Cologne — Top Areas Of Interest
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Cologne sights are terrific and plentiful. It is a delightful blend of old and new, ancient and modern. Below are just a few of those whom you will encounter when you stroll through the streets.
The Cologne Cathedral
Surely, the most visible sign of Cologne, this Gothic cathedral was built in 1248 and not completed until over six-hundred years later, in 1880. This is a local joke, as renovations are now underway at this holy place. It is referred to as “the eternal construction site” and residents joke that the end of the world will arrive before it is ever completed.
Nevertheless, this UNESCO World Heritage Site (once the world’s tallest building) has plenty to see, even with so much construction. A true highlight is the Shrine of the Three Magi, which is said to contain relics from these ancient pilgrims.
The Cologne Synagogue
This Gothic synagogue is well-known as the lone survivor of the Nazi regime in Cologne. It again made headlines in 2005 during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Twelve Romanesque Churches
Most cities are lucky enough to have one beautiful church or cathedral. Cologne is not only home to the legendary Cologne Cathedral, but also twelve masterpieces of Romanesque architecture. One of them, St. Gereon, was even built on an old Roman burial ground.
This is the name of the collection of traditional Cologne neighborhoods. Always a popular attraction, you can stroll through streets in (political and non-political) districts such as Ehrenfeld, Lindenthal, Nippes, Eigelstein, Friesenviertel and Belgisches Viertel. They are filled with book shops, art exhibits and historical monuments like the city gates. Some even have their own pedestrian zone as well as their own character and cultural aspects.
The Cologne Triangle
Another World Heritage Site, the Cologne Triangle provides a bird’s eye view of this picturesque city. At over 100 meters high with 29 floors, this is the spot to go for postcard-perfect pictures.
A great example of Cologne’s modern architecture, this unique German gem was designed by an Italian. Located smack in the city center, the gorgeous glass dome is a true attraction. The light, airy feel of the Weltstadthaus (World City House) makes it a very unique sight, as does the waterfall-like exterior.