The St. Gereon's Basilica is said to be the most beautiful medieval church in Cologne. Though the structure was mentioned in records dating back to 612, the church as seen today was built between 1151 and 1227. St. Gereon's Basilica is known for a unique architectural style where the nave is topped by a decagonal oval dome. The church was dedicated to St Gereon at a later date in June 1920. Archaeological evidence has suggested the existence of an earlier church dating back to the fourth century. The original site was supposedly referred to as Ad Sanctos Aureos i.e. the church of the Golden Saints.
Described by UNESCO as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Cologne Cathedral or the Kölner Dom is an awe-inspiring world heritage site. The construction of this Gothic cathedral started in 1248 and took 632 years to complete. When the church was finally completed in 1880, it was one of the world's tallest buildings. The Dom stands an imposing 157 meters (505 feet) high and while climbing one of the towers may be quite an endeavor, the view from the top is definitely worth the effort. Located within the cathedral is the Treasure Chamber, which is home to significant religious artifacts, including the hooked staff of Saint Peter. The Cologne Cathedral is a well-known historic landmark that can't be missed.
In the mid-19th Century, there was a bridge connecting the two banks of the Rhein near the Kölner Dom. This bridge was jokingly known to the inhabitants of the city as the Muusfall - the Mousetrap. At the beginning of the 20th Century, it had to give way to the Hohenzollern Bridge, a half-timbered arch bridge that was designed to carry the railway. Although the bridge was destroyed in 1945 during the last few days of World War II, it was later rebuilt and is most notable for the thousands of 'love padlocks' that adorn the railings. One of the most photographed landmarks in Cologne, the arches of the bridge light up the night in a beautiful sight to behold.
It was Napoleon himself who in 1800 ordered that all burials should take place outside the city walls - in accordance with the burial traditions of Ancient Rome. As a result of this, the new central cemetery, Melaten-Friedhof, was opened on the site of a disused house a decade later. The cemetery contains numerous old trees which are home to all kinds of bird life, and between the trees lie two centuries-worth of graves and tombs, including many of the city's best known inhabitants.
View amazing religious artwork in one of the oldest museums in Cologne. Located on the site where the St. Columba Church previously stood, Kolumba was originally established in 1853 by the Society for Christian Art and it was called the Diocesan Museum (Diözesanmuseum), today this prestigious museum is now run by the Archdiocese of Cologne. Kolumba has an impressive collection of religious artwork and artifacts, including pieces from Late Antiquity.
The Rheinpark was established in 1913 and today is a beloved attraction for the citizens of Cologne. The park has several features such as the Claudius-Therme, an exclusive thermal bath, or a play area for the children. The Rheinpark was used as the venue for the national garden show and representative traces of this event remain even today. Sculptures and plastics are on view as you stroll around. The Tanzbrunnen, which is also a part of the garden also entices you with many open-air events and concerts.
Galerie Seippel exhibits works by young artists from different countries. There is no particular art direction that Dr. Seippel selects, but rather he chooses them depending on his own taste. However, there is a tendency towards figurative painting, installation and photography. Dr. Seippel also travels throughout the world curating shows in South Africa, the United States and Eastern Europe. He brings back works by young artists, for whom the Seippel Gallery often represents the first step to further exhibitions.
The Haus des Waldes in Gut Leidenhausen is worth a visit by all nature-lovers. There are explanations, for the scientifically-minded, of the ecological circulation of the forest, and of what woodland ecosystems are to be found near the Rhine. One area of the museum is also dedicated to the infamous disappearance of the forests.
The Dischhaus was built in 1929-30 in the place of a hotel by Carl Damian Disch. Its arched shape is reminiscent of the bow of a large steam ship. This was the home of the Jewish cultural association during the Third Reich, and served as a refuge for Jewish artists. It became state property in 1938. The local town hall is now located here.
The Wolkenberg mountain is located to the northwest of the Drachenfels. This mountain, which is 324 kilometers (201 miles) high today, must have once been the highest mountain in the Siebengebirge range. Due to quarrying, a large part of the tip was taken away, so it is no longer the highest mountain in the range. The Wolkenburg, which was built in the 12th Century, was left to ruin after the knightly order died out. This piece of evidence of late Romantic building customs can still be admired today.
The famous Kreuzbergkirche is located on Stationsweg in Poppelsdorf. A place of pilgrimage stood on the site before the Elector Ferdinand allowed the Baroque church to be built there in 1627. The entry-way was first added under Elector Clemens August. The well known builder Balthasar Neumann designed the splendid stone steps which lead to the altar. The church was renovated for around two million Marks in the middle of the nineties, and the partly lost original decoration from 1750 was restored.
The Villa Prieger is an impressive mansion located within the government center of Bonn. Once severely damaged by a bomb, the mansion underwent reconstruction in the mid 1990's. The reconstruction plans remained faithful to the original and most parts look similar to the way they were before. The mansion has large rooms available for lectures, meetings, workshops, and discussions.