Sunny Days in Cologne

Posted on February 14, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Part of: Winter in Germany

Last Saturday started off really nicely, with sunshine and a delicious breakfast of rösti - the Swiss dish we learned to love in Bern, although this home version is admittedly not that much different from hash browns.


Bellies full and happy, we then took the tram into Cologne for some more explorations. Our first stop was St. Gereon Church, which we hadn't visited since our 2005 trip with bad cameras. It's a rather unique one, with a huge decagonal nave topped with a red-painted dome. The dome was finished in 1227 and the rest is about a century older.

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The crypt was especially interesting and we had it all to ourselves. That allowed us to get creative with impromptu tripods (the pews worked well) and with photo positions (I had to lay on the floor to get the murals on the low ceiling).

st. gereon, cologne
Tomb of St. Gereon, who was a Roman soldier from Egypt and beheaded on this site in the 200s.

st. gereon, cologne
12th-century mural above the tomb, with St. Gereon (left) joining a typical Crucifixion scene.

st. gereon, cologne
One very unique feature of the crypt was a full set of 12th-century mosaics, quite a rare sight. They are fantastic, but are in the far end in the dark so easy to miss. This one shows the long-haired Samson with the lion.

On our way to the next sight, which was a good walk across the center of the city, we enjoyed some window shopping:

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Our next stop was KOLUMBA, an interesting museum that intermixes medieval and modern art and provides no labels, since "art should have no categories." Hmmm.

kolumba museum

Its collection includes some treasures owned by the Archdiocese of Cologne (which is what drew me there) and the excavated foundations of the Church of St. Kolumba.

kolumba museum, cologne
"Crosses" by Andy Warhol.

kolumba museum, cologne
Medieval ivory book cover.

kolumba museum, cologne
Scary demon with bad teeth being thwarted by St. Michael.

kolumba museum, cologne
St. Nicholas helps out some ladies.

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Some modern art - this suitcase with the Star of David moved mechanically up the pole, flapping like a butterfly.

The next two days were sunny too, and David got up early both days to park next to the river in Cologne and take pictures of the cathedral. He had a fun time and his efforts really enhanced our Cologne Cathedral photo collection!

german goodness
We still have our lovely BMW, which makes a nice addition to the Cologne skyline. But pretty soon we will get our long-term rental car for the grand Europe tour, which will have to be a Peugeot.

Apparently we're not the only ones who like it. David was on the bridge above when he noticed this scene - and was a little alarmed until he realized that the guy was posing for a photo with the car, pretending to own it. That's the sort of thing we do with a Bentley, so it was pretty fun to see happen with our bottom-of-the-line BMW!

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Happy Valentine's Day! We don't have any big plans, except maybe a little walk and a heart-shaped pumpkin pie later. We're just happy that after years of close quarters in foreign countries, we still get along really well. I'll take that over a fancy dinner any day.