other German and European cities, the ancient and medieval Cologne was relatively large, covering most of the modern-day city centre, and therefore a wealth of architectural heritage can be found across the city ranging from pre-Christian times to strikingly modern buildings, with a high concentration of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, culminating with the magnificent Cathedral (Dom).
Cologne is, however, not only a tourist destination, but on an equal note a major economic centre, a globally important trade fair location, a culture and media hotspot and a major transportation hub. This equal mix of roles and functions is permeable throughout the city and provides it with a constant inflow of various visitors, as well as a very diverse population mix. This all culminates during the traditional Karneval, and makes Cologne one of the most-visited destinations in Germany.
Cologne lies on both side of the river Rhine, which flows through it in a northerly direction. The left hand, or western side, is Cologne proper with the Old Town (Altstadt), the famous cathedral and most landmarks and museums. The right side, or eastern side, used to be a separate town called Deutz - now Deutz is a neighbourhood of Cologne.
Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded and established in the first century AD, as the Roman Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. "Cologne" is the French version of the city's name, which has become standard in English as well. It has a traditional, strong rivalry with the neighbouring city of Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, although this is mostly manifested by a number of jocular references made to one another in both cities and constant bickering as to whose local beer is best (in Cologne, it is obviously Kölsch).
- ⊙Kölner Dom (Cathedral) (U-Bahn: Dom / Hbf). M-Su 06:00-19:30. A UNESCO World Heritage site. It took over 630 years to complete this monumental cathedral. In 1880 the cathedral was finally consecrated. Cologne's Dom is the first sight you will notice when taking the main exit from the central station. (If you don't see it, you've taken the back exit.) If you are in good shape, take the 509 stairs to the top of the south tower. It takes about an hour, so wear comfortable shoes, but it's worth the hike. Touring the Cathedral is forbidden during Mass. Entry into the cathedral is free but you will be asked for a donation. Admission to the tower costs: €3, reduced: €1.50, family: €6. Admission to the treasury costs: €5, reduced: €2.50, family: €10 however, a combined ticket granting you admission to the treasury and tower can be purchased for (regular/reduced/family): €6/€3/€15.
- 12 Romanesque Churches - Between 1150 and 1250 saw the construction of numerous churches in the Romanesque style.
- ⊙St. Kunibert. with wonderful stained glass windows
- ⊙St. Severin, Im Ferkelum 29 (Tram Clodwigplatz). – it is the oldest Christian foundation in Cologne
- ⊙St. Maria Lyskirchen.
- ⊙St. Andreas.
- ⊙St. Aposteln.
- ⊙St. Gereon, Gereonsdriesch 2. The originality of this church lie in its elliptic floor plan and the addition, in 1220, of a decagon between its towers
- ⊙St. Ursula.
- ⊙St. Pantaleon, Am Panteleonsberg 2.
- ⊙St. Maria im Kapitol, Marienplatz 19.
- ⊙Groß-St. Martin (Great Saint Martin Church), An Groß St. Martin 9 (U-Bahn Rathaus).
- ⊙St. Georg.
- ⊙St. Cäcilien, Cäcilienstraße 29. today Museum Schnütgen
- ⊙Die Kölner Synagoge, Roonstraße 50 (U-Bahn: Zülpicher Platz), ☎ +49 221 921 5600. The synagogue is notable for its architecture that looks, well, right out of Gotham City. The Torah within the synagogue was rescued by a Catholic priest from another synagogue as it was being burned during Nazi rule. In August 2005 Pope Benedict XVI visited the synagogue, becoming the second pope to ever visit a synagogue.
- ⊙Historisches Rathaus (Historic Town Hall) (U-Bahn Rathaus).
- ⊙Praetorium. An accessible archaeological site with the ruins of the ancient Roman Praetorium of Colonia.
- ⊙Gürzenich dance hall (U-Bahn/Tram Heumarkt). The Gürzenich is a municipal concert hall and multi-purpose festival hall
- ⊙Overstolzenhaus. One of the oldest extant houses in Cologne, built between 1220 and 1225, with an impressive romaneque façade. Built as a residence for a local patrician, today it houses the Academy of Media Arts.
Remains of city walls and fortifications
- ⊙ruins of Roman city walls and two towers.
- Nordtor (ruins of Roman city wall gate) (Dom, Trankgasse).
- Ruins of Middle Ages city walls and towers
- ⊙Ruins of a small gate.
- ⊙Malakoffturm (Rheinauhafen, bus 233 stop Schokoladenmuseum).
Museums and Galleries
Cologne has one of the world's best collections of museums and galleries for a city of its size. As well as world class museums of art and archaeology, Cologne boasts two museums of ecclesiastical art, both housed in architecturally stunning buildings. There is also an ethnographic museum, a chocolate museum, the German Sport Museum and an abundance of Roman remains.
One can purchase a MuseumsCard from one of the municipal museums (such as the first five listed below). The single card cost €15, the family card, which costs €28, entitles 2 adults and 2 children (under 18) free admission to each of the municipal museums during two consecutive opening days. On its first day of validity, it can also be used as a ticket on all buses and trams on the cologne transportation system VRS.
- ⊙Museum Ludwig, Bischofsgartenstraße 1 (U-Bahn: Dom/Hbf, behind the dom), ☎ +49 221 26165. Tue – Sun: 10AM – 6PM. A museum of modern art, near the central railway station and the Cathedral hosts a worthy regular exhibition, as well as temporary exhibitions. Admission: € 11, concessions: € 7.50, families: € 22.
- ⊙Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Art), An der Rechtschule (U-Bahn: Dom/Hauptbahnhof), ☎ +49 221 23860. Tu-Su 11:00–17:00. The Museum of Applied Art has a collection of popular design items, as well as temporary exhibitions. Admission: regular: €6.00, reduced: €3.50, permanent and special exhibitions: € 9, reduced: € 6.
- ⊙Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Martinstraße 39 (U-Bahn: Dom/Hauptbahnhof, then 10 minutes walk, U-Bahn: Rathaus, Tram Heumarkt, Bus Rathaus or Gürzenich), ☎ +49 221 27694. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Every Th until 21:00. The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is an art gallery with a collection of fine art from the medieval period through to the early twentieth century. Admission: (permanent collection and special exhibition) € 8 - 12, reduced € 4.50 - 8.
- ⊙Römisch-Germanisches Museum (Roman-Germanic Museum), Roncalliplatz 4 (Adjacent to the Cathedral's right side from its main façade.), ☎ +49 221 22304. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Römisch-Germanisches Museum explores the history of Roman history in Cologne and the surrounding area. The museum's tour guides are exceptionally dull and can make any visit seem like it lasted just as long as the Roman empire. If you can, wander around the museum by yourself. Admission: € 8.00 (€9.50 including admission to the Praetorium (an excavation of various buildings)), reduced: € 4.00 / €5.
- ⊙Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – World Cultures), Cäcilienstraße 29-33 (U-Bahn: Neumarkt), ☎ +49 221 23620. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, Th 10:00-20:00. North Rhine-Westphalia's only ethnological museum, it has a fine collection of Amerindian and Austro-Polynesian artefacts. Admission: Regular: €7, reduced: €4.50.
- ⊙Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst (Museum of East Asian Art).
- ⊙Kolumba (Diocesan museum), Kolumbastraße 4. A Christian art museum. An architectural wonder designed by Peter Zumthor and a feast for the senses; this museum, built in concordance with the ancient foundations of the shrine of Mary in the rubble contains a selection of historical and contemporary religious art. Worth visiting just to explore the spiritually inspiring spaces and the beautiful walkway through the ruins of the past.
- ⊙Schokoladenmuseum Köln (Museum of Chocolates), Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a. Opening hours: Tu-Fr 10:00-18:00, Sa Su and holidays 11:00-19:00, closed on Mondays. Last admittance one hour before closing. Chocolate Museum in Cologne. It's a short visit but very interesting exhibits. Admission: €8.50, concessions: €6, Family pass: €24.
One can eat pretty well in most traditional-style Kölsch restaurants, and in fact as a visitor, you should try some of the local food, which is quite rustic, but tasty, hearty fare.
The brewery taps (Früh, Sion, Pfaffen, Malzmühle etc. in the old town south of the Dom) are worth taking note of to that respect, although they tend to be expensive for what you get.
- ⊙Bierhaus en d'r Salzgass, Salzgasse 5-7, ☎ +49 221 8001 900. Mo-Fr from 12:00, Sa and Su from 11:00.
- ⊙Brauhaus Gaffel, Alter Markt 20-22, ☎ +49 221 2577692. 11AM - 1AM.
- ⊙Brauhaus Sion, Unter Taschenmacher 5 (Altstadt), ☎ +49 221 2578540, open So-Th 10:30–00:00, Fr-Sa 10:30–01:30.
- ⊙Brauerei Päffgen, Friesenstraße 64-66, ☎ +49 221 135 461. open So-Th 10:00-24:00, Fr, Sa 10:00-00:30.
- ⊙Brauerei Malzmühle, Heumarkt 6. 10AM - 10PM. visited by Bill Clinton
- ⊙Brauereiausschanks zum Pfaffen, Heumarkt 62, ☎ +49 221 2577765.
- ⊙Em Kölsche Boor, Eigelstein 121, ☎ +49 221 135227, Su-Sa 10:30–00:00
- ⊙Früh am Dom, Am Hof 12 – 14 (Just south of the cathedral, behind the Domhotel), ☎ +49 221 2613 211. Früh am Dom is a great place to try the local Kölsch brew.
- ⊙ Lommerzheim , Siegesstrasse 18 (in Köln-Deutz (across the railway bridge)).
- ⊙Peters Brauhaus, Mühlengasse 1, ☎ +49 221 2573950. open 11:00-24:30
- ⊙Stüsser, Neusser Str. 47, ☎ +49 221 47446999, open Mo-Fr from 11:00 Uhr , Sa-Su from10:00
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Input taken over from:
Wikivoyage contributors, 'Cologne', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 4 August 2016, 03:13 UTC, https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=Cologne&oldid=3029685 [accessed 6 September 2016]
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06 Sep 2016 - 17 May 2021
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Bikeboxes are covered.
Hotel without restaurant (garni)