"Roman History, Magnificent Cathedral, and Kölsch" Top 5 Page for this destination Cologne by BillNJ
Cologne Travel Guide: 1,609 reviews and 4,008 photos
The German name for the city is Köln, and the French (and English) name is Cologne. However, the Romans originally knew it by a much longer name: Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium in honor of the Roman Empress Agrippa. By 5 A.D., the Romans shortened the name to Colonia. The site on the Rhine River was originally chosen as a frontier post. For 500 years, the Rhine River marked the border between the Roman Empire and the lands of Germanic tribes. In Roman times, the city developed into one of the empire's most important trade and manufacturing centers north of the Alps.
The magnificent gothic Cathedral is the dominant structure in Cologne. The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most visited landmarks in the world and one of the best known monuments in Germany. The Cathedral is known in Germany as the Kölner Dom or the Domkirche St. Peter und Maria. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and under administration of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Cologne Cathedral was built to house relics of the Magi (Three Wise Men) who visited Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The relics were given to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel, in 1164. Today, visitors can view the Sarcophagus of the Magi, a large gilded sarcophagus dating from the 13th century, and the largest reliquary in the Western world.
The start of building of the Cologne Cathedral was in 1248. In the mid-1500's, construction was abandoned. The Cathedral was not finished until 1880. Thus, the Cathedral took 632 years to complete!
Kölsch is Cologne's local beer. It is clear with a bright straw yellow hue, and it has a prominent, but not extreme, hoppiness. It is less bitter than the standard German lager beer, Pils. In a nutshell, Kölsch is a light, easy-drinking beer.
More than just a beer, Kölsch symbolizes the Cologne mentality and lifestyle. The saying “et hätt noch immer joot jejange" (roughly translated as “everything will be alright”) describes the optimistic mentality and lifestyle that characterizes the city's residents. Enjoying Kölsch and conversation in the numerous squares, beer houses, and pubs is one of the favourite leisure activities of the citizens of Cologne.
On Saturday, May 24, 2008, a group of VTers met in Cologne to uphold the Kölsch tradition. On that occasion, I had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying the company of the following VTers: Shigehiro (Leny), Sabsi (Sabs), TinyTuck (Stef), HORSCHECK (Holger), RhineRoll (Win), seppoman (Thomas), yumyum (Sonja), and Maria250 (Maria). It was a great finale to my 10-day trip to Europe! Other photos of the VT meeting are included throughout my Cologne tips. Also, special thanks to Sabs for organizing the meeting.
- Pros:Magnificent Cathedral, Tasty Kölsch, and Friendly People
- Cons:That I am not presently enjoying a Kölsch in Cologne!
- In a nutshell:Kölsch is more than just a beer -- it is a way of life!
The Römisch-Germanisches Museum is near the Cathedral. Inside, the Roman mosaic with scenes from the world of Dionysos... more travel advice
Because of the age and size of the Cathedral, it is pretty much under perpetual renovation. At any given time, you will... more travel advice
- Take a photo with one of the three Magi
- Adjust your camera before taking photos...
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