Cologne is located on the Rhine with shining waves and picturesque scenery. It’s an ancient city built around the colony of the Roman Empire about two thousand years ago. Cologne has long been a city with heavy and chemical industry. Fortunately, the modernization of Cologne has not erased the city’s thick historical color. When the sunset glow is about to fall, the Cologne Cathedral on the Rhine River and the surrounding Gothic buildings and the steep-sloping ancient buildings are painted with fluorescent green, golden and orange colors, which are crystal clear and magical. These buildings blend with the Rhine River, which exudes the fascinating historical light of the ancient city.
1. Cologne Cathedral
Probably nothing can represent Cologne more than Cologne Cathedral. This Catholic church is a masterpiece of medieval European Gothic architecture and has been awarded the reputation of the world’s most perfect Gothic church building. The twin towers on the west side of the church are one of the subversions of the Gothic architecture. There are the tiered rows of painted large glass windows and the richly decorated triangular urns. There’s the largest altar among those in medieval German churches, and even the cross on the altar is a treasure in Europe’s large sculptures. The story of the Bible is portrayed in the rose glass window inside the church. These glasses were removed and carefully preserved during World War II.
2. Hohenzollern Bridge
The Hohenzollern Bridge is the oldest bridge in Cologne. It was built between 1907 and 1911 and consists of three railway bridges and sidewalks. You can undoubtedly see the most beautiful scenery when you walk on the Hohenzollern Bridge across the Rhine. People believe if they place the on the Hohenzollern Bridge and throw the key into the Rhine, then their love could last forever. The colorful copper locks on this bridge form a unique landscape.
3. Rheinauhafen District
It’s a place to forget your worries when you look out over Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge with the blowing breeze over the Rhine. The Cologne Promenade is a new and unique attraction in Cologne that is situated on the banks of the Rhine near the city center. The avant-garde residential and office buildings are interspersed with many unique coffee shops, restaurants, art centers and galleries, which is the favorite place for people who like art. The core buildings of the Cologne Promenade are three groups of buildings with the nickname “Crane Tower” and they are about 60 meters high. They are shaped like a crane and are representative of the skyscrapers on the West Bank of the Rhine.
4. Chocolate Museum
Coming to the Rhine, you can see the famous Chocolate Museum that is also known as the Imhof Chocolate Museum, which looks like a sail ship. The top floor is one of the highlights of the entire museum: the chocolate production workshop. The exhibition area shows how to make the blocky chocolate, truffle chocolate and hollow chocolate. For all those who love food, it’s a truly extraordinary experience to visit this chocolate museum with 2,000 exhibits. Not only can you learn about the history of 3,000 years of chocolate, but you can also sit on the open-air balcony outside the museum and enjoy the chocolates while enjoying the beautiful views of Cologne Cathedral and the Rhine.
5. Martin Cathedral
The St. Martin’s Church at the riverside of the Rhine was built in between 12th and 13th centuries and is known for its magnificent quarter-tower and clover-like ground shapes. It was originally a church in Benedictine Abbey, and it is also surrounded by a monastery. The Church of St. Martin is the most spectacular of the 12 ancient Roman churches in Cologne. Before the Cologne Cathedral was built, the Church of St. Martin was always the representative of Cologne. To this day, St. Martin’s Church and Cologne Cathedral stand side by side, which is a gorgeous view of the Rhine.
6. Ludwig Museum
The Ludwig Museum built in 1976 is a modern-style building with a jagged roof that contrasts with the adjacent cathedral and train station. The famous German art sponsor Peter Ludwig donated 774 Picasso works to the museum. The museum is the museum that collects the most works of Picasso except the Picasso Museum in Paris and the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. At the same time, it also has a large collection of modern art works, including Dali, the representative of Pop Art Richterstein and Warhol. The museum also has a photography museum that collects photographs from the previous century and a half. It’s also the world’s largest historical picture and camera museum and it’s a great place for photographers.
7. KD River Cruise
The Rhine is one of several large rivers in Europe. The scenery on both sides of the Rhine is beautiful and the ancient buildings complement the modern city. In the late 18th century when the romanticism flourished, people suddenly became interested in many abandoned ancient castles. Then numerous castles began to be rebuilt and maintained at the Rhine River. The owners of the castles have been constantly changed. And a few among them that are complete are already open, some of which are for museums or for restaurants, or for lodges. When you are in the environment, you will think of the past years.
8. Alter Market & Town Hall
It has been a very lively center from the Roman period that is a 5-minute walk from the south-east of Cologne Cathedral. In the past, it was the site of the market and that’s why it retains many Renaissance buildings. Don’t miss the fountain statue of Wilt who is a legendary figure of a cavalry general who grew up from a poor farmer at the middle of the square. Under the relief is a description of the scene of his legendary story. On the west side of the square is the tower of the City Hall that is 61 meters high and with 124 statues on the tower including Jesus and his disciples, the ancient Roman generals and even modern politicians and musicians. The Renaissance-style porch of the City Hall was built in the mid-16th century. What is behind the porch is the oldest part of the current city hall – the Hanseatic Hall with wooden sculptures made in the 14th and 15th centuries, which are of great value.
9. Cologne Triangle Building
It’s not just the cultural heritage and monuments of Cologne that make it stand out in German cities, Cologne is also known for its modern and relaxing lifestyle. The Cologne Triangle with a unique architectural style like the Cologne Promenade is also a striking scenery on the Rhine. The Cologne Triangle Building located on the right bank of the Rhine is 103 meters high and has a slender tower that is particularly eye-catching because it’s completely covered by glass. According to the designer, the unique architectural style of the Cologne Triangle Building not only makes the huge transparency that brings a sense of lightness but also for meeting the requirements of saving energy. The building is 100 meters high with an observation deck at the 29th floor that offers spectacular views of Cologne, especially the cathedral and the old town.
10. Cologne Museum
The Cologne Museum is the former residence of Farina who is the inventor of Cologne. The residence is also considered as the birthplace of cologne. It has been located opposite the City Hall for more than 300 years. The museum is a relatively small place where people with wigs wearing costumes guide the clients discover the perfume manufacturing process and smell all kinds of perfume raw materials. You can visit the Perfume Museum only by following the costume guides at the designated time. Pay attention that you cannot take pictures during the visit. During the visit, the tour guide will introduce the founder and products of the cologne company. He also tells various anecdotes related to Europe and cologne at that time. At the end of the tour, a perfume sample will be offered.
Cologne is a historic ancient city on the Rhine River with a wealth of artistic and cultural resources. Carnival and Cologne beer make visitors forget to return. The famous Cologne Cathedral is the symbol and heart of the city. It stands like a giant guardian in the center of the city for ensouling the city.