Each day is a new adventure and with luck we have many new adventures in our future. Today’s adventure finds us in Cologne, Germany.
Weather is always on peoples minds; today was cool and sunny but the water level in the Rhine continues to suffer. So much so that tomorrow, when we arrive in Brumbach (to visit Marksburg Castle), we will be swapping ships. There are times when water is either too high or too low and the ships can’t navigate the locks or pass under the bridges. So it is with us; we started on the Viking Hlin and will be moving to the Viking Kara.
Cologne! We have been here twice before and still find it exciting and interesting. We began and ended our included, walking tour at the Cologne Cathedral. The decision to build the cathedral was made after 1164 when the relics of the Magi (the Three Kings or Three Wise Men) were given to Archbishop Rainald von Dassel by Emperor Friedrich I (also known as Barbarossa) in recognition of the Archbishop’s support during the siege of Milan. In 1248 the foundation stone to the gothic structure was laid. Work would continue into the 19th century before the Cathedral was completed.
Here are a couple of shots of the Cathedral.
Our guide paused to point to the large structure just outside of the entrance to the Cathedral. It was one of the finials at the very top of the towers high above us.
Its amazing to think that what looks so small as we looked up is so large when it right in front of us.
Restoring the Cathedral is an ongoing process. At a level below us the work is ongoing. We were even able to see one of the finials waiting for refurbishment.
We entered through these imposing doors.
The interior was lovely.
By now you realize that I love stained glass windows and these didn’t disappoint.
As we strolled around we came upon the Shrine of the Magi. All gold, it was primarily created by goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun and his workshop.
I found this imposing, floating crucifix amazing.
Located in a side chapel we came upon the Baroque reliquary chest (1633) of the medieval holy bishop of Cologne, Engelbert II (1185-1225); a beautiful work of art.
Even the floor mosaics are lovely.
There is more to the art in the Cathedral than stained glass and mosaics.
After our visit to the Cathedral we strolled past the train station, through the old town and down to the Rhine. Here is a shot of Europe’s busiest railroad bridge as seen from the river.
Here are a couple of other photos taken while we continued our tour.
Lunch, did somebody say lunch? We ate at Fruhs, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Cathedral, for our third time. It is absolutely German cooking in a typical germanic restaurant. JoAnn had a grilled sausage and I had liver dumplings. Both our meals were terrific and we will return the next time we are in Cologne. Here are a few shots inside the restaurant.
From lunch I went in search of a couple of postcards and stamps. Then it was back to the Hlin. Time to pack for our swap.
But first one last photo of a street artist on the plaza in front of the Cathedral.
Five o’clock found us in the Lounge. We gather there each and every evening to have a cocktail or two and enjoy the company of our friends. Tonight we were treated to a classical concert by Carpe Diam, two women from Cologne; one played a classical guitar and the other played a cello. The fifty minute concert was a nice end to our visit to Cologne.