Travels - Köln (Cologne)

We made a trip to Köln, Germany for its famed Christmas Markets (Weihnachtmarkts). We rode a train from Kaiserslautern (actually we rode all four kinds of trains in the Deutsche Bahn arsenal). Besides the historic significance of Köln, it's hard to miss the massive 515- foot spires of the Cathedral (the Dom) that dominate the skyline!

Looking up at the famous spires. This cathedral blows away Notre Dame! As usual when we visit landmarks, it had scaffolds on it - probably a project to clean the black grime off the formerly white limestone.

The massive cathedral (the largest we've seen in Europe so far!) was begun in 1248 and finished in 1880. It was unfortunately damaged in WWII, but survived intact.

The base of the cathedral with Dale in the foreground. Just to the left of Dale (covering our view of the Dom entrance) is a replica of the finials at the top of the spires. See how little the people are standing right by it?

Looking up at the enourmous nave.

The interior damage from British night bombing in WWII. You can see above how the stained glass changes style - I was curious if it was because they were replaced after the war.

(War photos from Köln Archive Lambertin)

A photograph from the south side of the Dom (near the location of the night shot at the bottom of the page) that shows how narrowly it missed total destruction.

A close-up of the intricate mosaic floors.

Another shot of the floor.

A train crossing the Hohenzollernbrücke across the Rhine River with the spires in the background.

The same bridge after the war.

Another shot of the river with a cruise ship docked on the west shoreline.

This wasn't just a cruise ship was a Christmas market!

The Burgerhäuser (village houses).

At night, the Christmas market at the base of the Dom took on a new look. Here's one of a carousel with a silhouette of the cathedral against the night sky.

Another night shot of the side of the cathedral with the Christmas market below.

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