Sunday, August 06, 2006



The first time I was in Cologne was in September 1969. By that time there was no Erasmus Programme, so the Student Exchange was made through summer camps. I was supposed to go to somewhere in England for some kind of hops picking or whatever. Instead, while in Germany, I found that some Portuguese Student girls were working at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne, and decided to stay there instead. The guy at the office, when saw us there – we were two: Carlos and I- looked and said: «OK. Pugni in Tasca...» (OK. Hands in your pockets...) and sent us to the Housekeeper, Frau Oswald. For a little more than two weeks we stayed there, where further to the work, I did the translation of everyday tasks for: one Portuguese, two Italians, one from Sicily, whose Italian language was not understood even by the other Italian, one Spanish, one Moroccan and one Pakistani. This means that six languages were spoken everyday: Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, French, English, and German. For this extra work, I thought I should get some extra money. No way with Frau Oswald, so it lasted only 17 days. Anyhow, I had to return, as classes at the University would start in October. But, on the farewell meeting with Frau Oswald I said to her: «Next time, I’ll be here as a guest for you to take care of me, instead of me taking care of your employees...». It took a little longer than I anticipated, and Frau Oswald was no longer there to see...

CATHEDRAL - Cologne is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Germany, the largest city on the Rhine and one of the oldest cities in Germany. Its cathedral is the icon of town and its most famous landmark since its completion in the late 19th century. Deservedly so...
It is the church with the largest façade (the west façade with the twin towers) and remains the second-tallest Gothic structure in the world, only passed by the steeple of the Ulm Münster"

"CATHEDRAL as seen from the Römisches-Germanisches Museum. Construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, 632 years to complete - it was finished in 1880"

"CATHEDRAL, as seen from the top of the Ludwig Museum. The Cathedral is also included in the UNESCO Heritage Site List"

"DOM HOTEL - On the other side of the Cathedral square"

"DOMPLATZ - Home to the Cathedral, the Museum, the Hotels and the Fountain..."

"SHOPPING - Hohestrasse, the main shopping street in Cologne, has been attracting shoppers for centuries... It lies on a Roman road and it was one of the first pedestrian zones to be created in Germany"

"LUSITANA - Any place you go, you'll find some Portuguese around..."

"LUDWIG MUSEUM - A wonderful collection of twentieth century art, including Pop Art, Abstract and Surrealism, as well as one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe"

"JAPANESE GARDEN - Home to the Museum of East Asian Art - a nice collection of Chinese, Korean and Japanese art, worth to be seen"

"CHOCOLATE MUSEUM - Cologne houses a fabulous collection of art museums. But it has also one very interesting industrial museum - the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum. It opened its doors on October 31st, 1993, and was meant to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Stollwerk chocolate company. It is located on the Rhine, in an impressive ship shaped construction of glass and metal. And one can taste the chocolate that is being made..."

"TOWER by the Rhine"

"ST. MARIA LYSKIRCHEN - The smallest of Cologne's twelve Romanesque churches was built around 1220 and is the oldest parish church of Cologne. The church is famous for its 13th century paintings on the walls and ceiling"

"PROMENADE - The Rhine Promenade is a very nice stroll near the river. Pasrticularly on a sunny autumn afternoon, with a nice beer to cheer up..."

"HEUMARKT is an important venue for all kind of festivities around town. It is also where fans fest the victories of the football teams..."

"OLD TOWN - Altstadt by the riverside is vast and magnificent, built on city's Roman foundations. It has museums, Romanesque churches, paved plazas and colourful markets, including the Roman Praetorium and vaulted sewer, the Gothic Rathaus and the imposing convent-style St Maria im Kapitol"

"GREAT ST. MARTIN - constructed from 1150 to 1240 - is the face of Cologne's Altstadt. Parts of its foundation lie on brickwork from the storehouses of the old Roman Rhine Island, which was connected to the city after an old arm of the Rhine had been reclaimed"

"HOTEL - Finally, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst..."


Anonymous said...

Wow, how nice to visit my town and see it through your eyes. You have done a great work with all those facts and photos. My compliment.

Anonymous said...

Hi April, thanks for the visit and the comment. I'm glad you appreciated the way I pictured Cologne. Actually, I must confess I love the city. Probably because of the memories I have (no pictures) from my two-months European hitch-hiking tour when I was 19/20 years-old ...