Köln, Castles, and Kind of Like Pennsylvania: Teil Zwei

The long-awaited second part of my fall break trip is here! This trip was simply massive. I saw so much in only a few days and writing about it has taken a long time. This time, we will be focusing on Köln, a city famous for its Karneval, liberal attitude, and acceptance-oriented mindset. Although I wasn’t able to attend the famous Karneval this year, I was able to visit some of the city’s most famous sites during my time in Middle Germany.

We were lucky to have very good weather while in Köln; warm enough that I could wear a dress.

One of the first things we saw was the Hohenzollern Bridge, or “Love Lock Bridge” which is covered in so-called “love locks”. I think this concept is universal; putting a lock on a bridge with your significant other to represent your everlasting love. This is a huge problem in Köln, however, and so many people have placed locks on the bridge that there is absolutely NO free space left on the bridge for more locks, with people locking their locks on locks! This creates problems, as the locks can be attached to each other so far that it impedes traffic. This has led the city to cut of thousands of locks, as shown in this article: http://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/ga-english/City-removes-love-locks-article3893465.html

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Views from around and on the bridge.

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We went to a look out tower with a gorgeous view of the city. Spot the cathedral?

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The most famous building in the city, the Köln cathedral, which my host mom and I enjoyed from the view of a cafe. The cathedral itself was so much bigger than I thought from seeing it online. The people looked like ants in comparison. I learned about the style of the cathedral in my AP European History class last year, and this is my favorite example of gothic architecture. The details on the building are incredible, and according to http://www.colognecathedral.net/Cologne-Cathedral-Facts.html the cathedral took 632 years to build.

Some info about the cathedral: http://www.colognecathedral.net/

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This gothic building is so large it could be a castle…

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It’s bigger than it looks!
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A street artist made this display-you can put money on your flag- I did!

The inside of the dome was just as impressive as the outside, and made me want to stay for hours. Of all of the churches I’ve seen in Germany,

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From the inside
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It was so humbling to sit inside. We spent a long time just embracing its beauty

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There were many stunning stained glass windows in the cathedral, but this one was my favorite and also the most recently installed

Little did I know, the Cathedral was not just a church. It also held hundreds of years worth of history and even a treasury, which costs money to see but was absolutely worth it.

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The treasure this room held included gold and gemstone covered religious artifacts

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The Cathedral during the night is even more impressive

Another interesting sight to see in Köln is the chocolate museum, which takes you through the history and production of chocolate and is located directly on the river.

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This next beautiful city is called Herborn.

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You can see why this city gives off a Lederhosen and sausage kind of vibe.

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The end of this day left me exhausted but ecstatic. I had just walked through the cities I had once read about and thought “I want so badly to be there”.

This was the evening view from the window of my host dad’s parents. As you can see (if you are my family or friends from PA), the scenery looks exactly like Pennsylvania. So much so, that the next morning when I looked out my window I thought I had somehow transported back to Pennsylvania in my sleep. Hence “Kind of like Pennsylvania”. This is why Pennsylvania has such a prominent German presence, as many immigrating Germans found the familiar hills of PA to be comforting, as I’m sure was the case with my earlier family.

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“No drinking water” this made me very upset. they had a fountain and I couldn’t drink it. This sign made me wonder about the back story of the sign, though

 

Part three coming soon! Hopefully.

Until then,

Abby

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