Yesterday Matt and I went for a walk from our apartment in the cute little village of Rodenkirchen (pronounced: Rodenkeerken) just on the outskirts of the city of Koeln (Cologne in English) to see the sites.
Our first stop was the Lindt Chocolate Factory that sits right on the banks of the Rhine River. We were told that originally the factory was owned by a local chocolatier but over the years was bought out by the Swiss chocolate company, Lindt.
We managed to remain in control and not buy any chocolate at all but we did have a lovely lunch of a French style pizza (very thin cracker type crust with mozzarella, scallions, and pieces of ham) and a local Koeln beer called Kolch. All was quite tasty and fortified us enough to continue on our journey into the center of the city.
As we left the chocolate factory we happened upon this statue. I am not real sure what the significance of it is but I am sure it has something to do with the Rhine due to the fact that the character seems to be pulling on a rope like the type that one would have on a boat. The butt view was nice too but I’ll leave that out of this post for now. 🙂
Next we continued our walk along the Rhine and watched as the boats from Holland and Germany chugged down with loads of coal and other merchandise for the masses.
As we continued on our way to the city we found the remains of the Roman wall that used to surround the center of the city. All over the city of Cologne you will see reminders of the Roman’s control of this city centuries ago. We even came across an excavation site in the center of the city where they were uncovering Jewish baths and a Jewish synagogue. It seemed really strange to have this site being uncovered in the center of a city while a couple was being married at the fairly modern city hall just 500 feet away. History is always being made and constantly being uncovered every day.
Next we continued on to the famous Cologne Cathedral. This cathedral is huge and nearly impossible to get in one picture. It is over 2000 years old and is constantly being updated. Once they are done updating it it is time to start all over again.
One of Matt’s patients was kind enough to show us around the city center and she brought us in to the cathedral and showed us the latest stained glass window.
Apparently the artist who created the new stained glass window used precise mathematical equations to decide where each color would be and the frequency of each color’s appearance.
We were also told that the current, I believe, Archbishop doesn’t like the new window at all. He feels that it is to modern and doesn’t match the rest of the cathedral. I wonder if they are going to leave it or eventually replace it with something more in style with the rest of the building? Regardless I thought it was interesting because of the way it was created but I do admit that it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb in comparison with the rest of the cathedral.
Another interesting thing about the Cathedral is the fact that there is a monument to the ‘Three Kings’ or ‘Three Wise Men’ in there. The moment is encased in Gold and is now fenced around it because apparently people were trying to take chunks of it home with them.
I plan on attending at least one Sunday Mass there just to really get the feel of being in a historical place like that an imagine all the people through the ages that have sat in those same pews.
Outside many of the young (and not so young) kids use the plaza in front of the Cathedral as a great skateboarding terrain. I wonder how many of them realize the history that they are skating on and in front of. It’s amazing how we tend to take for granted the things right in front of us and I can imagine some of those kids thinking that that big church is such a waste of skateboarding space. It makes me wonder what things I walk right past in my hometown that I think are a bother or a waste of space but if I really payed attention would tell me something of my history if I would only look and listen.
Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for Part Two of our walk to the Chocolate Factory. Until then Matt and I send our love to you all!