The ship docks at a sight near the main attractions and the walking tour begins dockside. Ninety percent of the city was destroyed in WWI and the city was rebuilt “cheaply and quickly” according to our guide. This translates into an urban landscape that is un-noteworthy except for some old structures like the famous cathedral, the highlight of the tour.
The cathedral is magnificent and well worth a visit. Begun in 1248 and finished in 1880 it is considered one of the purest expressions of Gothic architecture. With towers rising 515 feet high, the cathedral was built to house the relics of the Magi and became an important pilgrimage site reflected in the very large ambulatory that allowed a large number of pilgrims to pass by the intersection of the nave and transepts where the relics were displayed. Today the relics are in a gold and silver reliquary kept behind the altar.
Located down the river from the ship and within an easy walk, the Chocolate Factory gives the history of chocolate from its Mesoamerican origins to its present status.
Am Schokoladenmuseum 1A. Hours: Tue-Fri, 10 AM-6 PM; Sat, Sun, Holidays 11 Am – 7 PM; 11 euro
The home of Willhelm Muelhens brand of Eua de Coloagne, named for the address of his manufacturing building, within walking distance of ship and usually included in walking tour. Glockengasse 4, Mon-Fri 9:30 AM-6:30 PM; Sat. 9:30 AM – 6 PM
Roman Germanic Museum
Covers the history of Cologne from about AD 50. Located near the cathedral. Roncalliplatz 4; Tue-Sun 10 AM-5 PM; 11 euro
Features art from medieval times to early 20th century. Obenmarspforten. Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 10 AM-6 PM, Thu 10 AM 9 PM; 13 euro
Dedicated to art from the beginning of the 20th century to present day with works by artists such as Dali, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Picasso. Heinrich-Boll-Platz; Tue-Sun 10 AM-6 PM; 11 euro
Cologne was settled in AD 38 by the Romans but grew slowly for almost a hundred years when one of the local noble women, Julia Aggrippina, married the emperor Claudius. Cologne was then given the rank of a Roman city and the name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. Charlemagne in the ninth century appointed the first archbishop of Koln, thereby establishing the city’s ecclesiastical importance. As a member of the Hanseatic League, Cologne thrived and continued to do so until WW II when bombing destroyed most of the city. Today it is Germany’s fourth largest city and the largest city on the Rhine. It is home to the University of Cologne, one of the largest and oldest European univ