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Descripta por la UNESCO como una "obra maestra de la arquitectura gótica", la Catedral de Colonia es un emblema patrimonial que inspira asombro. La construcción de esta catedral gótica comenzó en el año 1248 y la labor llevó unos 632 años, siendo terminada en 1880, cuando se la declaró uno de los edificios más altos del mundo. La Dom tiene una altura imponente de 157 metros y tendrán que estar en plena forma para subir una de las torres, pero es cierto que la vista desde la cima hace que el esfuerzo valga la pena. El ingreso a la catedral no tiene costo alguno, pero sí deberán abonar una entrada para ingresar a la Cámara del Tesoro y subir a la torre. La Catedral de Colonia es un hito histórico famoso y simplemente no pueden dejar de visitarla.
The Hahnentorburg on Rudolfplatz is one of the three medieval gatehouses which remain standing from the city's medieval fortifications. This western gate, along with its two towers, was built in the early 13th-Century and was used as an entrance for royal visitors who came to the city to pay homage to the Cologne Cathedral's Shrine of the Three Kings. The Hahnentorburg was damaged during World War II but it was restored to its former glory and is now an impressive city landmark. Visitors can pass through this historic gateway while admiring this medieval treasure's intriguing architecture.
Inaugurado en 1993, el Museo Imhoff del Chocolate se encuentra en el antiguo puerto de Colonia, y en honor a su conexión con el mar, el edificio en el que se encuentra el museo es en sí la proa de un barco hecho de metal y cristal. El arquitecto Ernst Eller construyó el edificio usando prácticamente solo cristal a pedido específico de Hans Imhoff, director de la empresa Stollwerck. Si visitan el museo, aprenderán todo lo que hay que saber sobre la historia del chocolate, comenzando con su importancia en las culturas Maya y Azteca. Claro está, que sería muy cruel si solamente pudieran aprender sobre el chocolate sin la oportunidad de saborear estas delicias, pero eso es algo que tiene solución en el Chocolat Grand Café y el Lindt Maitre Chocolatier, dos espacios dentro del museo en los que podrán probar chocolates y postres de chocolate.
On the south-eastern border of Cologne lies the Schloss Wahn, a stunning structure that was originally designed as a moated castle in the 14th-Century and featured a residential tower and gatehouse. In the mid-18th-Century, the family who owned the castle expanded the property, turning it into a moated palace. In 1820, the property was bought by Baron von Eltz-Rübenach and his family who still own the property to this very day. Sadly, the castle was badly damaged during World War II, as so many historic structures were. After the war, renovations were undertaken and today the property is used as a restored manor house that houses the Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung of Cologne University.
Built in the 15th-Century by Rembold of Plettenberg, the Burg Wissem is a grandiose structure that stands in the town of Troisdorf. While it suffered damage in World War II, the structure has been renovated and looks as beautiful today as it did when it was built in 1435. The main halls and rooms of the castle has now been converted into an illustrations museum that showcases different drawings of landmarks located across the city. One half of the building is also dedicated to a research association that deals in recognizing and preserving historical monuments. Visitors can also explore some of the smaller buildings that still house original furnishings and beautiful period-piece decorations.
Situated on the Michaelsberg and overlooking the town of Siegburg, is the Michaelsberg Abbey. It was previously known as the Benedictine monastery belonging to the Subiaco Congregation. Founded in 1064 by Archbishop Anno II, the abbey caught fire in the 18th Century and later rebuilt to the current baroque building complex. Over the years it was used as an army barrack, a mental hospital and as a prison. In 1914, the abbey again fell under the care of the Benedictine convent during World War II. In 2010, the community voted for the termination of the abbey due to its declining financial situation. Today the abbey is open to public visitations and can be explored on a guided tour.
Set atop a hill and overlooking a river valley below, the 19th-century Schloss Drachenburg of Königswinter seems right out of a Grimm brothers' fairy tale. Constructed for a wealthy German broker who never managed to live there, the castle features stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped parks. Ceilings adorned with hand-painted frescoes, luxurious furniture and four-poster beds decorate the interiors, and the castle is also available to rent for private events.
The remains of this railroad bridge are home to a museum dedicated to its construction and history. The bridge, which was built during World War I to bring soldiers and material to the Western Front, was one of the last bridges over the Rhine to be captured by Allied forces during World War II in a battle known as The Miracle of Remagen. The top floors of the remaining towers houses the museum, containing historical exhibits of war ephemera with photography, full-size bombs, and a field telephone.
Shooting foamy jets of cold water in the air at a height of 196.85 feet (60 meters), the Andernach Geyser is the world's highest cold water geyser. Along the banks of River Rhine, the spectacular landscapes of Namedy Peninsula encompass the geyser with the verdure of dense trees and grasslands. The geyser is fed by a 1149 feet (350 meter) deep aquifer which was dug with a purpose of extracting carbon dioxide for mineral water. Today, the location of the geyser and its environs have become a major tourist attraction, called the Andernach Geyser Adventure Center. A ferry ride through the river is a favored activity and the best way to explore the scenic landscapes of the Rhine. A tourist information center allows visitors to get detailed information about the geyser. A sight to behold, the high rising water jet is a unique phenomenon to witness.
The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress sits atop a mountain with the same name. The fortress was built on the mountain top between the years of 1817 and 1828 by Prussian forces, though another fortress had stood on this same spot until 1801 when it was destroyed by the French. Of course, early people had also seen the benefits of building on top of the impressive Ehrenbreitstein mountain; some archaeologists believe that structures may have been built on this same site as early as the 9th-Century BC. The fortress that visitors can see today was never attacked while the Prussian military owned it. It was, however, occupied by U.S. troops during the Occupation of the Rhineland. Having escaped destruction in World War II, the fortress served as a variety of establishments before being made into a museum in 1956. Visitors can take a cable car up to the fortress where they can wander around the grounds and explore the many rooms on docent-led tours.
A popular landmark, Limburg Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint George with origins rooted in the 10th century. The present Romanesque building is thought to have been constructed during the early 12th or 13th century, though the actual date of construction is unknown. The church building features imposing twin-tower facades and seven striking spires, and the interiors are decorated with spectacular Evangelist rosettes, pointed and blind arches, archivolts and glass windows.
Runkel Castle is a stupendous fortress situated in the very heart of the renowned city of Runkel in Germany. This fortress is one of the most popular haunts for tourists and locals alike. Overlooking the glistening blue waters of the Lahn river, this age-old beauty is a solitary structure dominating the viridescent Lahn river valley. The castle was constructed in the 12th-Century and has been owned by numerous aristocrats and families of power since its inception. At present, a chapel, museum, and offices are housed within its premises. The site still serves as a residence for Metfried, Prince of Wied, and his family. This site is definitely a must-visit for anyone who loves history or who wants to feel like they've stepped into a fairytale.