Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rhine Getaway: Köln, Germany (4/23/2014)

Wednesday, April 24, 2014
The Viking Gullveig ship set sail at about 3:00.
While we were having breakfast, we were arriving in Köln/Cologne, Germany (KM 688).
Rodenkirchen Brücke/Bridge (1954, expansion 1995)
Some strange-looking buildings until you realize they were inspired by the loading cranes previously located here.
Kranhaus Süd/South Crane House
(2009, designed by Hadi Teherani)
ipartment Kranhaus/Crane House (2010)
Imhoff Schokoladenmuseum/Chocolate Museum
Malakoff Turm/Tower (1848-1858)
Pegelhaus/Level House
Rhine water level is almost 1.8m/6'
Our included shore excursion was a walking tour of Köln. Our ship was docked right in the Altstadt/old town; very convenient.
Hohenzollern Bahnbrücke/Railroad Bridge
(1907-1911, rebuilt 1959, expanded 1985-1989)
Since 90% of Köln was destroyed during World War II, much of it is new construction with some reconstruction. The Fischmarkt/Fish Market is reconstruction of 1930s buildings which were made to look medieval.
Fischmarkt/Fish Market with "dated" buildings
Brunnen der Fischweiber/Fountain of the Fishwives
Groß St Martin/Great St Martin Church
(1150-1250 in Romanesque style, rebuilt 1954-1965)
Gir Keller/Cellar sign (KSS)
Schmitz-Säule/Smith Column
(1969) by architect Jupp Engels
Okay, this takes some explaining. Architect Jupp Engels was building a house on Groß St Martinplatz, and found several stones from the old Roman harbor. He decided to build a monument with these stones to the "original" citizens of Köln. He stated that this area was once an island where the Roman legionnaires brought their local blond girls, and the results were many children surnamed Schmitz/Smith.
The column also proclaims it was erected the exact moment, on July 21, 1969, that Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, which is 389,994 km and 100 m from this spot. All silliness.
Groß St Martinplatz also has the statues of Tünnes und Schäl, lead puppets from medieval theater companies and caricatures of a local farmer and local city dweller, representing the contradictory nature of the citizens of Köln.
Tamiko rubs Tünnes' nose for luck
Narrowest façade in Groß St Martinplatz
The narrowest façade is the back door of
Gaffel Haus (1213, 
rebuilt 1955),
which was the oldest building in 
Gaffel Haus, coats-of-arms of the guilds
Alter Markt/Old Market with
Jan von Werth Brunnen/Fountain (1884)
of a Thirty Years War General
Steinerne Pump/Stone pump
and 1950s era City Hall building
Rathaus Turm/City Hall Tower
(1407-1414, restored) 
Rathaus Turm/City Hall Tower
Uhr/Clock, on the hour when bells play, the tongue
of the "Platzjabbeck" face below sticks out
Rathaus Turm/City Hall Tower figures,
composer Jacques Offenbach on the corner
Kallendresser/um, gutter pooper (1956 by sculptor Ewald Mataré)
The Kallendresser was put up on the façade of the house that architect Jupp Engels (remember the Smith Column?) built. Apparently there was a pre-war version which he wanted to replace. This fellow is more or less mooning City Hall, another symbol of what people think of government?
On a more serious note:
Excavation of the Jewish quarter, dating back to 800 (KSS)
Prototype wall for the future Jewish Museum (KSS)
Hearts in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum window (KSS)
Farinahaus/House of Farina
home of the original Eau de Cologne/
Kölnisch Wasser
I learned that the original Eau de Cologne/ was developed by Giovanni Maria Farina, an Italian chemist living in Köln, in 1709. The product was much needed in an age of no baths and sewage in the streets, and was especially popular with royalty. Eventually, imitators popped up and about 1799, the 4711 "brand" appeared, made by Wilhelm Mülhens. Known as the "echt/true" Kölnisch Wasser, it has become the more famous fragrance. We were allowed to sniff samples and decide on our favorite.
Fastnachtbrunnen/Carnival Fountain
(1913 by Georg Grasegger) (KSS)
Fastnachtbrunnen/Carnival Fountain
detail (KSS)
Our guide, Markus, points out the plaque stating that
President John F Kennedy spoke here
Markus also mentioned that President Bill Clinton visited Köln in 1999, and was reported to have said, "Ich bin ein Kölsch." Hee, hee! Here, Kölsch is either a beer or the local dialect, not a citizen of Köln.
Back in Koblenz, Program Director, Ryan, wanted to make it clear that President Kennedy did not misspeak by saying, "Ich bin ein Berliner." He had always heard that Kennedy accidentally said, "I am a Berliner/jelly doughnut," but Germans have assured him that everyone knew Kennedy was showing solidarity by declaring he was a Berliner, one of them. Well, of course the Germans all understood what Kennedy was implying! However, the proper thing to have said was, "Ich bin Berliner." No "ein." I will give another example. "Ich bin Hamburger" means "I am a citizen of Hamburg." "Ich bin ein Hamburger" means "I am a hamburger." Schon genug!
Now we were on the other side of the Rathaus/City Hall.
Rathaus/City Hall Renaissance porch (1569-1573),
the only section that survived WWII
Rathaus/City Hall  façade relief depicts the
mayor/city defeating the lion/church
Rathaus Turm/City Hall Tower figure of
Giovanni Maria Farina
Rathaus Turm/City Hall Tower figure of
Konrad von Hochstaden, Archbishop of Köln,
with an irreverent base
Spanischer Bau/Spanish Building (1608-1615, destroyed in WWII,
rebuilt new in 1954-1956) staircase
"Europe" (1956) by Jürgen Hans Grümmer
Spanischer Bau/Spanish Building chandelier
Spanischer Bau/Spanish Building column
Heinzelmännchenbrunnen/Elves Fountain
(1897-1900 by Heinrich Renard) (KSS)
This fountain tells the tale of the elves who have promised to do the work of the tradesmen as long as no human sets eyes on them. And so while the carpenter, baker, butcher, brewer, and tailor drink and sleep, the elves perform all their tasks.
Heinzelmännchenbrunnen/Elves Fountain detail (KSS)
The tailor's wife becomes suspicious and scatters peas on the floor. When the elves arrive they slip and fall and shout, bringing the tailor's wife running to the top of the stairs with a lantern.
Heinzelmännchenbrunnen/Elves Fountain detail 
Poof! The elves were never to return and the "poor" tradesmen had to do their own work.
Brynne as temporary lollipop holder
Kölnerdom/Cologne Cathedral
(begun 1248, completed 1880) (KSS)
Pigeon roost
Kölnerdom/Cologne Cathedral
is the largest Gothic cathedral
in volume in the world (KSS)
Stained glass window (2007) by Gerhard Richter (KSS)
Apparently the stained glass windows were removed and safely hidden during WWII. Only one set was missing from the south transept, and in 2007 a new window was installed, created by Gerhard Richter, made of 11,500 pieces of colored glass that were randomly arranged by computer.
Sculpture of St Christopher
(1470) byTilman van der Burch
Altar of Agilolphus (c. 1520)
Altarpiece of the Virgin with Patron Saints
(c 1440-2) by Stephan Lochner
The patron saints of Köln are the Three Magi/Wise Men, having been given the names Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The cathedral was built specifically to house the remains of the Three Magi which were sent to Köln from Milan in 1164 by the Holy Roman Emperor after defeating the Lombards.
Floor mosaics (1885-1892 designed by August Essenwein,
executed by Villeroy & Boch Company)
Chor/Choir (1308-1311)
Medieval era stained glass
Dreikönigenschrein/Shrine/reliquary of Three Kings
(c. 1180-1225) by goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun
Hochaltar/High Altar (1322)
of black marble with white marble insets
Tomb of Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden (KSS)
Gero-Kreuz/Gero Cross (c. 970)
a medieval monumental crucifix
Schwalbennestorgel/Swallow's nest organ (1998)
Early Renaissance (1507/1509) stained glass (KSS) 
Clarenaltar/Altar of the Poor Clares (1350-1360)
Clarenaltar/Altar of the Poor Clares,
each female bust is said to contain the relics of the virgins
who were martyred with St Ursula in Köln (KSS)
Saturn window
The founders of a Köln electronics chain of stores, called Saturn, donated funds to the cathedral to have a stained glass window restored, and were given the bottom row for their personal design. They chose to have the cost-of-arms of Köln, each of their initials, and finally the logo of their store (bottom right).
We were done with our walking tour of Köln and had free time until lunch.
Roncalliplatz Roman arch
Roncalliplatz model of the tip of the cathedral spire
Roman Dionysus mosaic (220-230) as found in 1941
(the Römisch-Germanisches Museum was built around it)
Cathedral workshop
Living statues
Köln Hauptbahnhof/Main train station
Love locks on the Hohenzollern Bahnbrücke/Railroad Bridge
Siemens Desiro ML train of the trans regio Regional Railway
with love locks in foreground
Musical Dome and
Hohenzollern Bahnbrücke/Railroad Bridge's Friedrich III
Hohenzollern Bahnbrücke/
Railroad Bridge's Wilhelm II
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer/Bank fountain
mobile flood wall installation site
mobile flood wall installation site
We returned to the Viking Gullveig for lunch.
Next: More Köln.

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