Sunday, October 4, 1987

1987 Low Countries: Köln (10/4/1987)

Sunday, October 4, 1987
Awakened about 6:40 to have the tickets and Eurail Passes returned, and got up to remake the seats. Watched industrial Germany go by: Eisen, Duisberg, and Dusseldorf. Arrived in Köln late at 7:40 (due in at 7:17) and found that our bags fit in a 1 DM/54 cent-locker. Had breakfast at the Farm Haus Bäckerei: croissants, coffee and hot chocolate for 6 DM 70/$3.60. Ate standing up and returned the utensils to the counter. We checked the schedule for trains to Wiesbaden, then headed out across the square to the Kölner Dom/Cathedral of St Peter and St Mary, the largest Gothic church in Germany, spared by Allied bombers. Built on the site of a pagan temple and earlier Christian churches, construction began in 1248 to house the reliquary of the Three Magi brought by the Archbishop Rainald von Dassel, chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa, in 1164. Work on the cathedral continued until 1500, then again in 1842 to be completed in 1880 having kept to the original plans. The towers start out octagonal in the square, tapering to finials. Vertical lines are important.
Kölner Dom/Cathedral towers
Kölner Dom/Cathedral tower (KSS)
Portico carving (KSS)
Portico carving detail
We entered, but a service was in progress. In front of the cathedral was a small portion of the north gate from Roman times.
Roman gate and
Kent photographing the cathedral
We walked down to the Rhine River to see cruise boats, passing a fountain made from Roman ruins and “modern” ruins.
Roman ruins in cobblestone path
Rheingartenbrunnen/Rhine Garden Fountain
(1984-86) by Eduardo Paolozzi
In 38 BC, this city was a Roman legion camp, and in 50 AD became the capital of the Roman province named Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, an outpost of the Roman Empire.
We headed to the Romanesque church of St Martin and walked all around it on narrow cobblestoned lanes.
Martinskirche/St Martin Church (KSS)
St Martin Church
Over to the Alter Markt/Old Market to see a 16th century building at #20-22.

Gaffel Haus at 20-22 Alter Markt
Gaffel Haus wrought-iron sign
Beyond was the Rathaus/City Hall with walls built in the 1st century AD as part of the Roman viceroy’s house. The building was a mixture with a 14th century Hansa Hall, 15th century bell tower, and a clock with a face with tongue sticking out beneath it in the rear.
Rathaus/City Hall bell tower
Rathaus/City Hall clock
In the front was an ornate 16th century Renaissance entrance hall.

Rathaus/City Hall entrance
We backtracked a bit to see the 15th century Saaleck Haus.
Saaleck Haus
Interesting shop emblems. Hiked down Hohe Strasse and needed local maps that are conveniently located around the city to locate St Albans, the bombed out ruins of a 10th century Gothic church, now a memorial to victims of war, containing a copy of Matare’s “Sorrowing Parents” by Kathe Kollwitz. Also a 14th century tower. Back to Gülichplatz, site of a 12th century synagogue, where there was a ritual bath or Mitwe. Saw the Carnival Fountain designed by Grasegger.
Karnivalbrunnen with Kent

Haus Neuerburg Tobacco plant
Also the former site of the Farina factory of the Italian chemist Giovanni Maria Farina, who moved to Köln in 1709 and developed Eau de Cologne. Next was Gurzenich, a 15th century festival/dancing hall.

We found our way to St Maria in Kapitol, an 11th century church built over the remains of a Roman Capitoline, dedicated to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.

Santa Maria in Kapitol with Sorrowful Woman
Outside was another mourning statue, “Sorrowful Woman” (1949), by Gerhard Marcks. Over to Rheingasse to see the Oberstolzenhaus (1225), the last remaining Romanesque house in the city, now an Industrial Arts Museum.
Over by the river we saw a Madonna statue holding her arms out. Nearby was an old tower, and the St Maria Lyskirche in pink, a sailors’ church.

St Maria Lyskirche
Back “inland” to stumble across St Georg Basilika, the only such Romanesque building in Köln; very heavy.
St Georg Basilica
In front was a Hermann Joseph Fountain with a religious motif.
Hermann Joseph Brunnen/Fountain
We made a fruitless search for #15 Severinstrasse, which was to be a characteristic 17th century house with gables and bay windows. Saw nothing of the sort! Kent was a bit bored, so we headed back toward the cathedral, passing a radio tower of which there are several in the city.
We went over to the Romano-German Museum to pay 3 DM/$1.60 each admission.
Romano-German Museum ticket
First downstairs to see the impressive Dionysus Mosaic discovered in 1941 when digging an air raid shelter near the cathedral. It was once the floor of the Oecus/principal room of a Roman villa. Wandered around two floors of mostly Roman antiquities, 3rd-4th century glass, pottery, extensive jewelry collection, household goods, grave items, gravestones, plus parts of buildings, coins, and some items from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages. There were also other floor mosaics with one of the ancient philosophers, their names spelled out in Latin.
Decided it was time for lunch at 11:15, and went to the train station like it seems the locals do. We each had a Mettwurst, a sausage, with mustard and a piece of white bread. I had a Diet Coke and Kent had a pilsener beer by Wüthuler (?). Ate some of our chocolate and bought some Eau de Cologne souvenirs. Retrieved our bags and went to the track to await the 12:50 train to Wiesbaden. Kent bought a bratwurst to share, and a local Küppers Kölsch beer. The train arrived and departed on time, and Kent was impressed with first class. Saw the big radio tower of Köln, and an Alpine-looking abbey along the way. Many German wanderers in knickers with hiking boots and sticks, and a backpack on their back… Kayakers on the Rhine River, towns with white steepled churches, vineyards, victory gardens, and cemeteries filled with flowers. River barges, channel markers, rocks sticking above water in the river; Kent said it looked like the Ohio River. But then the castles, and the Lorelei cliffs. After leaving the bank of the Rhine, there were apple orchards. We arrived in Wiesbaden ahead of schedule at 14:45, after passing the Dyckerhoff complex in Mainz. We had to walk the length of the train to get to the station and looked for a street map. We found one, but it was of Frankfurt, whose U or S-Bahn reaches Wiesbaden. Outside the station we found a local map, but couldn’t find the train station on it! A local elderly woman asked if we were looking for something specific, and was able to point the way to the Penta Hotel, directing us to an underground passage. She even gave us a brochure that had a map, since she had two of them! So very nice! Now we easily found the hotel next to a wide garden-like median strip, and checked in. Settled in the room with a double “French” bed, and a TV with the US Armed Forces network! A balcony, mini-fridge, hair dryer, radio, telephone, down comforter, soap, and shampoo. Later we headed downtown to find a restaurant on Rick F’s recommendation. Found it on the pedestrian street, Zur Dortmunder, a classic wood-beamed German tavern and restaurant. Kent had a März Malz (alcohol-free) beer, then a Dortmunder Union Pilsener on draught, and I had a stale Apollonia mineral water. I ordered the Züricher Geschnetzeltes, veal in a cream sauce with mushrooms over rice (not authentic, but tasty). Kent had the veal cordon bleu, veal wrapped around ham and cheese, breaded and fried, plus Bratkartoffeln/sautéed potatoes, a bit smoky. The bill came to about 53 DM/$28.65 and we left 60 DM/$32.
Wandered along the pedestrian street. It had stopped sprinkling rain. We noticed that so far, we haven’t seen any autumn colors; the leaves are still green. There are still lots of flowers in bloom, including roses. Evening of German TV soap opera, an inventions show, and US sports.

Next: Wiesbaden.

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