Heart and Soul: Cologne

Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city is a place of awe and amazement. From its magnificent churches and other man-made wonders, to its stunning natural sights and sceneries, Cologne is a treat to the soul and to the heart of those who come and visit it. I was surely one of them.

Churches

Cologne Cathedral

One of the pride and glory of Cologne City, and of Germany as a whole – the Cologne Cathedral, standing tall at 500 feet, is one of the country’s most popular visitors’ destinations. Because of its size and very intricate and elaborate design, the Cologne Cathedral was constructed throughout numerous stages. It was finally completed in 1880. Today, this gorgeous Gothic-style architectural masterpiece is a testament to Cologne’s undying grace and beauty. The Cologne Cathedral also houses the world’s largest swinging bell. Truly, this enormous Gothic church is a sight of wonder.

Great St. Martin Church

Along the Rhine River stands a gorgeous piece of Romanesque architecture – the Great St. Martin Church. The structure also showcases a triconch design which looks similar to a clover leaf. As I entered the grand halls of this great structure, I could almost feel the presence of something holy or divine. The interiors are works of art themselves. Each corner of this church is filled with elaborate designs.

Love Locks Bridge

There is a very fascinating tradition in Cologne. It is said that if you are in love, you and your love should inscribe your names on a padlock, throw away the key, and lock away your love in the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge. The whole bridge is lined with these padlocks. There are actually several other cities with this type of love lock tradition, but many of the others have eventually been closed and removed because of public nuisance issues. Not in Cologne though. There, the beloved tradition is alive and very much practiced by so many that even I made a go for it.

Museums

Imhoff-Schokoladenmuseum (Imhoff Chocolate Museum)

The Imhoff Museum is a place I truly and absolutely enjoyed. The whole life story of the chocolate, from its very first discovery in the ancient times of the Mayans and Aztecs, to how it is today is documented in this outstanding museum. When I entered the building, I was greeted by a 3-meter-high chocolate fountain, beautifully decorated in gold cacao seeds. And there’s an employee who takes chocolate from the fountain and offers them to the guests. Heaven! Nothing like a great doze of chocolate nirvana to perk up my senses.

Museum Ludwig

The Museum Ludwig is a contemporary art museum. Its whole architectural structure is a work of art on itself. The breath taking façade of the building is enough to liven any art enthusiast’s spirits. Inside, the museum showcases one the world’s largest collection of Picasso artworks.

Fragrance Museum

Ah, fragrance – a girl’s friend. In the Fragrance Museum, right in the heart of Cologne, I was able to witness and experience the processes involved in the making of a single fragrance. There is also a detailed documentation of the evolution of these elegant perfumes.

Photo by theodevil on Flickr

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